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Rumpiest Parisian waiter how to survive a French business meeting and how not to buy a house in the French countrysideThe 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 uite decide whether they love or love to hate the Frenc. UPDATE This book was one of the worse ones I ve read recently Not much humor and the attempts at it are pathetic To be fair I did uit halfway through but the misogyny just got to be too much I did get some good tips on ordering at a French cafe howeverI picked up the French translation of this book at the airport in Paris two days ago titled God Save La France for some reason It s the story of a 20 something Brit who doesn t speak much French working in Paris for a year I m reading the French version which as my sister would say is kind of meta I sometimes don t understand the translations of the British slang in English in the original version but I do understand all of the actual French that is in dialogues So far much of it is funny some of it is stupid or annoying We ll see if the humor holds up past page 40

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A Year in the Merde

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 alikeA 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. I picked this up in the train station at Charles de Gaulle airport a few minutes before my flight was cancelled and I was forced to spend another day in Paris almost a year ago Tough life rightI never read it thoughDon t know why but last week I felt an urge to pick it up Read it in about 26 hours couldn t put it downIf you have no knowledge of the French France or French it might not be terribly interesting If however you ve spent a significant portion of your life dealing with studying or learning them respectively you might be as entertained by it as I wasWithin 2 hours of finishing it I d purchased the seuel

review A Year in the Merde

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 g. This book inspired me to create a new bookshelf entitled not worth finishing I RARELY start a book and don t finish itand it was probably just my mind set of having several other books I preferred to read over this oneand the fact that this was a library book that I needed to return Maybe if I were to give it another chance at some point I would feel differentlyTypically if I have a library book that is approaching the deadline I will just sit down and bust through it But I just didn t care enough about this one to tryI ve been to France I understand having a lovehate relationship with the countrypeople Mostly I have loved my time there So when by happenstance I saw this book and laughed at the title I figured I was in for some great laughs and inside humorIn all fairness I only read about three chapters and so maybe things change as you go further along But the big problem for me is that I couldn t stand the main character He was just a snarky I m better than you type Britwho went to work with a French company to open British tea rooms in France He didn t truly bother to learn the language before he went or understand THEIR culture he preferred to make fun of it versus understand itwhich only made him seem mean spiritedOh and as much as he makes fun of everything Frenchhe certainly doesn t mind ogling or trying to bed the French womenI don t knowmaybe I just needed a different mind set There were a couple of moments I found amusinglike the Frenchman who learned to speak English in Georgiaso his accent was French with a southern drawl But mostly I thought the main character lacked character and in the end that s really why I chose not to hang in there Ironically I probably spent time writing a review of why I didn t like this book versus finishing itso maybe that says something about my character


10 thoughts on “A Year in the Merde

  1. says:

    This started off so promisingly with snarky but charming British banter about France's little annoying idiosyncrasies that anyone who has spent any time in France can appreciate The main character a British twenty something

  2. says:

    You know what? I'm a French woman and apparently I lack a sense of humourSee I can admit that we French are far from perfect

  3. says:

    I picked this up in the train station at Charles de Gaulle airport a few minutes before my flight was cancelled and I was forced to spend another day in Paris almost a year ago Tough life right?I never read it thoughDon't know why but last week I felt an urge to pick it up Read it in about 26 hours couldn't put it downIf you have no knowledge of the French France or French it might not be terribly interesting

  4. says:

    In the front of this book it says A Year in the Merde is an almost true account of things that may or may not have happened to him Stephen in the ten years he has lived in France depending on who is asking the uestion So it's not truly nonfiction and is classified as fiction Stephen has written a few books about the main character Paul West and his 'almost true' adventuresI wasn't impressed I tend to agree with the other reviewers comment

  5. says:

    Never been to France?

  6. says:

    This book inspired me to create a new bookshelf entitled not worth finishing I RARELY start a book and don't finish itand it was probably just my mind set of having several other books I preferred to read over this oneand the fact that this was a library book that I needed to return Maybe if I were to give it a

  7. says:

    This book is one of the best friends I have met recently One of those friends you need because only they really understand you It is really funny and an very accurate portrait of French goofiness I don't know how funny it would be to most people but being an expat living in Paris it is tear inducing funny Just when you think you are alone f

  8. says:

    UPDATE This book was one of the worse ones I've read recently Not much humor and the attempts at it are pathetic To be fair I did uit halfway through but the misogyny just got to be too much I did get some good tips on ordering at a French cafe howeverI picked up the French translation of this book at the airport in Paris two days ago titled God Save La France for some reason It's the story of a 20 something Brit who

  9. says:

    I read this book at the airport on my way home from france and i couldn't stop laughingit's very clever and extremelly laugh out loud funny

  10. says:

    A YEAR IN THE MERDE is the almost true account of the author’s adventures as an expat in Paris Based loosely o

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