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Summary

Paul West, a young Englishman, arrives in Paris to start a new job - and finds out what the French are really like.

They do eat a lot of cheese, some of which smells like pigs' droppings. They don't wash their armpits with garlic soap. Going on strike really is the second national participation sport after pétanque. And, yes, they do use suppositories.

In his first novel, Stephen Clarke 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, A Year in the Merde will tell you how to get served by the grumpiest Parisian waiter; how to make perfect vinaigrette every time; how to make amour - not war; and how not to buy a house in the French countryside.

©2005 Stephen Clarke (P)2005 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about A Year in the Merde

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Read twice listened once! Love it

Switch your brain off funny. Sit back and listen to the trials and tribulations of an Englishman trying to do his best in Paris.

Really enjoyed listening to this book (having read it twice before).

The only downside is that book 2 is not available as an audio book.

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Vive la difference

When the story opened there was a distinct risk that this story might simply revolve around the protagonist’s ignorance of cultural differences. Mercifully this changed to provide a fascinating insight and take on one man’s fictional journey through Paris life. Good fun.

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  • CZ
  • 13-03-20

Wonderful

A brilliant, uplifting, funny, sarcastic year in France. The English protagonist Paul experiences all sorts of French culture and has plenty of teasing wry observations on it and gets plenty back on English quirks from the (many) girls he meets en route.

The narrator here has to be the best I’ve ever listened to, communicating the tone of the prose perfectly as well as the French accents, and various Gallic huffs and puffs. Outstanding.