So lo and behold there was little to chose from, and this was the best of a bad bunch. It had been lent to them by a family friend and left unopened. Which, in the words of mama, all the more fool should be on THEM.
Because it's pretty brilliant.
Based on Stephen Clarke's life in France, the character Paul West guides us through a year of working abroad for a firm with a typically French attitude i.e. quite like my parents, not much gets done. And so he has time on his hands to meet French girls and American boys, learn how to actually get served a cofffee by the notoriously grumpy Parisian waiters that otherwise ignore him, navigate the closure of almost everything during yet another French strike, and get screwed over on the property ladder.
I've spent time in France (WHAT A DICKHEAD THING TO SAY. Sorry.) so I could relate to a lot of the stuff he brings up- if you're not familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the frogs then you might be a bit confused. My favourite story is about a salad. You might not get it now, but you will.
A lovely little surprise of a gem that passed a weekend. I might even seek out the sequel.