Read A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke Online

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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 actioAn 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 pétanque. 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....

Title : A Year in the Merde
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781593977559
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Year in the Merde Reviews

  • Christine
    2019-05-08 17:52

    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 Georgia. Those were precious, and so is my favorite new "whinge cow" expression, but I'm not sure they're worth putting up with the rest of the merde.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2019-04-23 13:52

    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 in a shop in UK or US. Maybe that's just me, duh, but I'm pretty sure people woudn't answer me in a fluent French and you know what? I don't expect it. Why some people think that everyone is supposed to speak English is beyond me.

  • Julia S
    2019-05-04 15:07

    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 Elysées and scream in your most loud, incomprehensible, slang English, "I THINK THIS COUNTRY SUCKS BUT I'D PREFER TO BE HERE INSULTING THE MOST STEREOTYPICAL CLICHES AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS RATHER THAN BACK AT HOME WHERE EVERYTHING IS ORDINARY AND BORING."If you like it better at home, then go home.

  • Brian
    2019-05-04 18:59

    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 down.If you have no knowledge of the French, France, or French it might not be terribly interesting. If, however, you've spent a significant portion of your life dealing with, studying or learning them respectively, you might be as entertained by it as I was.Within 2 hours of finishing it, I'd purchased the sequel.

  • Terri Garrett
    2019-05-11 14:49

    This book inspired me to create a new bookshelf entitled: "not worth finishing". I RARELY start a book and don't finish it...and it was probably just my mind set of having several other books I preferred to read over this one...and 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 Brit...who 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 it...which only made him seem mean-spirited.Oh, and as much as he makes fun of everything French...he certainly doesn't mind ogling or trying to bed the French women.I don't know...maybe I just needed a different mind set. There were a couple of moments I found amusing...like the Frenchman who learned to speak English in Georgia...so, his accent was French with a southern drawl. But, mostly I thought the main character lacked character and in the end that's really why I chose not to hang in there. (Ironically I probably spent more time writing a review of why I didn't like this book versus finishing it...so, maybe that says something about my character.:))

  • Agnes
    2019-04-25 15:46

    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, is kind of meta - I sometimes don't understand the translations of the British slang (in English in the original version), but I do understand all of the actual French that is in dialogues. So far, much of it is funny, some of it is stupid or annoying. We'll see if the humor holds up past page 40.

  • Joe
    2019-04-23 21:50

    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, but being an expat living in Paris, it is tear inducing funny. Just when you think you are alone floating in the french sea, something like this comes along and makes you realize you aren't alone. I can't wait to read his other books.

  • Ben
    2019-04-28 17:01

    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 does have to deal with some pretty terrible French people, by the end I wasn't sure who came off looking worse, them or him.Again highly readable and would probably make a train- or planeride much more tolerable, but if you have the choice, why choose to read about the (mis)adventures of a group of highly unlikable people?

  • Sandra Bašić
    2019-05-06 16:11

    Zanimljiva digresija za početak – u jednoj čitateljskoj grupi na Facebooku pitanje: S obzirom na knjigu koju čitate, gdje se trenutno nalazite? Došlo mi da kao iz topa izvalim „u govnima“, ali, pristojna kakva jesam, odgovorih „U Parizu.“Stephen Clarke nas u ovu knjigu uvodi (nazivajući to „ozbiljnom komedijom“) mnogim usporedbama tipa „Hermesova kravata je tako nabijena energijom da bi mogla pokretati cijeli pariški metro kad bi ga priključili na nju“ ili „Arondismani oblikuju puževu kućicu, a samog su puža vjerojatno već davno pojeli“.Ovaj stil pisanja je, prema komentarima, dobrano naljutio neke čitatelje, pretpostavljam prvenstveno Francuze. Ali, kako ne pripadam nijednoj od ovih dviju nacija, mene je to zabavilo.„Ne smijem se truditi da se ljudima svidim. To je previše engleski. Moraš im pokazati da te boli dupe za njihovo mišljenje. Tek tada će ti dati što hoćeš.“Naš junak Paul West, Englez, ni u braku, ni u vezi, dobiva poslovnu priliku da u Parizu pokrene lanac engleskih lokala s ponudom biranih čajeva. Prisiljen je surađivati s francuskim kolegama koji navodno znaju engleski, ali u samom razgovoru pitaš se, znaju li oni uopće svoj vlastiti jezik. Ubrzo će shvatiti kako Francuzi samo kimaju glavom a zapravo uvijek sve naprave po svom.„Tražio sam café au lait a poslužena mi je kombinacija godišnjeg uroda kolumbijskih plantaža kave i ukupne proizvodnje svih krava muzara Normandije. Pogledao sam račun a cijena je uključivala i prijevoz krava u vagonima prve klase.“Poseban pak problem predstavlja pseći izmet na ulicama Pariza, gdje je, vidi vraga, najčešće upravo Paul taj koji ima sreću u njega ugaziti.I to nije sve: s vremenom će otkriti da njegov šef ilegalno uvozi zabranjenu britansku govedinu i istovremeno mu pokušava prodati vikendicu, u predjelu gdje je predviđena izgradnja nuklearke. Sve merde do merdea!S obzirom da se za njegov projekt ne nazire tako skoro rješenje, od jednog poznanika (naravno, Engleza) dobit će savjet da počne podučavati engleski jezik. Pogađate, ni to neće proteći bez problema ali, ponovo, mene je nasmijalo.„Što si sinoć imala za večeru, Sylvie? Napravila sam krepalinke. Misliš crêpes, palačinke? Da, pala pičke. OK, Philippe, što bi rekao konobaru ako nemaš jedaći pribor? E, oprasite, ja oću jebački pribor.“ Nisam čitala u originalu tako da moram istaknuti i pohvaliti prevoditeljicu Vlatku Jurić!Čitajući, nisam mogla a da se ne prisjetim one priče o vrapcu, koja ima dvije poante, vezane uz ovu našu temu: „Nije ti svatko tko te izvuče iz govana prijatelj, niti ti je svatko tko te posere neprijatelj“. Ipak, bez obzira na to, preporučujem vam čitanje ovog satiričnog djela o srazu mentaliteta dviju nacija, pogotovo ako vam je potrebna razbibriga.„Merde je na sve strane, vidite, a može vam čak donijeti sreću. Ako netko drugi ugazi u njega.“Konačno, vjerujem da bi i sam Paul West izmijenio i poznatu parolu francuske revolucije u „Liberté, égalité, merde.“

  • Sarah
    2019-04-28 14:00

    I couldn't help myself; this book absolutely cracked me up. That may be because the author's descriptions of countless strikes by trash collectors, public transportation workers, police officers, and journalists brought back fond memories of my own stay in France--during which I also stepped in a fair amount of merde. The audiobook was particularly good, with the dramatist's illustraions of the countless miscommunications between francophones and anglophones. The story line is about Paul West, an English man who goes to work in France for a year to help construct English tea rooms, which are named "My Tea is Rich," apparently a rauciously hilarious phrase for francophones. At times the story could have used a bit more development, and it suffered from an overuse of sarcasm, but all in all it was an enjoyable listen.

  • Vasia
    2019-04-19 20:04

    I read this book at the airport on my way home from france and i couldn't stop laughing.it's very clever, and extremelly laugh out loud funny.

  • Merel
    2019-04-30 17:49

    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 participation sport after pétanque. 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.It is HILARIOUS!!!

  • Justyna
    2019-05-20 15:56

    This was painful and horrible on so many levels that I don't even know where to start.While in general I enjoy "culture-shock" books, particularly those involving France or other francophone countries, I just couldn't bring myself to finish this one. Reading it past the first few pages soon became almost physically painful and I finally gave up somewhere half-way through. But I tried, because so many people claimed it would be funny. Well, it wasn't. Maybe if the main character wasn't a stuck-up, unlikeable and, at moments, repulsive, the anecdotes could be seen as funny.As it is, I can only say: if you're going to another country and insist on acting as if everyone should adapt to your ways, then you more than deserve all the embarrassing and bad things that may happen to you.

  • Len
    2019-04-27 15:06

    With the British sense of humour, Paul - the main character - tells his story during a year working (or "working") in France, through which a laughable, indifferent and "merdeuse" (for "life" is feminine) French life is depicted. Sarcasm is on every single page. It makes me laugh internally out loud.I'll definitely have to buy the sequel "In The Merde For Love."And yes, one of the best books I've read this year.

  • Mikey B.
    2019-05-20 18:59

    A whimsical book on a Brit living in Paris. There are three themes in this story. The satire of an Englishman adjusting to Parisian life with a country house thrown in, his amorous adventures with libidinous young women, and an intrigue of sordid business and political deals.The first one – the satire worked well and kept me reading. There are equally amusing observations on French and British life. The other two areas – the amorous encounters and the intrigue were less successful and seemed there merely to decorate the Parisian observations with soft-core flirtations and a business espionage that didn’t make much sense to me.I love Paris and France so that part of the travelogue worked. To emphasize - this book is a travel brochure with titillation and intrigue tossed into the salad but not enhancing the taste.

  • Aloke
    2019-05-14 18:58

    The year begins in September as a young Brit begins work for a Parisian firm starting up a chain of English tea rooms. Paul West, a lightly disguised stand in for the author, grates at first: a typical boorish lout leching about on the continent. By the end of the year (in May of course) he's somewhat redeemed, still boorish but with a hard won start on understanding the ways of the small circle of Parisians he encounters. If you canstand Paul then this is a light and cartoonish way to get up to speed on modern France. I'll admit I grew to admire the guy. Perhaps not for the right reasons though!

  • Scarlett Sims
    2019-05-03 13:46

    So, I initially started reading this for the "travel memoir" task in the Read Harder challenge and then about halfway through I realized it wasn't a memoir. There were two things that tipped me off:1. The name of the main character wasn't the name of the author2. The intrigue started to get a bit too intense and stretched the limits of credulity.As a person who has spent time as an expat in a country where I don't know the language, I could relate to a lot of Paul's troubles and complaints. Yeah, he plays into a lot of French stereotypes for humorous effect, but I found when I lived in Germany that many stereotypes were based in reality, as I'm sure many stereotypes about Americans are exaggerations of reality. This book also was published in 2004, so one plot point is the interaction between the French and the English's reactions to the Iraq war. Remember when everyone in America started hating France because of that? It took me back.Anyway this wasn't exactly what I was expecting but it was entertaining enough.

  • Nora Žáková
    2019-05-01 21:14

    Keď "ťažké" čítanie chcete niečim odľahčiť...No dobre, nebol najlepší nápad popri Malom živote čítať túto knihu.Čítať túto knihu všeobecne nie je dobrý nápad. Je to takmer strata času.Vygradovaným sarkazmom presýtená kniha. Čítajte jedine vtedy, ak chcete vedieť ako si v Paríži objednať kávu bez toho, aby čašník poznal že ste turista .

  • Emilia Muller
    2019-05-06 16:08

    În limba română - http://bombitaluivladmusatescu.blogsp...In English - http://bombitaluivladmusatescuenglish...

  • Anna
    2019-04-25 16:02

    I read this book about a month and a half into my trip to Paris. It was a welcome respite from the guidebooks, intellectual culinary reviews, and other literature, all exhibiting "rose-colored glasses" language used to describe Paris ad nauseam. Well okay... instead of saying it was a "breath of fresh air," it might be more along the lines of a "fresh burst of flatulence in a crowded elevator."First of all, let's get one thing straight about Clarke's writing abilities. 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." He actually calls someone a "red-faced fatso" on page 239 and frequently describes wanting to shoot his coworkers in the face. He sleeps with practically anything that walks, or tries to anyways, including his boss's daughter. The women have little character except what is described of their legs or mouths. I'm giving two stars instead of one just because it is kind of like the trashy magazine that you read after those five subscriptions to the Times, New Yorker, or Economist. Sometimes you just need a little politically incorrect trash. And I liked hearing the mention of the Parisian arrondissements, being familiar with them myself. The political stuff, albeit a bit biased, was also amusing. I'd recommend it for the plane ride over to Paris considering I finished it in about 3 days (it could probably be finished in less). It should also be mentioned now that there are fines for dog poop, so Clarke's problem with his shoes are no longer an issue here.

  • Cynthia
    2019-05-03 22:13

    Hilarious but also really intelligently put together. If you're looking for an idealized, dream version of an expats year in France, this ain't it. But if you have even a slight knowledge of Parisian life and culture, this book is wonderful. Some reviewers said they found it too mean and insulting, but I dont think the author hates the French. In fact, in the end his character remains in Paris. this is really a book about learning to navigate a very complex, highly developed, very subtle and very foreign culture. In the end, the author succeeds — and, to use his metaphor— learns to walk down the streets of Paris without stepping in dog poop (la merde) every time out.

  • Musa
    2019-04-28 15:53

    Well, after living three years in a French-speaking multicultural environment heavily influenced by the French style, i ve found this book extreme funny and absolutely worth of reading. it s very easy to digest book since the writer is not worried to show off some excellence in literature. it would be even funnier if you ve ever suffered from French in your life. i strongly recommend this book to those who are interested in French way of living.

  • Egita
    2019-05-16 14:55

    Normāls, ķiķināms gabaliņš.

  • Daphne
    2019-05-18 19:00

    Oh goodness, this book was super hilarious. I hope the others in the series are just as funny. I travel a lot too, and it's always a blast putting yourself in new cultures.

  • Sam Sattler
    2019-04-21 20:48

    I think every traveler to France (no matter how competent they THINK they are in the language) experiences at least some of the things that Clarke recounts in this travel memoir. And depending on how traumatizing the experience ultimately was, we let our friends and family hear all about it when we get home. But few of us tell it all via the dry wit that Clarke consistently exhibits in A Year in the Merde. I actually lost count of how many times I laughed out loud.This one is great fun for those who know know a bit of the language, including some French slang, but I think that even those who haven't been to France or who know more than a few basic words in French should enjoy this one.

  • Dokusha
    2019-05-02 20:58

    Mir ist nicht klar, wie dieses Buch an so gute Kritiken kommt. Letztendlich ist es eine Mischung aus Bettgeschichten und Niedermachen der Franzosen. Vieles ist völlig daneben (nicht ironisch übertrieben, sondern offensichtlich nicht verstanden), und etliche der vermutlichen Witze laufen ins Leere. Da habe ich schon sehr viel bessere Bücher über Länder und Kulturen gelesen, die tatsächlich lustig waren. Stephen Clarke ist eher peinlich. Den zweiten Stern gibt es für einige lichte Momente, in denen er tatsächlich sehr witzige Stellen schreibt. Die reichen aber nicht, um das Buch insgesamt gut zu machen.

  • Subhashree
    2019-04-27 22:05

    Hilarious! Definitely a book for francophobes and francophiles.

  • Ron Arden
    2019-05-19 19:59

    This book was a riot to read. Some of it is literally "laugh out loud" and other parts are more of the smirk and giggle. The hero or anti-hero of the story is Paul West (or Paul Vest as some of the French say). He is a 27 year old Brit who was hired by a French food company to create a string of English tea rooms.It seems the French really do like all things British, including the English language, even though outwardly they complain about it all. Paul was hired by the CEO of the French company and immediately comes up against the French attitude (or at least the Parisian attitude) with everyone. He is the dirt under their feet and speed is never of the essence.Paul comes across all the stereotypes of Parisians not really caring about anything, taking 2 hour lunches, striking for silly reasons, doing the shoulder shrug and undermining whatever they can if it interferes with leisure time. Paul is used to getting things done in work and in his personal life and this attitude takes a bit of getting used to. He eventually adapts to the French way of life.As an example of the insanity, he meets his bosses family at dinner one evening. The bosses eldest daughter, a business school student, says that Paul can stay in her apartment, since he needs to find one and they are very expensive. Paul is a bit hesitant, but goes to the place. The daughter immediately beds him and seals the deal, so to speak. The father (boss) is fine with this. The daughter also has many other lovers and so Paul gets himself a girlfriend. That is on and off for awhile and he gets another one. Meanwhile he has a falling out with the bosses daughter and finds out the boss actually owns the apartment, except these apartments are supposed to be subsidized for students. If you are still following me, then pat yourself on the back.Paul's project to create the English tea rooms is moving very slowly because his French team are a bunch of useless slackers who the boss won't fire. French law would make it more expensive to fire them then to reshuffle them to other projects. Alors!The Irag war ensues and the tea room project is on hold. Paul's boss, Jean-Marie, suggests he take a long holiday. Then he decides to fire him, but Paul has an ace up his sleeve that he can use for blackmail. That apparently is the French way. It seems that Paul-Marie is doing some illegal and sleazy business and Paul has the evidence. Jean-Marie is also running for political office, so he makes a deal with Paul.All's well that ends well for Paul as his merde life improves dramatically. He has a new and better girlfriend. One of his own lovers helps him with financing and the 3 of them go into business to, yes, you guessed it, create a string of English tea rooms. Ah Paris.

  • Kristine
    2019-04-22 16:57

    I was browsing some titles in a bookshop and suddenly I found this book. How great, I thought, because as a student of the French language, I am more or less compelled to buy anything related to France. So I scanned it and bought it immediately. I should have known however that what I have before me is a bit of a crap, hence the title.The main reason that I bought it is that I want to be familiarized with French culture. The Parisian culture to be exact. But, as the author is British and given the Franco-British relation during the time this was written (2004), it is not the perfect book for French culture enthusiasts. The book is like a compilation of rants of a British professional assigned in Paris so you would expect a lot of complaints, swearing and trash-talking. On one hand, that led me to not appreciating vivre à Paris at all. On the other, at least the book did not brainwash me that everything Parisian is beautiful, smooth and perfect.What else? The main character, Paul West, is so full of himself, especially in the beginning, so when he got caught up in a dirty business later on, I was smirking as I thought that he deserved everything that happened to him during his stay in Paris, including the several times when he steps on merde. Most of the time, I noticed, that he is being humorous but I don't get and appreciate the humor at all. Perhaps because I'm not British nor a foreigner in Paris.I have never been into Paris so the book is both a blessing and a curse. The author's accounts of what and how life in Paris is is good, should it be true, because I was exposed to the common behaviors of the Parisians as well as to different life hacks such as ordering in a café, working and dining etiquette. Etc. There's a lot of information, I assure you. BUT, alongside those helpful 'tips' are the snarky comments of the author. I don't know if he is just exaggerating so as to somehow prove that his culture is superior to that in France. And also, since he kond of make fun of what it's like in Paris, I am not sure if what he wrote about the culture, both the positive ones and the negative, is true at all.To sum it up, I don't find the book entertaining that I felt like I just forced myself into finishing his rants. The book has a sequel and even if I am lucky to spot a copy of it in the bookshop, I don't think I am going to read it.

  • Rosy
    2019-05-03 22:08

    This review was written for 'The Review Diaries'. To read the full review please go to the site: http://reviewdiaries.blogspot.fr/2014...I’ve read a few other books by Stephen Clarke and really loved them; his writing is eloquent and frequently laugh out loud funny, and he tackles his subjects with both wit and an obvious deep love of the country and culture that he is writing about. It’s just a shame that he didn’t bring any of that to ‘A Year in the Merde.’When I picked it up I didn’t realise it was a novel, so was expecting more of a travel memoir recounting a lot of the pitfalls of moving to France that people experience. What I got instead was a truly awful main character who is not only feeling displaced by his move to Paris, but is downright rude and obnoxious and makes no effort whatsoever to be anything other than disparaging and condescending throughout his stay.