Okay, kids. As promised, here is my review of PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light.
PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light
by David Downie, 2011, New York: Broadway Books
Photographs by Alison Harris
Foreward by Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce
PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light is a collection of 31 essays about La Ville Lumière in which historical and personal narratives enlighten readers about Paris’s present. Author David Downie has distilled decades of study and experience and blended it with his unique adventures as a 25-year resident of Paris, resulting in chapters that are not only rich, but accessible reading because of Downie’s down-to-earth personality infusing the text. Downie writes in the chapter entitled “The Janus City,” “… in this old Europe of which Paris is still the cultural capital, to look forward we must first look back” (p. 284). The essays, which are anchored in Downie’s own curiosity about and explorations of the city, are ballasted in historical perspective. Fine photos by his wife and professional photographer, Alison Harris, anchor each chapter with a unique perspective. Like a good whisky, the reading goes down smoothly, and one feels satisfied from first taste to lasting finish.