Today I am taking part in a virtual book tour via France Book tours for From Here To Paris - Get laid off. Buy a barge in France. Take it to Paris by Cris Hammond. I also have one ebook copy to giveaway, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with From Here to Paris as the email subject to be in with a chance of winning. This giveaway is open to everyone the world over. The winner will be the first name picked out on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.
This is the story of becoming suddenly unemployed, nearing 60 and being forced to face up to the fact that life is about to change drastically. It’s about discovering that your life can fall apart just enough to allow you to put it back together again in a whole new way.
This is the story of tossing the briefcase, cutting up the credit cards, selling the house and buying an 80-year-old Dutch barge in France, then setting sail for Paris.
It’s a joyful and funny tale of stepping off the beaten path to live a dream that you’d thought you’d forgotten: Living on a barge in the middle of Paris.
From the beginning I very much enjoyed this book, the scene was succinctly set, I liked the writing style and it moved at a good pace. When life presents obstacles some people see it as a sign and have the courage to change direction and grasp something completely different. Cris and Linda are two such people and their something different is an old, forgotten Dutch barge in a boatyard in Burgundy that they plan to take to Paris.
This book glides effortlessly along, just like their barge on the Burgundian canals, pausing every so often for snippets of their life back in the US. There is a good mix of croissants, idyllic vineyards, pretty towns and markets plus the many hiccups and woes that no matter where you live will dampen the spirits. Cris’s good humour helps bring in the smiles even when their plans go a little off course and his description of their waterside community often had me laughing. There are times when the dream of living in Paris seems a long way off, but they are not the giving up types. This book has everything I'm looking for in a good memoir set in France.
Don’t miss the little language extras at the end of the book – Cris is a funny man! I have also signed up to his weekly cartoon emails, which contain illustrated updates of his life on the barge when he is back in France.
About the author:
Cris Hammond is a (US) nationally known artist, cartoonist, and entrepreneur. His comic strip, Speed Walker, Private Eye, was seen daily in over 150 newspapers across the country, from The Miami Herald to The Seattle Sun Times, The San Diego Union, and The Minneapolis Star Tribune. His paintings of ships and the sea have appeared in galleries in Sausalito, San Francisco, Tiburon, and Carmel, California. He led special effects teams to Academy Awards for Special Effects in motion pictures including Star Trek IV, Innerspace, and The Abyss, among others. In 1994, facing penury, he left his artistic pursuits, bought a briefcase and a couple ties, and went out and got a real corporate job. Eight years and four more neckties later, he walked into his office one morning and was ambushed by the waiting Exit Interview Team, which informed him that he was, as of that moment, “out on his ear.”
After a suitable period of bi-polar careening between panic and reflection, he realized that he was too young to retire and too old to go looking for another corporate job. So, he sold the house, bought a barge in France and started painting again.
Now he and his wife, Linda, spend half the year in California living and working in their tiny art studio near San Francisco, and the other half doing the same thing on the barge in France. Piloting their 1925 Dutch barge Phaedra, they’ve meandered through more than 1200 kilometers of canals and rivers and negotiated more than 850 locks in their travels from the Rhone wine region, through Burgundy to Chablis and down the Seine into Paris.