As lively and winning as Peter Mayle's A YEAR IN PROVENCE and Sarah Turnbull's ALMOST FRENCH, A TOWN LIKE PARIS evokes the beauty, delights, and charms of Paris for an ever-eager audience of armchair travellers.
At the end of a nine-year relationship, stuck in a dead-end job and on the run from his broken heart Australian journalist Bryce Corbett left London for Paris, home of 'l'amour' and 'la vie boheme'.
Arriving with only a suitcase and school-boy French, he finds himself an apartment and slowly launches himself into 'la vie Parisienne'. It doesn't take Bryce long to discover his down-home Aussie charm has no currency in France - either with Parisienne women or French plumbers.
Undeterred, Bryce is determined to make the city his own - no matter how many bottles of Bordeaux it takes. Fully embracing his newfound culture, he is exposed to some of the more unfathomable idiosyncrasies of the French, from the revealing lack of window coverings and alcohol-rationed soirees, to the exasperating non-existent customer service and the traffic black hole around the Arc de Triomphe.
Just when he thinks he knows it all and Paris has offered him all she has to give, he meets a showgirl - an Australian beauty whose sequin-clad high-kicks are the toast of the Champs Elysees.
Bryce might just discover that what he came to France looking for was a lot closer to home than he had ever imagined.
A rip-roaring book with widespread appeal - SUN-HERALD