Monday, 13 September 2010
Just finished reading: A Year in the Merde
The book stall (pay by donation) at the hospital where I work has yielded a few offerings recently and A Year in the Merde is one of them. Being a bit of a self confessed book snob I would normally have looked this one over as there were no accolades from quality newspapers on the back cover. But for only a quid it was worth a risk - which I'm glad I took because this was a very entertaining read.
This book, unsurprisingly about the year in the life of an Englishman based in Paris, reads autobiographically. So, rather gullibly I read two-thirds before the plot got a little too inplausible for real life and it dawned on me that this was a novel. The descriptions of women are very obviously from a laddy lad point of view and have to be forgiven. Additionally the French, especially Parisians, are sometimes cast in a very bad light indeed but I suspect this is based on the real experiences of the author who seems very well versed in the intricacies of the country's life and culture.
I will be popping back to the book stall to see if the donee finishes any more books by Stephen Clarke, which all seem to have a French theme. Otherwise I'll make use of the reservations service at the library when I fancy another book with laugh out loud moments.
PS: I also broke my 'quality newspaper' rule for Sheila O' Flanagan's Perfect Man but after reading three pages it's going straight back for some other sucker to waste their money on!