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Book Review: Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler, by Gary Lee Kraut

Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler, by Gary Lee Kraut – at »
“A new look at an old city”
I actually had to make myself put this down long enough to scribble up something about it — but as I plan the Paris leg of my Europe trip, I’ll be picking up Paris Revisited again.

I like a meaty book. Something I sit down to read accompanied by a glass of red wine or a strong beer, with a highlighter and my AS3K for note-taking company.
I also have difficulty with guidebooks. They’re harder to sift through, for some reason; I chalk that up to my literature-addled brain. But Gary Kraut has done something damn neat: he’s combined guidebook with history book, with first-person account that just about has you smelling the crepes and dodging the dog poo all over the city of light.
Kraut also has a unique way of breaking down the information — and crikey there’s loads of course — into well-organized sections that are easy to read and that, well, you want to keep reading.
Maps break down the arrondissements and major attractions. Chapters are broken into various sections, arranged by geography and history. Some examples:

  • “Napoleon’s Paris”. The Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, you name it, along with the rise and fall of one of the world’s most famous short people — and all that he left behind for today’s traveler to check out.
  • “A Fresh Look at the Eiffel Tower”. Did you know that Gustav Eiffel and his firm also were the original builders of the Panama Canal? Me neither. Nor did I realize how varied the history, the enormity of the controversy, or the adaptability of one of the world’s most famous urban icons, until now.
  • “Death in Paris”. Want to do something more original with your Parisian near-death experience, than spray paint more crap on Jim Morrison’s grave? The Guillotine, Princess Di, the Catacombs, Pere Lachaise Cemetery and more, just watch your step and have lots of morbid fun.
  • And more: Shopping, chateaux, wine, wine bars, restaurants, aperitifs, restaurants and cafes — see, now that’s a guide. Gary spends many pages providing the essential info on what really matters when traveling Paris!
    Okay, I have to stop writing now. I could keep going of course; after all, there’s 20 arrondissements spread over 17 main chapters and 450 pages. But if I don’t, then I’ll never get back to reading. And I want another glass of wine.
    Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler, by Gary Lee Kraut
    First time or next time, it’ll help you keep finding all those something’s new »