Year in the Merde

Year in the Merde

by Stephen Clarke

Paperback(REPRINT)

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Overview

Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

Based on Stephen Clarke's own experiences and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action, and to prevent the author's legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit," A Year in the Merde provides perfect entertainment for Francophiles and Francophobes alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582346175
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 05/02/2006
Edition description: REPRINT
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,198,483
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Stephen Clarke is a British journalist and the internationally bestselling author of A Year in the Merde and In the Merde for Love, which describe the misadventures of Paul West in France, and Talk to the Snail, a hysterical look at understanding the French. He himself has lived in France for twelve years.

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Year in the Merde 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke Paul West, a British citizen, is offered a one year contract at the Vian Difussion (VD) company by Frenchman Jean-Marie Martin. Paul is to open a chain of tea houses in Paris. As he tries to assemble the team to start the process, Paul encounters resistance and inefficiencies built into the French system. As he copes with life as an ex-pat in Paris, he relates many funny stories about his life, most of which have to do with getting women in bed. There are also stories about finding an apartment - date a woman and move in; how to order coffee or beer - "creme" will get you a normal size coffee and "demi" a normal size beer; and how to (or not) buy a house in the country. This is a fluffy, light read narrated from Paul's first person point of view. It reads in a day or two. You should read it only if you want to be entertained; it has no other value. It made me laugh because I could recognize typical French reactions to what I consider to be rude and arrogant American/British behavior. But most French people wouldn't act like that; although at times, I thought the French were justified, because the character was such an ass.
mike100274 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Clark has incredible insight into France; this book shows that. It is filled with humor and fascinating situations that make you cringe as you read. You will definitely have a good time reading... especially if you've been to France.
Rania More than 1 year ago
The best travel book ever written... Smart Humor
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clarke has mastered the art of capturing what makes us all look comical, but he really skewers the French (and English)as he shows how much work it takes to assimilate into another culture -- and the foibles of each culture. The hero's exploits are hilarious. I couldn't put it down and can't wait to read the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's full of dry, British humour, which, as an American, is just as funny as his quips about the French. While he sets out to make the reader laugh about the French, there are some good funny things about English speakers, too. I read the book while in France, and I actually experienced some of the things that he describes, because the French actually do these things! I suppose it might not be as funny for people who don't know anything about French culture, but the cultural misunderstandings are universal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
merde is about right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is shallow, relying of stereotypes of the French, British, and others. The few comedic moments that merit a smile or a smirk at best do not justify the simplistic characterizations.
lesliejay63 More than 1 year ago
Great book. Funny. Gives you a good feel for French culture. Loved it!
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AFineFoodie More than 1 year ago
I love Paris, but know there are many things I'll never figure out about Parisians. This book helped dispel some of them. At the end of the read, however, I didn't feel very satisfied. I just purchased "Talk to the Snail," Clarke's book about what makes the French tick. This is a much better book. Clarke is funny, but not exceptionally so. On the other hand, Pete McCarthy, another Brit comic travel writer, had me rollling with side-splitting laughter.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A YEAR IN THE MERDE. Is, well truthfully, very yo the point when it comes to the french people. I've been to FRANCE dozens of times, but for short 2 to 4 week periods. I KNOW THAT THIS IS A BOOK (appropriate for about 14 year olds and up) MUST BE READ BY ANYONE WHO HAS GONE TO FRANCE OR WILL BE GOING TO FRANCE. Jess
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The chief beauty of this book lies not so much in its literary style or in the extent and usefulness of the information it conveys, as in its simple truthfulness. Its pages form the record of events that really happened. All that has been done is to colour them¿ is a quote by Jerome K. Jerome that Stephen Clarke, the author of A Year in the Merde, placed on the first page of his novel. The quote is ideal for the beginning of this novel since it describes the way Stephen Clarke chose to describe his story of the time he spent as an expat in Paris, France. The central character of A Year in the Merde is Paul West, an Englishman living as an expat in Paris, France. Initially, he moves to France in order to work as a manager for a new chain of tea rooms that will be opening all around Paris. At first the transition from living in England to France is a bit shocking for Paul. From stepping in poop on the sidewalk more than once to dealing with rude waiters at café¿s, he encounters a great amount of difficulty becoming accustomed to a Parisian lifestyle. From the minute he walks into his office, Paul has an encounter with a rude receptionist and has trouble with the difficult language barrier. Paul begins noticing the major differences between having a job in England and having a job in France after meeting his boss and eccentric co-workers. After a while, it seems like opening tea rooms all around Paris is the last thing on many of his colleague¿s minds. After several months Paul begins blending into the French culture and even meets other expats at a local pub. He soon realizes that work is not the most important thing in Paris and starts enjoying all of the pleasures of life. Going to café¿s, meeting women, and exploring are among the many things Paul begins to do. A Year in the Merde, literally meaning ¿A Year in the Shit,¿ is brilliantly written. Stephen Clarke¿s ability to incorporate comedy into the novel through clever ways keeps the reader laughing throughout most of its pages. The novel is written by month, beginning in September, when according to Paul West, life begins for all Parisians and ending in May, when work ends and vacationing begins. I would recommend this novel for Francophiles or people who love traveling and learning about different cultures. Stephen Clarke¿s account of Paul West¿s year in France is not only entertaining but highly educational. It inspires one to learn about different cultures and even contemplate living in another country for a period of time. I am currently reading Clarke¿s follow-up novel of Paul West¿s life in Paris entitled For Love in the Merde and am having trouble putting it down. I recommend both novels to anyone who appreciates different cultures and would love to learn about France. I hope Clarke is working on a third novel that is just as original and entertaining as A Year in the Merde and For Love in the Merde.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the bright yellow color and oddly-shaped form of France wearing a smiley face and beret slapped on to the cover, A Year in the Merde is one of those books that I'm happy to have randomly picked up. Stephen Clarke is able to transport you to experience Parisian life through the seemingly droll Paul West. Paul's experience (or naivete if you like), of French culture is a whirlwind affair of language barriers, women and sex, two-faced bosses, strikes, and of course merde (humans and animals alike, both metaphorically and literally speaking.) Stephen Clarke is an artist of words and his book is a unique, great change from all the French politic books I had been forced to read and write about in college.