The Merde Factor: (Paul West 5)

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9781780890333: The Merde Factor: (Paul West 5)

The Merde Factor Englishman Paul West is living the Parisian dream, and doing his best not to annoy the French. But recently things have been going wrong. And Paul's gorgeous ex-girlfriend seems to be stalking him. Threatened with eviction, unemployment and bankruptcy, Paul realises that his personal merde factor is about to hit the fan. Full description

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Quatrième de couverture :

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE MERDE FACTOR

Bonjour from Paris,

And first of all a huge merci to everyone who has emailed me over the past couple of years asking when the next Merde novel was coming out. Here it is, and thanks for asking.
This time, I wanted to get Paul West back to Paris. I thought he was having it a bit too much of la belle vie on the south coast of France in Dial M for Merde. So now he's subletting a tiny top-floor garret, with no job and no love interest except an ex who seems to be stalking him.
To make things even more annoying for him, I decided it might be fun for him to try and become a civil servant, one of the chosen few of French society who, ever since they were created by Napoleon, have been ruling the country like so many mini-emperors.
I also owe a big vote of thanks to the man who nearly became the top civil servant of all – Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Because when the now-infamous French politician was arrested in New York in May 2011, I was battling with a dilemma. I wanted Paul West's former boss, the lecherous Jean-Marie, to get into trouble for sexually harassing one of Paul's friends. My problem was that, at the time, it wasn't the done thing for young women to complain when their boss, or indeed a famous politician, got busy with his wandering hands. They were meant to say "c'est la vie" and accept it as one of the privileges of French power. Then the New York police showed everyone how to deal with an allegation of sexual assault, and suddenly France changed. Almost overnight, it was credible for Jean-Marie's young employee to take her revenge, and my plot took off.
And finally, the biggest merci has to go to my fellow Parisians, for continuing to be as Parisian as ever. It doesn't matter how depressed they are about elections, Europe or who won the Tour de France, they're always supremely entertaining.
I hope The Merde Factor does them justice.

Stephen Clarke,

Paris, August 2012.

Biographie de l'auteur :

Stephen Clarke lives in Paris, where he divides his time between writing and not writing. His first novel, A Year in the Merde, became a word-of-month hit in 2004, and is now published all over the world. Since then he has published three more bestselling Merde novels, as well as Talk to the Snail, an indispensable guide to understanding the French.

Research for Stephen's novels has taken him all over France and America. For 1000 Years of Annoying the French, he breathed the chill air of ruined castles and deserted battlefields, leafed through dusty chronicles, brushed up on the medieval French he studied at university and generally lost himself in the mists of history. He has now returned to present-day Paris, and is doing his best to live the Entente Cordiale.

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