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Detour De France
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Though happy enough with his lot, Michael Simkins has never truly shaken the nagging doubt - helpfully upheld by his partner Julia - that he somehow lacks worldly sophistication. While she spent her teenage years as a nanny on a boat moored at Cannes, his utter lack of travel experience (Weymouth, Cleethorpes and a day trip to Dieppe) still has the power to shock people into leaving dinner parties early. So as he hits middle-age, Michael takes up the challenge of broadening his horizons. He decides to improve himself in the same way English gentlemen lacking refined edges have for centuries: by learning from our more cultured French neighbours. Michael, an English provincial ingenue, sets off to discover just what the Gallic nation can teach him and the rest of us Anglo-Saxons about living the good life. Armed only with 50 Useful Phrases in French, he waits to see if his odyssey from La Manche to the Riviera will finally turn him from the scotch-egg eating spawn of Anne Widdecombe and John McCririck into the champagne-sipping love child of Serge Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve. Julia is saying a prayer for him at Lourdes.
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From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Fatty Batter and The Last Flanelled Fool comes this hilarious tale of a Brit abroad.

About the Author

Michael Simkins trained at RADA. He has appeared in more than 70 plays, stage highlights include A View from the Bridge at the National Theatre as well as musicals Chicago and Mamma Mia. He also directed Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends at the Greenwich Theatre. He has made countless TV appearances - recent credits include Foyle's War and My Family - as well as turns on the silver screen in such films as Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. He has worked with luminaries as diverse as Anthony Perkins, John Malkovich, Michael Gambon and Buster Merryfield. He lives with his actress wife Julia in London.

Reviews

"Brimming with well-told anecdotes with perfectly delivered punchlines...a must-read for anyone stepping on the Eurostar" * The Daily Telegraph * "Vive le Simkins!" * Metro * "Insightful, charming and trouser-wipingly funny." * Stephen Fry * "Simkins makes even the worst travel experience pleasurable. In fact, the worse it is, the better he gets." * Michael Palin * "Funnier than Bryson" * Michael Billington *

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