September 20, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Art Buchwald’s writing may be pedestrian, and his sense of self-importance inflated, but he’s an A-list storyteller who manages to succeed in balancing his arrogance with a generous dose of charm and humor. In I’ll Always Have Paris!, his second book of memoirs, the journalist recounts his life in Paris as a celebrated (and sometimes detested) Herald Tribune columnist during the ”moveable feast” of the ’40s and ’50s. Buchwald’s insistent name-dropping would be exasperating if it weren’t so entertaining: His droll thumbnail sketches manage to show the little-seen — and often less dignified — side of the celebrities (such as Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso) with whom he had the luck, or gall, to acquaint himself. B

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