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A Year in the Merde

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A Year in the Merde Cover

ISBN13: 9781582345918
ISBN10: 1582345910
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An urban antidote to A Year in Provence, Stephen Clarke's book is a laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of an expat in Paris-for Francophiles and Francophobes alike.

A Year in the Merde is the almost-true account of the author's adventures as an expat in Paris. Based on his own experiences and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action-and to prevent the author's legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit", the book is narrated by Paul West, a twenty-seven-year-old Brit who is brought to Paris by a French company to open a chain of British "tea rooms." He must manage of a group of lazy, grumbling French employees, maneuver around a treacherous Parisian boss, while lucking into a succession of lusty girlfriends (one of whom happens to be the boss's morally challenged daughter). He soon becomes immersed in the contradictions of French culture: the French are not all cheese-eating surrender monkeys, though they do eat a lot of smelly cheese, and they are still in shock at being stupid enough to sell Louisiana, thus losing the chance to make French the global language. The book will also tell you how to get the best out of the grumpiest Parisian waiter, how to survive a French business meeting, and how not to buy a house in the French countryside.

The author originally wrote A Year in the Merde just for fun and self-published it in France in an English-language edition. Weeks later, it had become a word-of-mouth hit for expats and the French alike. With translation rights now sold in eleven countries and already a bestseller in the UK and France, Stephen Clarke is clearly a Bill Bryson (or a Peter Mayle...) for a whole new generation of readers who can never quite decide whether they love-or love to hate-the French.

Review:

"Take a self-assured Brit with an eye for the ladies, drop him in the middle of Paris with a tenuous grasp of the language and you have Clarke's alter ego, Paul West, who combines the gaffes of Bridget Jones with the boldness of James Bond. Hired to oversee the creation of a French chain of British tearooms, Clarke, aka West, spends nine months — the equivalent of a French business year — stumbling his way through office politics la franaise. Clarke's sharp eye for detail and relentless wit make even the most quotidian task seem surreal, from ordering a cup of coffee to picking up a loaf of bread at the boulangerie. Luck is by West's side as he moves into a stunning apartment (with his boss's attractive daughter), but he has to be careful where he steps, as he finds he 'began to branch out from literal to metaphorical encounters of the turd kind.' Between conspiring colleagues, numerous sexual escapades (he deems French porn 'unsexy' since 'Being French, they had to talk endlessly before they got down to action') and simply trying to order a normal-sized glass of beer, West quickly learns essential tricks to help him keep his head above the Seine. Originally self-published in Paris, Clarke's first book in a soon-to-be-series is funny and well-written enough to appeal to an audience beyond just Francophiles. Agent, Susanna Lea at Susanna Lea Associates. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Based on Stephen Clarke's own experiences and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action, and to prevent the author's legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit," A Year in the Merde provides perfect entertainment for Francophiles and Francophobes alike.

About the Author

Stephen Clarke is a British writer working for a French press group in Paris. He has previously written comedy for BBC Radio. He is currently working on the next volume of Paul West's adventures.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

PaulRadford4884, May 17, 2006 (view all comments by PaulRadford4884)
not the sort of book i would have picked up, but i fancied a change, and found this book to be a real treat! + i would have put more down but i'm at work and my boss is giving me Strang looks!!!!!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582345918
Author:
Clarke, Stephen
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
France
Subject:
British
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060502
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Travel » Travel Writing » France
Travel » Travel Writing » General

A Year in the Merde Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582345918 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Take a self-assured Brit with an eye for the ladies, drop him in the middle of Paris with a tenuous grasp of the language and you have Clarke's alter ego, Paul West, who combines the gaffes of Bridget Jones with the boldness of James Bond. Hired to oversee the creation of a French chain of British tearooms, Clarke, aka West, spends nine months — the equivalent of a French business year — stumbling his way through office politics la franaise. Clarke's sharp eye for detail and relentless wit make even the most quotidian task seem surreal, from ordering a cup of coffee to picking up a loaf of bread at the boulangerie. Luck is by West's side as he moves into a stunning apartment (with his boss's attractive daughter), but he has to be careful where he steps, as he finds he 'began to branch out from literal to metaphorical encounters of the turd kind.' Between conspiring colleagues, numerous sexual escapades (he deems French porn 'unsexy' since 'Being French, they had to talk endlessly before they got down to action') and simply trying to order a normal-sized glass of beer, West quickly learns essential tricks to help him keep his head above the Seine. Originally self-published in Paris, Clarke's first book in a soon-to-be-series is funny and well-written enough to appeal to an audience beyond just Francophiles. Agent, Susanna Lea at Susanna Lea Associates. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Based on Stephen Clarke's own experiences and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action, and to prevent the author's legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit," A Year in the Merde provides perfect entertainment for Francophiles and Francophobes alike.

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