Talk to the Snail

Talk to the Snail

Ten Commandments for Understanding the French

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
The best-selling author of A Year in the Merde offers a tongue-in-cheek guide to understanding the French, in a series of essays, each illustrating a theme, followed by or interspersed with essential French phrases, anecdotes, and advice. 50,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave

Have you ever walked into a half-empty Parisian restaurant, only to be told that it's "complet"? Attempted to say "merci beaucoup" and accidentally complimented someone's physique? Been overlooked at the boulangerie due to your adherence to the bizarre foreign custom of waiting in line? Well, you're not alone. The internationally bestselling author of A Year in the Merde and In the Merde for Love has been there too, and he is here to help. In Talk to the Snail, Stephen Clarke distills the fruits of years spent in the French trenches into a truly handy (and hilarious) book of advice. Read this book, and find out how to get good service from the grumpiest waiter; be exquisitely polite and brutally rude at the same time; and employ the language of l'amour and le sexe. Everything you need is here in this funny, informative, and seriously useful guide to getting what you really want from the French.
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. He himself has lived in France for twelve years.
Praise for A Year on the Merde: "Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably: the endless strikes, the sadistic receptionists, the crooked schemes by which the wealthy and well-connected land low-rent apartments...Clarke's eye for detail is terrific."-Washington Post "Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious."-San Francisco Chronicle "Combines the gaffes of Bridget Jones with the boldness of James Bond...Clarke's sharp eye for detail and relentless wit make even the most quotidian task seem surreal."-Publishers Weekly

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury USA : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2007
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781596913097
Characteristics: 262 p. : ill. ; 21 cm


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Sep 04, 2011

As someone who has lived in France, and read Clarke's other works, I think this is a highly entertaining and insightful book. The first page I read at random was what to expect when you visit a doctor in France. I just loved the way he conveyed the bizarre experience of a foreigner with a different point of view going in for their first visit - it was exactly as my friends and I had experienced! When I read it, it was like we were old pals chuckling over and sharing stories of the French culture's eccentricities and delights.

I would highly recommend this over his "Paul West" books as it is written from his direct experiences.


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