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They Eat Horses, Don't They?: The Truth About the French

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  187 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
They Eat Horses, Don't They?:The Truth About the French tells you what life in France is really like. Do the French eat horses? Do French women bare all on the beach? What is a bidet really used for?

In this hilarious and informative book, Piu Marie Eatwell reveals the truth behind forty-five myths about the French, from the infamous horsemeat banquets of the nineteenth cen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 9th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Apr 05, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, france
I've long been charmed by the French. That reputation for elegance, high culture and the best food. The streets of Paris are mired in dog shit, their crap public toilets and that peculiar unmasculine-looking machismo. I generalize with love.

Eatwell share many of the same observations. She writes with a delightful, idiosyncratic Anglo mix of admiration for and humor toward her French subjects. I don't agree with all of her take-aways. But I do so love her summation of how French women seem to ha
Feb 14, 2015 Richard rated it it was ok
It seems it is always a 'foreigner' who writes these types of books about the french and it seems like
they know it all i.e. - their culture, language, society, et al. Well, this time it is a roast beef or pommey who has her opinion about the french and their 'myths.' Each chapter is devoted to a particular myth about the french, for example one chapter is ' the french are the #1 consumers of cheese ' and how she either supports or debunks that theory and she'll explain the types of cheeses they
I won this in the giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

Eatwell takes the most popular misconceptions/stereotypes about France and the French and explores how accurate they are. This was brilliant, with a great mix of interesting and fun facts. The writing style was easily accessible and I came away feeling that I'd had an educational read as well as getting some pleasure from it. A worthwhile book.
Surprisingly amusing book about French stereotypes. The French eat cheese. They drink wine at every meal. French women don't get fat. French children don't throw food. The French are relaxed about adultery. France is a country of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. You've heard of these and other stereotypes. What's true? What's made-up? What has some truth to it that has somehow morphed into something else?

The author takes a few pages to look at each myth that deal with a variety of topics. Some o
Mar 09, 2015 Charles rated it liked it
As a teacher of a regular, General Education course (in English) on contemporary France, I am always in the market for books on the French, and this one not only is extremely well written and well organized, but also contains so many myriad details about myths (from abroad) about the French that nearly every chapter offers much to learn. I will probably xerox and use several of the chapters to supplement the usual, unsurpassed book on the French (Nadeau & Barlow's 60 Million Frenchmen Can't ...more
Denise Kruse
Feb 01, 2016 Denise Kruse rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea. The author uses questionable statistics to prove or disprove the many clichés she perceives surround the reputation of the French. Although I suppose it is a tad humorous at times and even informational, the stereotypes are old and annoying to even consider. I prefer to make my own conclusions about people and never does that include entire races. Someone might enjoy this type of book and I give it 2 stars only because of all of her research and because it has a cute cover.
Peter Jordan
Feb 26, 2016 Peter Jordan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, french
A pseudo-scholarly checklist of Anglo-Saxon myths about the French. Some useful nuggets, but lots of footnotes and references got in the way of reading.
Jul 12, 2015 Kat rated it liked it
Amusing debunking of myths about the French.
Paula Schumm
Oct 11, 2016 Paula Schumm rated it really liked it
I'm going to France soon. This was the perfect before-the-trip read. The author did her research; she was funny and intellectual in her approach, and I enjoyed this one. Recommended to those planning to visit France.
Clarice Stasz
Feb 01, 2015 Clarice Stasz rated it it was amazing
Do you love Froglit? How French women stay slim and raise wonderful, polite children? Eatwell introduces the real France. As she notes, the authors of Froglit are correct for the small world they know, a narrow group of well-to-do in Paris. Eatwell is British and has lived in France many years. Her book is written for a British audience, which doesn't matter, because Americans share many of the same stereotypes.

Eatwell discusses each stereotype with reference to how it evolved in history. Did y
Jan 11, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it
If, as I did, you pick up this book expecting a quick, breezy, humorous, lighthearted romp through sayings that people believe about the French, you’re in for a surprise.

Yes, the book examines 45 myths and stereotypes about the French. Yes, it is humorous and very witty. And it is also exceedingly well-researched and informative. Eatwell shares bits and pieces of history back through the centuries that led to these “myths”—all of which had – or still have -- some elements of truth.

I found it a
Kristin Strong
Nov 25, 2015 Kristin Strong rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, france
This was kinda fun, and very informative. The author, a British expat who's been living in France for a decade, is well-placed to hear myths about the French from non-French people, and to see the reality of the people and the culture. She states a myth, then uses statistics and studies to prove or disprove its accuracy. I was expecting, I guess, a jokey, lightweight, maybe comic take on France and the French, but this is a bit more in-depth than that. Probably should give it 3 stars, but going ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Angela rated it liked it
You can tell the author really went all out and did extensive research to prove if French stereotypes are definitely fact or fiction. I found some of the topics that she covered to be very interesting and funny but there were other topics that really were "too much" for me to want to read about; especially the ones involved with politics. Reading this did make me want to visit France even more now, to see if I'll see the things that were mentioned in this book.
Andrea Howland
Dec 27, 2014 Andrea Howland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insights to French culture and the Anglo-Saxon divide

lived in France for seven years so this book was particularly poignant for me. offered insights to a country I live and miss terribly. The author's treatment of various misconceptions rings true. I highly recommend this provocative, insightful, easy to read book for anyone, particularly Americans/British interested in French culture.
Apr 01, 2015 Azabu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The aptly named Eatwell conducts a light-hearted journey through her adopted country by poking holes in or confirming commonly held stereotypes about the nation that produced the Ritz, crepes and the Left Bank. Adapting the title from the 1969 film, British born Eatwell divvies her subject into 10 categories that begin with the purported Gallic appetite for horse meat— okay, sure, they do like the occasional ponyburger, in fact, ‘working class fare.'
May 27, 2016 Katherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-other
I had a little trouble getting started with this one since it's primarily a British/French perspective, but thoroughly enjoyed it after getting warmed up.

Would REALLY have appreciated more translations; this is another of so many books in which the author assumes you have some passing French skills. While many words & phrases are defined, I still had to frequently look up translations to really get the full meaning of what was being conveyed.
May 28, 2016 Janet rated it liked it
I was expecting this to be a travel memoir but it turned out to be a collection of essays about French myths. The author is a Brit who visited France and never left. She explains various ideas that the British (and Americans) have about the French, many of them negative. It was interesting to read about different aspects of French culture and to learn that many of the myths are false or at least partly true.
Jul 17, 2016 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5 Stars
This book was an hilarious book about myth-busting the stereotypes about the French. Many of these myths I encountered in France and i found it consoling that I wasn't the only one who thought that way. The format of the book could've been better, I was not expecting it to be book about individual myths and busting them but rather a book about the history of France and how these stereotypes came to exist today. Other than that very smartly written.
Feb 06, 2015 Rose rated it it was amazing
English and Americans have many beliefs about the French, this book examines them and tells how true (or false) they are. Besides the titulat question, it covers whether the women are the most chic, whether they take wine with all dinners, as well as a consideration of French pop music and many others. Very fun.
Feb 20, 2015 Bonnie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Entertaining look at French culture, history and people. At times the book seemed to be more of a comparison of England and France - from each other's perspective - than a presentation of France and the French. I read it in preparation for a trip to France - and it was definitely more readable than a travel guide.
Oct 10, 2015 Madison rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Some of the topics were interesting, but most you could tell were completely false. "French women don't get fat," of course some of them do. So, I skipped that one and many others. Also, I don't speak French so I didn't understand some of the phrases and words that were just thrown in there. Probably a good book to return back to in a few years when I know a bit more about history and things.
Jun 23, 2016 Cybercrone rated it really liked it
Really interesting for anyone interested in the culture and myths of culture of France. Should definitely be read by anyone planning to travel to France.

Emminently readable, very well researched and organised. I learned a lot and had a few laughs too.

I'm planning to get it for some French friends for Christmas.
Olivia G.
I read this book to help me with a paper I was doing for my intercultural class. It was a pretty good read, and easy, much better than a lot of my other readings I needed to do for the class. There were still a few moments while reading that I was a bit confused and uninterested, but overall it was very informative.
Mar 22, 2015 Belle rated it liked it
Many of the British perspectives of the French that are tackled in this amusing book I firmly believed without ever having been to France. All it took was one trip to Paris and I was keen to spend more time enjoying France and learning about French customs and lifestyle. I read this book after that first trip and found it both entertaining and educational. Some enjoyable quotes in the book too.
Kristy K
May 15, 2016 Kristy K marked it as dnf
Shelves: arc
I received a copy from Goodread's First Reads in return for an honest review.

This book is just not for me. After trying over the course of the past few years to read it, I am unable to finish it. Unfortunately, I found it slow and not to my liking.
Apr 01, 2015 Mojavejen rated it liked it
Very entertaining, well-researched takedown of the clichés propagated by Froglit (a guilty pleasure of mine). Funny, though, that the book is marketed as standard Froglit: the cover is all flourishy hand-lettering and jaunty illustrations of the Eiffel Tower and outdoor cafés.
Dipra Lahiri
May 08, 2016 Dipra Lahiri rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, 2015
Really enjoyable read, packed with lots of research across a wide range of genres. Very readable style; it will take just over a day to finish this book.
Jan 15, 2015 Isabel rated it it was amazing
It was a pleasure to read this book, very interesting, funny and with a lot of research. I visited Paris a few years ago, so I found myself noding and laughing a lot.
Definitely worth it!
Kathleen Noehren
Jan 26, 2015 Kathleen Noehren rated it really liked it
Funny and informative for those interested in French culture. Sorry to learn they are becoming more like us instead of the other way around.
Feb 16, 2015 William rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
For those with above-average interest in France and French culture. Casual readers will not care, but Francophiles would be recommended to at least peruse!
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Piu Eatwell was born in India, of mixed Anglo-Indian descent. She studied English at Oxford University, graduating 'summa cum laude' with a starred First Class degree, coming fourth in her year. She subsequently worked as a lawyer and television producer for the BBC and other TV companies. Piu now lives in Paris and writes about French-themed subjects, as well as historical true crime. Books ...more
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