In the Merde for Love

( 15 )

Overview

The latest episode in Stephen Clarke's almost-true account of his adventures as an expat in France is just as winning as the first. This "anti-Mayle" will have readers chortling over their croissants and café au lait while Paul West struggles to solve the mysteries inherent in life in France. What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Is it really polite to sleep with your boss's mistress? And why are there no public health warnings on French nude beaches? Paul discovers how to judge a French vacationer by the ...

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In the Merde for Love

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Overview

The latest episode in Stephen Clarke's almost-true account of his adventures as an expat in France is just as winning as the first. This "anti-Mayle" will have readers chortling over their croissants and café au lait while Paul West struggles to solve the mysteries inherent in life in France. What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Is it really polite to sleep with your boss's mistress? And why are there no public health warnings on French nude beaches? Paul discovers how to judge a French vacationer by the rustiness of his bicycle; opens his English tearoom; and finally understands why Parisian waiters are so cranky. Just in time for spring in Paris, find out if Paul finds the perfect French mademoiselle or if it all ends in merde!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Stephen Clarke and In the Merde for Love:

"Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Highly entertaining…Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably: the endless strikes, the sadistic receptionists…Clarke's eye for detail is terrific."—Washington Post

"Those who enjoyed Clarke's first book will certainly delight in his newest production."—Library Journal

"This memoir is full of comic misadventure and misunderstanding, but underlying it is a deep affection for France and its people. Along the way, there is plenty of hilarity."—Booklist

"Paul [West] is also a comic, canny observer of French rural customs and English business practices alike."—Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
The title of this fake memoir-as-novel should alert readers as to what they're in for: lots of puns, jokes, wordplay-and playing around in general, with people, events, and feelings. British journalist Clarke's predecessor to this volume, A Year in the Merde, has become an international best seller and a favorite on airplane travelers' reading lists. With this sequel, you will not find yourself in the midst of a guide to Paris and some French garden spots; rather, you will see Paris and the French countryside through the eyes of a smart, late-twentysomething Englishman attempting to open a British tea room in the heart of Paris and win the heart of-or at least a night with-a beautiful young woman named Alexa. Those who enjoyed Clarke's first book will certainly delight in his newest production. However, if you easily tire of vivid bedroom escapades, descriptions of binge drinking, and negative assessments of the French, you may wish to find your amusement elsewhere. Recommended for the fiction rather than travel sections of large public and academic libraries.-Olga B. Wise, Austin, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
More from Englishman Clarke on the cultural collision he underwent upon his move to France. As in A Year in the Merde (2005), narrator Paul West stands in for the author. Still itchy in his French skin, Paul finds that when he starts to display signs of outrage, his French girlfriend reminds him, "You are English. You must show your phlegm." But he is slowly becoming Gallified, learning "how to barge in front of someone to nab a Parisian cafe table." Paul is trying to start an English-style tea room in Paris, and he describes all the expected bureaucratic travails, but what is on his mind first and foremost is sex. Yes, he knows how to enjoy a sunset and tuck into the food and tip a glass (he's turned that last into an art form), but his eye is keen on anatomy. Even when looking at his girlfriend's mother, he observes that "her buttocks were bouncing around in the nightdress like two bald men trying to escape from a tent." And to his specific amorous interest, he brings a Wodehousean turn of phrase (if ever Wodehouse had talked of sex): "As soon as your fingers so much as brushed against each other's skin, the other parts of your body start saying they'd like to join in with this skin-brushing business." One minute he is worried that his girlfriend has altogether too much knowledge about erections, the next he is appreciative of another woman's eyes, "curacao blue and apparently back-lit." Though a slave to his libido, Paul is also a comic, canny observer of French rural customs and English business practices alike. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Graceful in his inappropriateness, tactless only with his readers, Paul as hero provides plenty of good, plain-old inept fun.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596911918
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 573,472
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Clarke is a British journalist who has written comedy sketches for BBC Radio. He is the author of Talk to the Snail and the international bestseller A Year in the Merde.

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Table of Contents


Sexe and the Country     1
Can You Be Arsed?     75
Don't Get Merde, Get Even     135
Liberte, Egalite, Salon de The     189
That Was No Lady, That Was Your Wife     243
Ex and the City     295
Maybe It's Because I'm Not a Londoner     345
In the Merde for Love     387
Epilogue     403
Acknowledgments     405
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2014

    Am hooked!

    Love Mr Clarkes series of Merde books. His writing is fresh and immediate More than once I have burst out laughing in the NYC subways, he is that funny! Great read!

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good insight to French culture, but spoiled

    The book provides an accurate and humorous look at French culture. Unfortunately it is spoiled by the author's adololescent preoccupation with extramarital sex. His incessant sexual references regarding his girlfriend, her mother, and virtually everything else he observes makes one wonder whether he shouldn't be seeking professional help. A far better choice for the cultural information and humor based upon the situation rather than sexual fantasies would be the series by Peter Mayle.

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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Chercher La Femme

    In this second book of a series, we meet Englishman, Paul West, moderately successful advertising executive, who went to France for a job as the liaison for a Paris based, French company trying to break into the English market. He spends a year dodging French office politics, trying to improve English-French relationships with the Parisian femmes, incurring the wrath and hostility of haughty french waiters, and slip, sliding his way through the local dog merde, which is freely deposited on the Paris sidewalks.
    At the start of this book, Paul is bringing to fruition, his dream of the first English Tea Room Cafe in Paris. This, of course, is interrupted with the nightmare of dealing with pompous French officials, the reality of trying to hire help who will not be inattentive, inept or outright rude, and all this while trying to wend his way through the arms of various mademoiselle's, looking for his one true love. This is a lighthearted romp through France, with a quick jump across the Channel to London, which will leave you laughing at a transplanted Englishman's travels in La Belle France.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great

    France on Paper

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    If you love David Sedaris, you will very much like this book!

    I thought this book was hysterical, at times even laugh out loud funny! It is the follow-up ti his first called "A Year in the Merde." And althouh I do think they should be read in order, it is not a pre-requisite. This book is funny on two levels - first he is an Englishman in France dealing with a new and sometimes frustrating culture and secondly he is a man dealing with women who are also a sometimes frusrating culture!

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Smirk, laugh, snicker

    Another installment that plays up cultural misunderstandings and differences as the core of the 'tension' about a Brit living in France. Very enjoyable. Looking forward to more 'merde'.

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  • Posted October 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hilarious

    I really enjoyed this book just as much as the first one. It just gets funnier! Stephen Clarke's writing is extremely witty and clever. I can hardly wait to read "Merde Happens"

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