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French Fried: one man's move to France with too many animals and an identity thief

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  305 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
** New York Times bestseller **

Animals behaving badly, other people's misfortunes and the most bizarre true crime story ever. French Fried is the unfortunately true account of Chris Dolley’s first eight months in France and has been described as ‘A Year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell.’

Just when Chris and Shelagh think nothing more could possibly go wrong,
Published (first published June 23rd 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 520)
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Sherwood Smith
Jul 06, 2010 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: memoir
This is not just a memoir, it's a mystery, it's also a story of culture adjustment, and it's about animals. Chris and his wife are an English couple who decided to buy land in France for their menagerie. It was supposed to be a simple move, at reasonable cost. Like many others, they discovered the hidden pitfalls of moving when you have to do most of the labor yourself--and added to that, when it came time to get into their bank account, there was no bank account.

Someone posting as them had help
Jul 28, 2010 Darlyn rated it really liked it
While this is my first time ever reading a true crime memoir, I found it very very interesting and I totally love it! Since I always love crime/ suspense/ thriller or what-so-ever close to that genre, this one is not hard to adore straight away. The good thing is, it's hilarious! Have you read a hilarious true crime memoir in your life? Well, this one is a good start. Very good.

First few chapters are full of unfortunate events happened to Chris. He can't speak French fluently, the wind roof off
Aug 11, 2010 Releanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
WOW! What an amazing story! There are so many different kinds of story in this book, really. It is an autobiography, it tells a lot about the unforeseen difficulties of moving to another country, even more so with that many animals. It is a criminal story - imagine having your identy and all your life savings stolen - I'm so happy that it turned out well in the end!
It is also a funny story, very well told.
But I do hope and believe that Sheilagh is a lot nicer in reality ;)

I really enjoyed this b
Derek Walsh
Mar 12, 2014 Derek Walsh rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2010
This is an engaging account of two Britons who, along with their horse, two cats and a dog, move to rural France where they are beset by a seemingly endless variety of problems, each more unlikely than the last. While some of the problems are par for the course (heating an old farmhouse, French bureaucracy etc.) and some are almost too cliché to deserve inclusion (misbehaving animals, difficult mother-in-law), the author generally makes the most of them. They have some genuinely major obstacles ...more
Jan Lewis
May 16, 2015 Jan Lewis rated it really liked it
If you are a Memoir lover, you will surely love this book. It is hilarious. I often can't sleep so pick up the Kindle at odd hours of the night to read. I was reading this one at around 3 A.M. laughing hysterically but trying to stifle it so I wouldn't wake my husband. Mr. Dolley and his lovely and saintly wife move from England to France to pursue their dreams. From the start of the trip (moving 2 horses, a dog and 2 cats) by horse van to his escapades of trying to license a car, speak with Fre ...more
Christy Olesen
Jan 10, 2014 Christy Olesen rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christy by: BookBub
I love this book. A humorous account of one man's adventures moving with his wife and animals from Britain to the South of France. They deal with getting their horses across the Channel, an old farmhouse with questionable heating and plumbing, and knowing just enough French to get in trouble. Then they are hit by an identity thief. Chris Dolley's account of sleuthing out the culprit is funny, interesting, but a little drawn out.
This was my first experience with Amazon's new two-fer program. If y
May 23, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it
Chris Dolley delivers real belly laughs as he describes his emigration to France with his wife, a neurotic horse, a giant recidivist puppy and teo warring cats. The move, the house and its eccentricities (and there are many), the local people and of course the famous French Bureaucracy fill the pages with delight and at times despair. I didn't engage as well with the whodunnit part of the story, but that's just me, and not a reflection on Chris's writing. Keep them coming Chris ... when's the ne ...more
Aug 23, 2010 Drebbles rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
When Chris and Shelagh Dolley move from England to France, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. But their problems with their animals, plumbing, cars, and language barriers seem small when they discover someone has stolen Chris’s identity – and their life savings. The case turns out to span four countries and the police in each country are of little help. Chris decides to investigate the case himself, along with the help of Shelagh, her 80 year old mother, and their puppy.

“French Fried” i
Sep 16, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Joy by: Library Thing
Shelves: ebooks
I was one of the lucky ones who got this through the Library Thing Early Reviewers...incentive program or something to that effect.

The title and subtitle pretty much summarizes what this story is about. I have to admit I found it slow at first, maybe due to the exciting and fast-paced reads I was also reading alongside this one. The story about the disastrous move to France with the animals was a bit dragging for my taste, but I liked the author's writing style. It was very fluid and vivid I cou
Jan 05, 2012 DubaiReader rated it it was ok
Shelves: lter, 2010, e-book, kindle
Possibly 2 1/2 stars but...

5th Sept 2010:
I am really struggling with this book. The fact that it is in pdf doesn't help but I read Burnt Shadows on my PC and loved it.
No, unfortunately, it is the writer's style that is causing me problems. I find him really facetious and sarcastic. He always expects the worst - and gets it.
Some of the things that have happened to him already, have the potential to be quite amusing but I haven't laughed yet, cracked a smile occasionally perhaps.
It's not a dreadfu
Martha Davis
Aug 26, 2010 Martha Davis rated it really liked it
I won this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewer and it's the first book I've read on my husband's Nook. It's a great find on both. I won't give my opinion of the Nook here except to say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Now on to "French Fried". I'll start by saying it's not my favorite book title and that's the only negative about this book.

Chris and his wife Shelagh have decided to move from their farm in England to a farm in France. If you've ever moved from one side of town to the ot
Kate Laws
Mar 02, 2013 Kate Laws rated it really liked it
Chris Dolley is an incredible storyteller, I’d love to have a beer with the guy and just listen to him do his thing. This book had a very definite “Presenting my wacky life!” /jazzhands kind of feel to it, and it totally worked. This man and his wife decide to move in 1995 from England to rural France, despite the fact that they do not speak more than a few words of French. So many things go wrong, they can barely communicate in their new home, and then the author’s identity is stolen and most o ...more
Nov 02, 2010 LindyLouMac rated it it was ok
Unfortunately this felt very dated because it has taken much too long for this memoir to be published. What a surprise it was to learn this all happened in 1995, that’s fifteen years ago, come on ex-pat life has moved on so much since then! It read to me far more like a diary than a novel which I feel means it would have been far better to have been published at the time either in a magazine or newspaper. In fact I think this would have made perfect blog reading, but I am not sure how many were ...more
Kay Sachse
May 09, 2013 Kay Sachse rated it it was ok
Shelves: reisen, ebooks
Wer Bücher über Menschen sucht, die in der Fremde ihr Glück suchen, aber aufgrund ihrer Schussligkeit und liebenswerten Naivität sowie ihrer tolpatschigen, aber o so drolligen Haustiere allerlei Widrigkeiten erleben, ganz zu schweigen von den Merkwürdigkeiten Menschen anderer Länder immer wieder überrascht werden, der liegt hier sicherlich richtig. Mir war aber diese Anhäufung von Missgeschicken und Ungeschicken schon nach 10 Seiten zu viel. Die Übersiedlung von England nach Frankreich erwies si ...more
Jul 18, 2014 Beverly rated it liked it
Animals behaving badly, other people's misfortunes and a bizarre crime story. His identity stolen, life savings gone, and getting nowhere with the police forces of four countries, Chris is left to solve the crime himself. But unlike fictional detectives, he has an 80 year-old mother-in-law and an excitable puppy who insist they come along. sounds interesting, but was really boring.
Nov 15, 2011 localfreak rated it it was ok
Shelves: humour, ebook
Chris and Shelagh Dolley relocate to France with their menagerie of animals and are immediately beset by problems, niggles, and strife along the way. Just everything seems to be settling down they find they've been the victims of identity fraud.

I didn't enjoy reading this book at first- the tone is incredibly fast-paced which can sometimes be rather jarring, and the jokey tone right from the offset, too, can be a little difficult to follow, but by about midway through (pretty much around the tim
Sep 05, 2014 Hal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read halfway through this. Life is too short and their are too many books to read to deal with this drivel. Guy and wife and their menagerie and move to France without learning language, laws and regulations, customs, etc. and has all kinds of problems. A big whoop and I don't care. It's on my too-boring to finish list.
Oct 22, 2015 Pauline rated it really liked it
At first I thought it was over the top, the humour too contrived and the situations stretching one,s credibility . However as I read more and perhaps got used to the humour I found it hilarious . I articulately liked the dog Gypsy. She would not have lasted long in my house. All he characters were well portrayed .
Feb 01, 2016 Riccol rated it liked it
It's a good way through the book before it gets into the identity theft issue / detective work, but an enjoyable, light-hearted read. As an American who has never traveled abroad, there is something compelling in reading about an English couple living in France only an hours drive from Spain and doing business with a company in Ireland.
Feb 18, 2015 Wendy rated it liked it
Interesting story, especially the identity theft chapters, of a couple who moved from England to France with their horse and other pets. Since I'm not a soccer fan, I found some of the other chapters not of interest to me.
Sean Randall
Jan 06, 2016 Sean Randall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was rather funny in spots, probably all the more so because it's based on real events. I don't normally go in for non-fiction, but when it's told with such humour and aplomb it's got to be worth checking out.
Mark Woodward
Sep 10, 2015 Mark Woodward rated it liked it
Starts off a bit slow, but gets more interesting as the book goes on. Towards the end it does turn into a Who Dunnit mystery trying to work out who stole his identity, which is possibly the best bit of the book.
Jun 16, 2014 Yvonna rated it liked it
I was disappointed with this book as the story rambled, and I wondered if they researched anything before they moved to another country and a farm, nonetheless. From the book's description, I expected much more.
Elizabeth Cole
Dec 22, 2014 Elizabeth Cole rated it liked it
I thought that the book was ok. I didn't love it.

The mystery of the whole identity theft is really what kept me reading because I wanted to find out who did it.

I thought that it would be about French culture, food, and fitting in.
Apr 06, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, bingo-2014
A really amusing account of a couple moving to France encountering many problems with the language and different working practices. The most serious being their identity being stolen and used fraudulently.
Maria Martino
Feb 20, 2014 Maria Martino rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it made me laugh so much! What a journey! The story is well written and through enjoyable. Well done
Anne Brookover
Apr 03, 2016 Anne Brookover rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Kept my interest and made me laugh too!
Felt bad about the fraud but what a detective he turned out to be!
Feb 12, 2015 Ietrio rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
A tale about greed and stupidity. Much stupidity. I did not find that entertaining and it was an effort to go through it.
Debbie Ellis
Apr 28, 2011 Debbie Ellis rated it liked it
Started reading 4/17/11. Not too far along yet. This was an enjoyable read. The author has a great sense of humor and a positive attitude through all of the difficulties encountered in his move with his wife to France. It is also very educational for anyone who is considering moving to France. His experience in buying a car, dealing with plumbers and obtaining a Carte de Sejour are given in descriptive detail. I am a bit particular about punctuation and was surprised that it was often incorrect ...more
Mar 20, 2014 Veronica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
A laugh out loud tale. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though it did tail off a bit towards the end.
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New York Times bestselling author, pioneer computer game designer and teenage freedom fighter. That was back in 1974 when Chris was tasked with publicising Plymouth’s Student Rag Week. Some people might have arranged an interview with the local newspaper. Chris invaded the country next door, created the Free Cornish Army and persuaded the UK media that Cornwall had risen up and declared independen ...more
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