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  • (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living

  • By: Mark Greenside
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

Every year upon arriving in Plobien, the small Breton town where he spends his summers, American writer Mark Greenside picks back up where he left off with his faux-pas-filled Francophile life. Mellowed and humbled, but not daunted (OK, slightly daunted), he faces imminent concerns: What does he cook for a French person? Who has the right-of-way when entering or exiting a roundabout? Where does he pay for a parking ticket? And most dauntingly of all, when can he touch the tomatoes? 

Despite the two decades that have passed since Greenside’s snap decision to buy a house in Brittany and begin a bi-continental life, the quirks of French living still manage to confound him. Continuing the journey begun in his 2009 memoir about beginning life in France, (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living details Greenside’s daily adventures in his adopted French home, where the simplest tasks are never straightforward but always end in a great story. Through some hits and lots of misses, he learns the rules of engagement, how he gets what he needs - which is not necessarily what he thinks he wants - and how to be grateful and thankful when (especially when) he fails, which is more often than he can believe. 

Introducing the English-speaking world to the region of Brittany in the tradition of Peter Mayle’s homage to Provence, Mark Greenside’s first book, I’ll Never Be French, continues to be among the best-selling books about the region today. Experienced Francophiles and armchair travelers alike will delight in this new chapter exploring the practical and philosophical questions of French life, vividly brought to life by Greenside’s humor and affection for his community.

©2018 Mark Greenside (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

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(Not quite) mastering french pronunciation

First off, I really enjoyed the story and the way this was written, but the truly awful pronunciation of the french words was really off putting.

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enjoyable

A great book for a journey. You can dip in & out as you wish.

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  • beanibubble
  • 30-12-21

Awesome Sequel, Even Better than the First Book

If you have any interest in France, have ever studied the language (or not), have ever lived somewhere in Europe, or just wondered what it might be like to live in France and feel like like an ignorant, silly American living overseas, this is the book for you! So so funny, I laughed all the way through! Couldn’t stop listening. The reader for the author’s first book was fantastic, but this reader is absolutely perfect, so good that I want to listen to other books read by him. I have the kindle copy of this book, but I’m going to buy a paper copy too because I’m interested in the food and other French-only references made in the book, and my extremely weak and very outdated French skills couldn’t make out what the reader was saying in the audiobook version most of the time.

I’ll be honest, I don’t at all agree with the author’s strong leftist political leanings, but it doesn’t detract from the book. If you’re open minded, it’s very interesting to listen to the author’s take on the benefits of socialist medicine and other left-leaning topics related to daily life in Brittany. Highly recommended!

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  • Margaret A. Reeder
  • 16-11-21

why does he own a house in france?

This is the memoir of an American who bought a house in France, didn't bother to educate himself on the language or culture and then writes a memoir about how he doesn't speak the language and doesn't make much of an effort to learn about his host country. His anecdotes are not charming. He also comments of how "pretty" each female pharmacist, teller, server, etc. is.
On another note- dropping the consonants off of words does not make them French. If you're hired to read a book with French words, get a dialect coach. This was a huge disappointment.

1 person found this helpful