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The Xenophobe's Guide to the French


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About the Author

Nick Yapp spent his first night in France in a hay barn near Calais docks in 1961. Since then he has loved the French for their music, wine, space, and their 15 species of onions. When he sits outside a cafe in the centre of a small French town on a sunny day, nerves jangling from the first sip of hot, strong coffee, watching the world go by, he feels he has somehow made a success of his life. When he gets the bill and sees what this success has cost him, a little of the euphoria evaporates - but he returns the next day. He used to be a teacher, but escaped to become a writer and broadcaster. In his dreams he lives in a beautiful Basque villa on the clifftops south of Biarritz. In reality, he lives in a flat in south east London. Michel Syrett, French on his mother's side, studied in Paris and visits France regularly as a business commentator, lecturer and journalist. He claims that his French is better than it might otherwise be because, in order to hold his own in French business circles, he has to eulogise about the perfect style with which the Nuits St George cohabits seductively with the 'microbes' of the fromage while making a seriously intellectual evaluation of the pate de fois gras. This is a pleasure, naturally, since being French in his soul, he values food as a spiritual experience.


'Amusing, if thin, book about points of French behaviour and culture. Many French are very much like those described in this book, but let's face it, all French aren't. France is a complex society with a complex history on an amazing piece of soil and with a multi-tribal origins. Basques like me are not like the long-boned Normans or the Celtic Bretagnes, and we all have funny accents to each other. Told from a British perspective, but still every other page has something that makes you chuckle.' -- Reviewer from France 'Very, very funny. Revealing too! Whether you love or hate them, this book on the French is both funny and really interesting. I'd definitely recommend reading it.' -- Reviewer from UK 'This book is lettuce to my snails. Being a frog myself reading this book comforted me in my belief that our arrogance was justified. Joke apart, it is a jolly good read and ever so funny. Everyone should read it.' -- Reviewer from Brittany, France 'Though I do not plan to visit France, I still bought, read, and thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's always fascinating to learn about the perspective of cultures different from your own. This book is quick, easy, enjoyable.' -- Reviewer from Florida, USA

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