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Merde Actually (Paul West #2)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  3,648 Ratings  ·  237 Reviews
A year after arriving in France, Englishman Paul West is still struggling with some fundamental questions: What is the best way to scare a gendarme?

Why do French job applicants put sexually transmitted diseases on their CVs?

Why are there no public health warnings on French nudist beaches?

And how do you cope with a plague of courgettes?

Paul also mutates (temporarily) into a
...more
Paperback, 409 pages
Published 2006 by Penguin canada (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Vasia
Sep 22, 2013 Vasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not so funny as the first one but i enjoyed myself reading it.
Erin
Sep 26, 2011 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
I really enjoyed A Year In the Merde, the first book about Paul, a British businessman living in Paris. In that book, the hilarious clash of cultures and frustrations of doing business in France created a very humorous and satisfying story. This sequel is not as appealing.

Paul has struck out on his own in Paris, determined to open the tea room ("My Tea Is Rich") that was a focus of the first book. However, the tea room takes a backseat to Paul's romantic exploits. He's dating the lovely Florence
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Jenn (Booksessed)
Without trying to include spoilers, AYITM was about Paul West moving from London to France to help create English Style tea rooms in France, while working for a boss with questionable ethics. He has complete culture shock, dates a lot of girls and gets into quite a bit of trouble, all with the self-deprecating humor that the Brits are known for. He picks on the English, the French, vegetarians, and Americans, but in a way that you can’t help but love.
ITMFL picks up where the previous book left o
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Matthew
When I started this book, I was still under the impression that the series was in some way autobiographical. You'd have thought that I could have noticed the difference in the name of the author and that of the character, but this had evaded my attention when I read the first one, and continued to as I started this one.

The book was actually more enjoyable for knowing that it's not about actual events, which would have left me with far less sympathy for the characters. As it was, I found it more
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Eleni
May 11, 2009 Eleni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first book "A year in The Merde" was great. Pointing a direct finger at all Parisian habits. The second book deserves just a shrug. A character driven love story set in France. Although funny- it's a story and does not maintain the stand up comedian wittiness of book #1.
Mae
Jul 18, 2013 Mae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francophiles, Brits, English muffins, Frenchies
Recommended to Mae by: My French cousin
The edition I have read has a white cover and two snails behind a cup of English(?) tea. Anyways, I read this book based on my French cousin's recommendation. To sum it up, Paul West is an Englishman morphing into a Frenchman. Though he originally aimed to open an English tea room in the middle of Paris, the main plot revolves around his [needlessly] complicated relationships with French women. Plus, there's a lot of cultural puns (that I'm happy to get considering I arrived in France a few days ...more
Ankur Rastogi
Merde Actually is a sequel to "A Year in the Merde". In this novel, the protagonist Paul continues with his (mis)adventure in France. He is now trying to open his English tea chain "My Tea is Rich" and at the same time having troubles with his personal love life.

While the first part was mostly focused on the cultural differences between England and France, this one is written in a typical love story fashion with not much on cultural issues. Obviously there are bit of episodes like the trouble he
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Natalia Pì
this book's good fun, i got it from a friend who was giving it away. it's very light reading, but if you know a little about the two countries involved (England and France), then you will have a laugh while reading it. the story's nothing special really, it's the way he writes that make the book worth reading, as well as all the cultural observations that are hilarious - about both sides of the Channel. kept me good company on a long-distance flight!
Kilimanjaro
Plăcută, relaxantă și amuzantă.
O carte de vacanță.
Len
Dec 22, 2016 Len rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like a movie, and a good one to watch in Christmas season.
I caught up with Paul's adventure along the two countries that have quite a history, after abandoning it for like a year or so. And it was still as bemusing.
All the fun and sarcasm were there, mingled with Paul's struggle to get out of the 'merde' he'd been in, while trying to take back the love he'd accidentally 'thrown away.'
I had many a good laugh, and an 'aww' at the end, when I thought 'Damn it's not gonna be a happy ending.
...more
Stefanie
As an American expatriate living in France, I could relate to many situations and found them funny. The main character himself, however, is a misogynistic and sexist jerk so sometimes it was a hard read in that sense. It's written decently enough that you can typically embrace the fact that he's slightly reprehensible and enjoy it as part of the humor and plot but his actions had me rolling my eyes or sneering very often.
Iwona
Feb 01, 2017 Iwona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Tym razem autor pofantazjował na całego. Szkoda, że zdaje się, iż z każdą książka w przygodach Paula Westa jest coraz mniej prawdziwych angegdotek i coraz więcej mało prawdopodobnych zdarzeń. Czytam Stephena Clarke'a po kolei i niestety teraz czuję się z niechęcona do pozostałych książek z cyklu i chyba nieprędko po nie sięgnę:(
Agnese
Mar 05, 2016 Agnese rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: angļu, 2016
Manas pārdomas par Stīvena Klārka grāmatu "Ellīgs gads Parīzē" nudien nebija glaimojošas, tādēļ mazs, mazs velniņš kaut kur iekšā visu laiku vaicāja: "Nu, Agnes, kā tad tu sevi attaisnosi, kāpēc vispār lasi tā brita otro grāmatu, ja tev bija tik daudz pretenziju pret pirmo?". Nevajag jau attaisnoties, pat sev ne, bet notika tā, ka es nolēmu izlasīt Gintera Grasa "Skārda bungas" un ... neizlasīju. Tiku pāri trešdaļai, tas ir, izlasīju gandrīz trīssimt lappušu - tādu skaitu lappušu, ar kuru daudza ...more
Maryna
Jan 10, 2017 Maryna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a nice one to read when you are in France, as many things described in the book ring a bell in your mind even if you are not a British, teh author describes the French mentality in a very nice and funny way. However, I found the first book funnier. Totall recommended to those who move/have moved to France.
Souad
Jan 15, 2014 Souad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Merde Actually is Stephen Clarke’s second novel. It’s about Paul West, a Brit living in France. A year ago he decided to move to la belle France. After a year he still struggles with some important questions concerning the cultural differences.

The novel describes the ridiculously funny ups and downs of the love life of Paul and his attempts to set up an English tearoom in Paris. Merde Actually will take you to the countryside of France, where Paul will meet his monster-in-law and find himself p
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Tessa Pauwels
Dec 16, 2013 Tessa Pauwels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently the book is a sequel to the “A year in the Merde" which I never read. So I don't know if there is more information about Paul that I should've known before I started reading this book. Merde Actually is an easy book to read except for the French words.

The book is about a young English man, who wants to open an English tearoom in Paris. He has a complicated but interesting love life. Paul has a girlfriend called Florence. Florence and Alexa (his ex-girlfriend) are two really important
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Julie
Sep 14, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul West returns, still living in France, his French much improved, but still not good enough to tell tea bags from bath salts, flat tires from pure exhaustion, and without the knowledge to properly translate his menu items to get the French government off his back.

Paul is even less lucky in love. His girlfriend Florence who is supposed to be helping him set up his tea shop in Paris, is quickly tiring of the project and takes offence when Paul states he is uncomfortable with the fact that she h
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Paulina
Paul West, an Englishman decides to open a tea room in Paris in order to spend the rest of his life living in France together with his newly found French girlfriend Florence. His stay in France was nothing to write home about. It was Merde Actually as he named this novel.

Firstly his plan to drive for two weeks around south-west France with Florence ended up in the Merde. They actually ended up spending their summer vacation at Florence's mum's house in Corrèze after Paul had had a slight accide
...more
Maxim Miechielsen
Dec 31, 2013 Maxim Miechielsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul West, an Englishman in France, meets his mother- and father-in-law during a holyday with his girlfriend. After a few strange incidents (containing nudity) with the mother-in-law, the couple decides to continue their trip to the holyday home of the father-in-law where things aren’t getting better. Florence breaks up with Paul after hearing about the dismiss of the architect of his tearoom. The architect was her ex-boyfriend.

Paul goes back to Paris where he meets Alexa, his own ex-girlfriend
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Maxim Miechielsen
Jan 02, 2014 Maxim Miechielsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul West, an Englishman in France, meets his mother- and father-in-law during a holyday with his girlfriend. After a few strange incidents (containing nudity) with the mother-in-law, the couple decides to continue their trip to the holyday home of the father-in-law where things aren’t getting better. Florence breaks up with Paul after hearing about the dismiss of the architect of his tearoom. The architect was her ex-boyfriend.

Paul goes back to Paris where he meets Alexa, his own ex-girlfriend
...more
liz
Apr 26, 2007 liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most novels about Anglo expats in Paris tend to fall back on the same handful of cliches. "A Year in the Merde" ignored all of these to forge new ones, which "In the Merde for Love" continues to do. But I think "In the Merde for Love" is a more character-driven, and as such there are fewer witty vignettes. The writing, though, remains extremely funny.

Back then, I didn't understand something very important about sitting in a cafe in a non-touristy part of rural France. The people aren't necessari
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Alan Hughes
Jun 16, 2009 Alan Hughes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction, humour
Review

"'Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle' The Times"

Product Description

A year after arriving in France, Englishman Paul West is still struggling with some fundamental questions: What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Why are there no health warnings on French nudist beaches? And is it really polite to sleep with your boss' mistress? Paul opens his English tea room, and mutates (temporarily) into a Parisian waiter; samples the pleasures of typically French hotel-room afternoons;

...more
Ashley
Mar 23, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
. The main focal point is on relationships, encounters, and angst about women. Written with a sharp comedic wit, the author dishes about his experiences (in the novel his character is named "Paul"), with women, and his pursuit of love. All this as he endeavors to establish an English tea room in the heart of gay Paree.

I think straight American and British men are the target audience. I found some parts to be a bit offensive, although it is difficult to argue that it does not realistically portra
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Ronald Roseborough
In this second book of a series, we meet Englishman, Paul West, moderately successful advertising executive, who went to France for a job as the liaison for a Paris based, French company trying to break into the English market. He spends a year dodging French office politics, trying to improve English-French relationships with the Parisian femmes, incurring the wrath and hostility of haughty french waiters, and slip, sliding his way through the local dog merde, which is freely deposited on the P ...more
Sarah
Mar 10, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Das Buch fand ich irgendwie fast noch witziger als das erste. Haha, ich mag Paul, oder wie die Franzosen es meistens aussprechen - "Pol". Stephen Clarke schreibt echt witzig und die Situationen, in die Paul gerät, sind so witzig, auch wenn sie alltäglich sind.
Anfangs reist er mit seiner Freundin Florence aufs Land, wird dort ihrer Familie vorgestellt und gleich voll in die Hausarbeit und die Dorfgemeinschaft eingebunden, was Paul eher nicht so zusagt.
Schließlich gelingt es ihm tatsächlich, seine
...more
Robin
Aug 13, 2016 Robin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Merde actually: A review on Merde Actually

I cannot even begin to describe the problems with this book. First off, the narrator sounds like a twenty-something dudebro who cracks sexist jokes about women. As if that weren't bad enough, he's slightly ethnocentric in a subtle way that seems akin to anyone who voted yes for Brexit. He's so straight that it almost pains me to read page after page of his bullshit ramblings and observations on women and people of color.

Secondly, the plot. Or rather lac
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Allison
Jul 21, 2015 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm about 1/4 of the way through this book and though it's at times amusing because of the cultural aspects and conflicts, I can't ignore the awfulness of the MC Paul. He's overly honest in his internal monologue, which at times is refreshing, but at his core he's more or less acting like a teenager who objectifies women, particularly women of color. He refers to Florence's brother has having "latte" skin, which naturally is a mirror for Florence's skin. He also hypersexualizes French women. I d ...more
Sarah
Apr 29, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one up at a library sale since I'm heading to France in about a month for a short stay - I figured it would be good to get me in the mood. I didn't know this was a part deux to his first book, but luckily you don't really need to have read the first book. It was fine as a standalone book. For the first few chapters I considered giving it up as I wasn't quite sure where he was going with his story. But I'm glad I didn't. He finally stopped just repeating how hot his girlfriend was a ...more
Anne Martin
what a deception! I got the second (this one) and third tome at a book fair, and began reading them the wrong way, the other one first. It did not matter, easy to follow and it made me laugh. When I grabbed this one, I was expecting the same kind of flippant humor, better because the author was in France, dealing with the daily merde.
I found a description of drunken evenings and unbridled lust. Lust for any woman around, with terms I found upsetting about the downgrade of female beauty with time
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Stephanie
Jan 30, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's studied French, been to France or just loves the country
I picked this up on my recent trip to Washington. It's about a British man and his adventures living in France with French women and trying to set up a British tea salon. There were some moments that literally caused me to laugh out loud, which is somewhat emabarrassing when you're waiting for your plane to board at the airport. I do think people who don't know French might not get all the jokes -- of course, this being written by a British guy, I felt like I needed a British to American English ...more
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Stephen Clarke is the bestselling author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction that satirize the peculiarities of French culture. In 2004, he self-published A Year in the Merde, a comic novel skewering contemporary French society. The novel was an instant success and has led to numerous follow-ups, including Dial M for Merde (2008), 1,000 Years of Annoying the French (2010), and Paris Revealed ...more
More about Stephen Clarke...

Other Books in the Series

Paul West (6 books)
  • A Year in the Merde
  • Merde Happens
  • Dial M For Merde
  • The Merde Factor (Paul West, #5)
  • Merde in Europe

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