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My French Whore

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  1,374 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
The beloved actor and screenwriter's first novel, set during World War I, delicately and elegantly explores a most unusual romance. It's almost the end of the war and Paul Peachy, a young railway employee and amateur actor in Milwaukee, realizes his marriage is one-sided. He enlists, and ships off to France. Peachy instantly realizes how out of his depth he is--and never m ...more
Hardcover, 178 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2007)
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Esteban del Mal
Aug 27, 2014 Esteban del Mal rated it really liked it
I read a book! In a day! Like Karen!
Gene Wilder, we loved your wild-eyed fervor as Dr. Franken-steen in Young Frankenstein. We snickered at your sadistic glee as you dispatched spoiled brats in Willy Wonka... We loved your naive bumbling in the original version of The Producers. We shook our heads and laughed in spite of ourselves as you tried to pass for black while carrying a ghetto blaster alongside Richard Pryor in Silver Streak. We cringed at what you might do to that sheep in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex... ...more
Joy H.
Oct 14, 2011 Joy H. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
_My French Whore_ by Gene Wilder (first published 2007)
Added Jun 23, 2008.
I read this book around Jan. 2009.

I enjoyed this book immensely!
I think everyone would enjoy it.
It's simple and sweet and entirely compelling.
Leave it to Gene Wilder to write such a lovely tale.

At I found the following short description:
"In 1918 when Paul Peachy's marriage is failing, he decides to join the army. Since he speaks German he's sent for to help interrogate notoriou
Jan 11, 2011 Chip rated it really liked it
I can usually tell where an author is coming from... something like forensic deconstruction... but Gene Wilder is a mystery. He writes an excellent story with simple wit and much grace. His prose is straightforward and powerful. For anyone put off by the title, don't be; the heroine of the story may have been one in the past but as a character in this story isn't... at least not by my definition. I read it in one sitting, and couldn't (or wouldn't) put it down. I had hoped for a different ending ...more
Mar 19, 2014 T.R. rated it it was amazing
Entertaining, hilarious, and romantic - who could ask for anything more? I loved this tale of a heroic American World War 1 soldier who masquerades as a German spy and, in the process, falls madly in love with a French woman who has had to offer her body in exchange for...just about everything. A wonderful, random find from the library :-D
Jun 11, 2008 Traci rated it it was amazing
A sweet love story set in WWI about a coward who becomes a hero and falls in love with a whore.
While reading this wonderful short novel you can't help but see Gene Wilder as Paul Peachy, the hero of the story. It's written as a journal, a few days in the life of an ordinary soldier who for a short time, becomes a celebrated spy.
Jan 11, 2008 Dantastic rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Dantastic by: just picked it up at the library

this book was the quickest read i've ever had. it was amazing, but don't let the title put you off. the story is actually so good, you'll shit yourself. but seriously, i read it at work one day. yeah, the whole thing at work- granted at 178 pages and printed on small pages, it's really more like 140 pages, but a very touching work.

read it.
read it.
read it.
Jun 10, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp-fiction
A completely charming, tiny novel. I've always liked Gene Wilder and while I couldn't escape picturing Wilder as the main character "Peachy", it didn't matter. He won me over with his simplicity of style and the great pace of the story and dialogue.

Other folks have commented on wanting the story longer, but it's perfect. It does it's job. It transports the reader to another place and time. It transports us to the feeling of living fast, with the constant fear of discovery about our fraud, and t
This is a romance in the true sense of the word romantic. The writing is spare, stark, illuminated and deeply moving.
Paul Peachy, railway worker, amateur actor and unhappy newlywed, decides one day to join the army. WWI, American army. This story defines courage and love. I can't tell you what happens but I can recommend that you read it.

I did think this was a really good book, but in retrospect I think 4 stars, not 5. Probably 4 1/2 is the right rating.
Aug 30, 2016 Tyler rated it liked it
I read this on a two-hour plane ride from Nashville to Houston. It's decent for that purpose, and the fact that it was written by Gene Wilder is pretty awesome, but it's kind of thin sketch of a novel. Fun in parts, but nothing terribly substantial.
Oct 08, 2014 witchypoo rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
This was a fun little farce. Nothing terribly deep, but an amusing read. The romance is sweet & the military aspect was interesting. A very short book; I finished it in a day.
Mar 13, 2008 Rose rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scarlett Pimpernel lovers
Recommended to Rose by: Darlene Wherlie
Shelves: drama-fiction
Very cute little book! For anyone who has ever read the Scarlett Pimpernel would love this story by Gene Wilder.
Oct 13, 2007 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Quick, light read. I read it in a day, smiled and went to sleep content.
Sep 15, 2008 Rory rated it really liked it
This little book was kind of perfect in its own quiet way. Exciting, gentle, horrible, romantic.
Sep 16, 2016 Mollie rated it it was amazing
Gene Wilder's voice shines through in this story.
Jan 08, 2009 Meg rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading My French Whore by Gene Wilder. Yes, this is the same Gene Wilder from such movies as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Young Frankenstein,, and, Blazing Saddles. When I first saw that he had written a novel I was intrigued, he is one of my favorite actors, but not expecting much. Celebrities don't always make good authors; just look at Dee Dee Ramones' attempt at fiction. But I have to say I was not just pleasantly surprised, I was blown away. The book is clear, wit ...more
Feb 07, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Em primeiro lugar fiquei admirada ao ver a fotografia do autor na capa, o que só aconteceu quando peguei neste livro para o ler. Nunca pensei que o actor do filme "Uma mulher de vermelho" ou "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" fosse o autor deste livro!

A simplicidade e a ironia são os principais ingredientes deste maravilhoso romance. Não é, de todo, um livro muito bem escrito e uma obra imprescendível, mas quem o ler ficará com toda a certeza rendido(a). Em cerca de 190 páginas estão presen

A cortesã francesa acabou por se revelar uma surpresa agradável. É um livro que aborda temas como o amor e coragem.

Esta história relata a aventura dum soldado americano chamado Paul pelas terras de França aquando a 1ª GM. É um livro simples, de leitura rápida – muito rápida – mas muito agradável de se ler.

Pode dizer-se que o livro encontra-se dividido em 2 partes, sendo a primeira caraterizada por um grande sentido de humor, onde é caraterizada e criticada a vida dos soldados e todas as suas dif

Jul 29, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it
When this book came my way, I read the title, and was about to dismiss it, then I saw who the author was, and thought, really? I had no idea that Gene Wilder was also an author!! So at that point, my original dismissal wavered, so I read the blurb, and my interest was piqued!
My French Whore takes us into the life of Private Paul Peachy, who, bored with life in Milwaukee, enlists in the army and heads to France to fight in WW1. Shocked by the death of his friends within minutes of entering the f
Aug 11, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it
I will preface this and say I did not read this book, I listened to it on tape on my way across the PA turnpike.

The book takes place in Germany mid-WWI. The main character is an Paul, a German-speaking American soldier who leaves his wife and up and joins the war. He is fighting overseas when they capture the German spy, Harry Stroller. Mr. Stroller is a German spy, although Great Britain thinks he is a spy for them. After interrogating Mr. Stroller, Paul is captured by Germany during a battle.
Jul 16, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing
This debut novel by Wilder is a captivating story of love and heroism near the end of World War I. Nondescript Paul Peachy, realizing that his marriage has floundered, enlists to serve in the military near the end of WWI, and is shipped off to France. He soon discovers that he is a coward, not a hero, and begins to doubt the wisdom of his hasty choice. As if that's not bad enough, he is suddenly captured, whereupon he makes another surprising decision... to impersonate a famous German spy! Since ...more
Oct 28, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It was somewhat surprising to me that I could love the characters in this book, given it's so short and compact. His writing style was fantastic and I could visualize Wilder as the main character. Especially when he would get caught up in situations where you could visualize the physical comedy that ensued.

Peachy, a young man from Milwaukee leaves his home for WWII and is captured by the enemy. A split second decision to save his life, he starts to impersonate a famous german
Jan 19, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
This was a sweet, slight, story set during World War I. It was fun to read, and is well-executed by Wilder. "Slight" is the operative word, however. The genre requires the lady mentioned in the title to have a heart of gold and Wilder does not disappoint. For a war that was, by all accounts, a brutal, bloody, muddy mess there is an awful lot of fine dining, excellent wine and civilized conversation. Why, there's not really anyone in this book who is even the least little bit nasty.

If it were a d
JD Calabrese
Mar 31, 2014 JD Calabrese rated it it was amazing
Don't let the title turn you off from reading this book. It's by far the best book I've read this year, though it might have something to do with Gene Wilder being my favorite actor of all time. Wilder's voice comes through and though sometimes it's hard not to read himself as the main character it doesn't take anything away from the story at all. Maybe I'm making another Wilder connection but My French Whore reminded me a lot of the Mel Brooks' film "To Be Or Not to Be". I was surprised after r ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a book written by a comedian for a reading challenge. When I found this debut novel written by Gene Wilder I was very curious. Gene Wilder writing a romance? I had to give it a try and so glad I did! My French Whore is a charming romance set during the end of WWI. It was so easy to get completely immersed in this funny, sweet and clever tale of Pvt Paul Peachy's adventures as a German Colonel imposter and his romance with a French whore.
Jan 22, 2008 stillme rated it it was ok
Being a big WWI fan, I thought this was going to be a lot better than it was. It got to be a bit like a Monty Python skit towards the end but I believe the author intended it to be a more serious love story (unless it was all tongue in cheek, and I completely missed the point).
Apr 29, 2009 Brita rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2007
I thought, "It's Gene Wilder--he's a little -ooky." But it is not so good. Then it just pissed me off cuz it is a really slim book and the only reason it was published is cuz it is Gene Wilder. And then I felt like a sucker for reading it cuz it is Gene Wilder.
Mar 14, 2011 Jenn(ifer) rated it did not like it
Gene Wilder writes like he acts. Poorly.
Charlie Wester
Nov 06, 2014 Charlie Wester rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was much better than I expected. A good airplane read. Easy, enjoyable, and affecting.
Bookish Jen
Oct 15, 2016 Bookish Jen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of fiction, history, romance and/or the late Gene Wilder
Recommended to Bookish by: Found it at my library
Being a bit saddened over the death of Mr. Wilder, I was quite happy to find his novella My French Whore at a display at my local library. I always knew Wilder was a great actor, but I didn’t know he was also a talented writer.

My French Whore tells the tale of a gentleman named Paul Peachy. It is 1918, Peachy is living in Milwaukee. He works a thankless job as a street car conductor and his marriage is less than pleasant. He tries to get a bit of spark in his life by acting in local theater, but
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A truly enjoyable story! 10 18 Oct 29, 2011 12:54PM  
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Gene Wilder was an American Emmy Award-winning and twice Academy Award-nominated stage and screen comic actor, screenwriter, film director, and author.

Wilder began his career on stage, making his screen debut in the film Bonnie and Clyde in 1967. His first major role was as Leo Bloom in the 1968 film, The Producers. This was the first in a series of prolific collaborations with writer/director Mel
More about Gene Wilder...

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