A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke
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)."