Have you been taken to what you've been assured is the perfect house deep in the French countryside, only to find there's no electricity or running water? Gone to the doctor with a nasty cough, and been diagnosed with a rather more personal complaint? Walked into an half-empty restaurant, only to be told that it's complet?
If the answer to any of the above is oui, Talk to the Snail is the book for you.Find out how to get served in a restaurant; the best way to deal with French hypochondria; learn the language of love, sex and suppositories (not necessarily in that order); it's all here in this funny, informative, seriously useful guide on how to get what you really want from the French.
With advice on essential phrases and bons mots to cover all eventualities, and illustrated with witty real-life anecdotes, Talk to the Snail is a book that no self-respecting Francophile - or Francophobe - can afford to be without.
Don't go to France without reading this book. And don't even think of buying a house there.
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Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle - The Times
Done more for the Entente Cordiale than any of our politicians - Daily Mail
Must have comedy-of-errors diary about being a Brit abroad - Mirror
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
Stephen Clarke has lived in Paris for twelve years. In 2004, he self-published his first novel. A Year in the Merde, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller, and went on to be a hit around the world - including France.
A Year in the Merde and Merde Actually, which also feature the romantically challenged Paul West, are also published by Black Swan. His new Paul West novel, Merde Happens, is now available from Bantam Press.