Sunday, 9 February 2014

Review - Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light

Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light
David Downie
Narrated by Max Winter
Pub. Date: 2011
By Blackstone Audio
ISBN of the paperback: 978-0307886088
Duration:  9:58 hours
Audiobook Jukebox
With all the nonfiction books I have recently read on Paris, you would think I know it all, and I would be rather blasée about it. Far from it! When I saw Audiobook Jukebox had Paris Paris available for review, I did not hesitate.
David Downie has been living in central Paris since 1986. His book is rich of all the walks he has been taking there, attentive to every detail around him. Honestly, I have found in this book information I had NEVER encountered any where else.

There’s a great balance between history, art, culture, and all kinds of anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed the way he highlighted what each recent French president changed in Paris, as far as architecture or city planning is concerned. This is an original and very interesting way of looking at the city of light, and I highly recommend it to any Paris lover.
My dream now would be to have a guided tour of Paris nooks and crannies with David and his wife Alison. David, if you are reading this review, let’s plan something!

My thoughts about the Audiobook production
No hesitation here: READ the book, don’t listen to it!
It started not too badly, but then I started noticing more and more weird ways of pronouncing French names. Honestly, if you are going to narrate professionally a book on Paris, aren’t you going to check with natives how to pronounce famous subway stations for instance, or Parisian neighborhoods? And be consistent about it? Why le Marais [the correct pronunciation rimes with the way Americans talk about valET parking] should suddenly turn into le “marI”, riming with the personal pronoun I?
The tone of voice was also often either dull or oozing ironic contempt, and I did not appreciate this too much.
Too bad for this author. I had actually tried to listen to his book on Burgundy, and gave up because of the narrator!
So I’ll definitely go back to David Downie’s books, he also has a tempting one on the Camino, the walk to Saint James of Compostella, but I will definitely NOT listen to them.


In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this audiobook for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.


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