Reading Adam Gopnik began as an incident. It was another day strolling in perhaps Taiwan’s most lovely second-hand bookstore, Mollies, near National Taiwan University. There, in the basement, hidden within hundred of books stored neatly in two big black drawer, Paris to the Moon seemed oddly placed among some random self-help and politic books. Hard-cover with a black and white picture of a child playing in front of some French style building, it was hard not to looked at it.
But not until reading the advance praises for the book, written in the back cover, one truly felt that one finally found a treasure after a brief moment of random searching. No less than John Updike himself praised the book as having a “fireworks results, lighting up not just the Eiffel Tower.”
There were also comments from Malcolm Gladwell, Jeffrey Toobin, and some exotic name-at least in my ear- Francine du Plessix Gray, whom I’ve never heard before but turned out to be a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a literary critic. All of them are a writer or at least had been writing for The New Yorker. Indeed, Adam Gopnik himself is a writer for The New Yorker since 1986, and this book is actually his collection of essays published in the same magazine. For decades, The New Yorker deploys their staff to Paris, writing for Paris Journals section.
Well, a New Yorker sent to Paris to write about it. Wasn’t that interesting?