PJ Adams‘ recent book, Intoxicating Paris: Uncorking the Parisian Within, is a combination of helpful hints all rolled into one. It is a personal insight, lightweight travel guide with suggestions, partial psychological and psychotherapeutic guide to American and French cultural differences, and a marketing tool for other authors. I was able to identify myself in some parts and appreciated the parts on the cultural differences. Intoxicating Paris is a good start for a first-time visitor.
In the first pages, PJ Adams says that she is exploring Paris as an American psychotherapist. Although I received less cultural psychotherapy than expected, I was able to take away some learning points in cultural differences. Having to look them up, I came away with new American vocabulary words and phrases and an amazing appreciation of how many people write about Paris and Parisians.
PJ Adams tells good stories about her broken leg, market experiences, the cheese tasting and the chocolate shop. In some sections of the book I had the impression that this book was written for me. Because I have lived here since 1992, her psychological and family therapist expertise aided me somewhat to understand the cultural differences between the American and French. The guidebook sections, however, offered me no new information on food, drink, fashion, shopping and precautions but they would interest a first-time visitor. She does promote authors, some Paris residents, whose works cover, food, wine, history and walks. I would have liked more of her own quotable thoughts and less of the other authors’.