A Year in the Merde

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9780593054536: A Year in the Merde

Published privately by the author in English in Paris, A YEAR IN THE MERDE became an immediate local bestseller. Instant word-of-mouth spread like wildfire to England where booksellers began clamouring for it. Now Stephen Clarke?s delightful first novel will be rush-published officially in the UK to meet the ever-growing demand of fans. In A YEAR IN THE MERDE Stephen Clarke describes the French as they really are. They're not cheese-eating surrender monkeys, but they do eat a lot of cheese, some of which smells like pigs' droppings. In general, they do not wash their armpits with garlic soap. They are still in shock at being stupid enough to sell Louisiana and thereby losing the chance to make French the global language. Going on strike really is the second national participation sport after petanque. And they really do use suppositories.Paul West, a young Englishman, arrives to set up some "English" tea-rooms in Paris and gives a laugh-out-loud account of the pleasures and perils of being a Brit in France. Less quaint than A Year in Provence, less chocolatey than Chocolat, this book will tell you how to get the best of the grumpiest Parisian waiter, how to survive French meetings, how to make perfect vinaigrette every time, and how not to buy a house in the French countryside.According to Stephen, "all names have been changed to avoid embarrassment, possible legal action and having my legs broken by someone in an Yves Saint Laurent suit (or, quite possibly, a Christian Dior skirt)."

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Stephen Clarke Before A Year in the Merde, Stephen had never written anything longer than a report on British coffee-drinking habits. Inspired partly by the culture shock on his arrival in Paris in September 2002, and partly by the enviable sales figures of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, Stephen started keeping a diary of his experiences. He turned the journal into a novel when Anglo-French relations were at their worst during the Iraq War of spring 2003. Stephen is still living in Paris with his French girlfriend and her lingerie collection.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

The year does not begin in January. Every French person knows that. Only awkward English-speakers think it starts in January.

The year really begins on the first Monday of September.

This is when Parisians get back to their desks after their month-long holiday and begin working out where they’ll go for the mid-term break in November.

It’s also when every French project, from a new hairdo to a nuclear power station, gets under way, which is why at 9 a.m. on the first Monday of September, I was standing a hundred yards from the Champs-Élysées watching people kissing.

My good friend Chris told me not to come to France. Great lifestyle, he said, great food, and totally un-politically correct women with great underwear.

But, he warned me, the French are hell to live with. He worked in the London office of a French bank for three years.

"They made all us Brits redundant the day after the French football team got knocked out of the World Cup. No way was that a coincidence," he told me.

His theory was that the French are like the woman scorned. Back in 1940 they tried to tell us they loved us, but we just laughed at their accents and their big-nosed Général de Gaulle, and ever since we’ve done nothing but poison them with our disgusting food and try to wipe the French language off the face of the earth. That’s why they build refugee camps yards from the Eurotunnel entrance and refuse to eat our beef years after it was declared safe. It’s permanent payback time, he said. Don’t go there.

Sorry, I told him, I’ve got to go and check out that underwear.

Normally, I suppose you would be heading for disaster if the main motivation for your job mobility was the local lingerie, but my one-year contract started very promisingly.

I found my new employer’s offices—a grand-looking 19th-century building sculpted out of milky-gold stone—and walked straight into an orgy.

There were people kissing while waiting for the lift. People kissing in front of a drinks machine. Even the receptionist was leaning across her counter to smooch with someone—a woman, too—who’d entered the building just ahead of me.

Wow, I thought, if there’s ever a serious epidemic of facial herpes, they’ll have to get condoms for their heads.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Clarke, Stephen
Edité par Bantam Press (2004)
ISBN 10 : 0593054539 ISBN 13 : 9780593054536
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Stephen Clarke
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Clarke, Stephen
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