- Taschenbuch: 529 Seiten
- Verlag: Knopf (2. Februar 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0375711082
- ISBN-13: 978-0375711084
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 11,9 x 2,4 x 23,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.809.915 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Knopf Guide: Paris (Knopf Guides) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. Februar 2010
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A guided walking tour is the standard Knopf format for revealing the city, as opposed to the Eyewitness itemized number format. The Eyewitness guide is the other half of the pair that you must have to visit Paris, each complementing the other rather than competing. This Knopf guide has some gorgeous pull out maps/pages in the middle of the book that are really great.
The Knopf weakness is in it's ability to help you plan: There is a wonderful diagram of the Catacombs, on a fold out page showing details about the fascinating sites beneath the city, with pictures of some of the bones in the Catacombs; but nowhere will the Knopf guide tell you what time it is open or when. The Eyewitness guide is much stronger in that respect, the Knopf guides are almost as good as the Eyewitness when it comes to maps, the Eyewintness being better.
The Knopf guide has 7 pages of general index plus 10 pages for listing illustrations. The Eyewitness guide has 20 pages of general index with none for illustrations, which is to say the Knopf guide is more romantic, the Eyewitness guide more practical, they are 5 star both, and you should have both.
As you read through the delightful density of information, the quirkiness of the book itself begins to emerge. There are columns of writing where the text just disappears mid-sentence off the page never to be found again. One entire page (the back of the fold-out for the Musée d' Orsay) remains in the original French, untranslated. You'd think, since this book has been out for years and has had revisions, that the proof-reading would be better, even if it was a daunting task rendering it into English from the original French edition. The 3D arial maps of various areas feel odd. While the ones of the right bank are anchored by the river at the bottom looking north and feel like the way they 'should' be, the ones of the left bank are also anchored by the river at the bottom and looking south, take a bit of getting used to. The street plan at the back professes to overlap a bit map to map, and they do sideways, but up and down, sections of all are missing. (You might want to get the full Michelin map book of relatively the same size).
Aldous Huxley once wrote a travel essay that he liked to stumble around a new place on his first visit without prior knowledge or guide, then would read the guide books for subsequent trips. I don't think this approach will work for Paris, unless you want to be kicking yourself over what you missed on your first trip. Get this book and give it a thorough read before you go. There is too much to spend your time in Paris buried in the book reading it and languishing in the lavish visual presentation for the first time. Then you can decide what you want to orient yourself to: culture, food, shopping, history, gardens, architecture, artistic life, sight-seeing, and in which proportions, and you will be relieved to forgive yourself in advance knowing now that if you want to get anywhere close to a sense of the richness of what makes Paris, current and historical, there will be many trips in your future, both from your armchair back home with this book, and, when you decide you have to go again to see and experience more.