because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A Year in the Merde.


I can't lie to you, Internet, I only read this book as a last resort. I did something I never, EVER, do and left my house without a tome to go and spend a weekend at my parent's. And halfway through the third soap-opera of the evening I looked around the room, said, "screw this" and then got cross at Facebook because it provided me with little respite (read: gossip). So I nosied around their bookshelf with little hope. My parents aren't 'readers'. I mean they can do it- they just prefer the pictures in the Daily Mail.

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.
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