Tori's Reviews > A Year in the Merde

A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

2005- I picked up this book thinking it was a true story, I put it down still thinking maybe author Stephen Clarke had drawn on his own life a bit. Maybe it was the cover quote which tipped me off, reading ""There are lots of French people who are not at all hypocritical, inefficient, treacherous, in tolerant, adulterous or incredibly sexy....They just didn't make it into my book."" C'mon, that has to make you at least crack a grin. (Except maybe if you're French). The author's alter ego, Paul West, is an Englishman dropped in the middle of Paris knowing un peu francais. West spends the next nine months trying (pretty much in vain) to get a French chain of British tearooms off the ground. Of course, this is when he isn't busy hitting on Parisian women, being jerked around by his work colleagues, or trying to overcome culture and language to order a normal-sized beverage. I hope the author is working on a sequel, because I'd like to see Paul again. (Maybe he can go to America this time?)

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