A Year in the Merde



A Year in the Merde An Urban Antidote To A Year In Provence, Stephen Clarke S Book Is A Laugh Out Loud Account Of A Year In The Life Of An Expat In Paris For Francophiles And Francophobes AlikeA YEAR IN THE MERDE Is The Almost True Account Of The Author S Adventures As An Expat In Paris Based Loosely On His Own Experiences And With Names Changed To Avoid Embarrassment, Possible Legal Action And To Prevent The Author S Legs Being Broken By Someone In A Yves Saint Laurent Suit Or Quite Possibly, A Christian Dior Skirt , A YEAR IN THE MERDE Is The Story Of A Paul West, A 27 Year Old Brit Who Is Brought To Paris By A French Company To Open A Chain Of British Tea Rooms He Soon Becomes Immersed In The Contradictions Of French Culture The French Are Not All Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys, Though They Do Eat A Lot Of Smelly Cheese They Are Still In Shock At Being Stupid Enough To Sell Louisiana, Thus Losing The Chance To Make French The Global Language, While Going On Strike Is The Second National Participation Sport After P Tanque He Also Illuminates How To Get The Best Out Of The Grumpiest Parisian Waiter, How To Survive A French Business Meeting, And How Not To Buy A House In The French Countryside.The Author Originally Wrote A YEAR IN THE MERDE Just For Fun And Self Published It In France In An English Language Edition Weeks Later, It Had Become A Word Of Mouth Hit For Expats And The French Alike, Even Outselling Bill Clinton S Memoir At Paris S Fabled American Bookstore Brentano S With Translation Rights Now Sold In Eleven Countries, Stephen Clarke Is Clearly A Bill Bryson Or A Peter Mayle For A Whole New Generation Of Readers Who Can Never Quite Decide Whether They Love Or Love To Hate The French.

10 thoughts on “A Year in the Merde

  1. says:

    This started off so promisingly with snarky but charming British banter about France s little annoying idiosyncrasies that anyone who has spent any time in France can appreciate The main character, a British twenty something, chronicles his year living in France while working for a corrupt corporate sleaze bag who wants help marketing tea rooms in Paris It turns out that the main character is also a sleaze bag AND a whinge cow as he so aptly dubs whiners By the month of February I was so sick of his God invented women so men have something besides horses to mount and, oh by the way, I only associate with stupid trashy people so that I can reinforce my asinine philosophy and then insult everyone around me syndrome that I almost stopped reading I was ready for the whinge cow to go mount himself However, there were some truly funny moments, most of which involved brilliant phonetic transcriptions of the accent of a Frenchman who had spent time studying in Geo...

  2. says:

    You know what I m a French woman and apparently I lack a sense of humour.See, I can admit that we French are far from perfect that s an understatement, really , and everything isn t false in this But silly me, I didn t expect this to be such a big fuckery Because there s only so many misogynists s craps I can take, and if I read another sentence implying that French women are sluts and teases, I almost forgot and or a description of cleavage I m gonna lose it.That s why even if I don t usually rate books that I dnf, I just can t help myself here PS Now, tell me, I m really really curious to see what would happen if I tried to speak French ...

  3. says:

    In the front of this book it says, A Year in the Merde is an almost true account of things that may or may not have happened to him Stephen in the ten years he has lived in France, depending on who is asking the question So, it s not truly nonfiction, and is classified as fiction Stephen has written a few books about the main character, Paul West, and his almost true adventures.I wasn t impressed I tend to agree with the other reviewers comments Anna wrote It did not surprise me when I read that Clarke had self published the book, since some of the sentences are painfully unedited and juvenile Clarke has the mind of a twelve year old homophobe misogynist, and half of the book is dedicated to oogling boobies and making shit jokes One of his sentences pg 64 when describing a string of prostitutes is if I hadn t been so terrified of AIDS I could have let myself be swept into a tide of sex Sue wrote This was embarrassingly bad, as well as being xenophobic and sexist Alienor wrote Because there s only so many misogynists s craps I can take, and if I read another sentence implying that French women are sluts and teases, I almost forgot and or a description of cleavage I m gonna lose it Terri wrote He was just a snar...

  4. says:

    I picked this up in the train station at Charles de Gaulle airport a few minutes before my flight was cancelled and I was forced to spend another day in Paris, almost a year ago Tough life, right I never read it, though.Don t know why, but last week I felt an urge to pick it up Read it in about 26 hours, couldn t put it d...

  5. says:

    Never been to France Never plan to go If you want a truly insulting, xenophobic experience of French Culture then read this book Otherwise, you could run into the middle of the Champs Elys es and scream in your most loud, incomprehensible, slang English, I THINK THIS C...

  6. says:

    This book inspired me to create a new bookshelf entitled not worth finishing I RARELY start a book and don t finish itand it was probably just my mind set of having several other books I preferred to read over this oneand the fact that this was a library book that I needed to return Maybe if I were to give it another chance at some point I would feel differently.Typically if I have a library book that is approaching the deadline, I will just sit down and bust through it But, I just didn t care enough about this one to try.I ve been to France I understand having a love hate relationship with the country people Mostly I have loved my time there So, when by happenstance, I saw this book and laughed at the title I figured I was in for some great laughs and inside humor.In all fairness, I only read about three chapters and so maybe things change as you go further along But, the big problem for me is that I couldn t stand the main character He was just a snarky, I m better than you type Britwho went to work with a French company to open British tea rooms in France He didn t truly bother to learn the language before he went or understand THEIR culture he preferred to make fun of it versus understand itwhich only made him seem mean spirited.Oh, and as much as he makes fun of everything Frenchhe certainly doesn t mind ogling or trying to bed the French women.I don t k...

  7. says:

    This book is one of the best friends I have met recently One of those friends you need because only they really understand you It is really funny and an very accurate portrait of French goofiness I don t know how funny it would be to most people, ...

  8. says:

    UPDATE This book was one of the worse ones I ve read recently Not much humor and the attempts at it are pathetic To be fair, I did quit halfway through, but the misogyny just got to be too much I did get some good tips on ordering at a French cafe, however.I picked up the French translation of this book at the airport in Paris two days ago titled God Save La France, for some reason It s the story of a 20 something Brit, who doesn t speak much French, working in Paris for a year I m reading the French version, which, as my sister would say, i...

  9. says:

    A YEAR IN THE MERDE is the almost true account of the author s adventures as an expat in Paris Based loosely on his own experiences and with names changed to avoid embarrassment, possible legal action and to prevent the author s legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit or quite possibly, a Christian Dior skirt , A YEAR IN THE MERDE is the story of a Paul West, a 27 year old Brit who is brought to Paris by a French company to open a chain of British tea rooms He soon becomes immersed in the contradictions of French culture the French are not all cheese eating surrender monkeys, though they do eat a lot of smelly cheese they are still in shock at being stupid enough to sell Louisiana, thus losing the chance to make French the global language, while going on strike is the second national...

  10. says:

    This book is highly readable, the kind of thing that one could read from start to finish if one just had a few hours with nothing to do However, this is the most positive thing I can say about this book It s supposed be one of those screwball accounts of someone living in a foreign culture and the wacky mishaps he experiences, but mostly it s about a relatively uninteresting Englishman who tries much too hard at being funny, and who simply didn t bother to find out anything at all about how France works before he decided to move there, then complained at every turn about the ways that France doesn t work like England does Although he do...

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