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A Year in the Merde
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Clarke, a British writer working for a French press group in Paris who has done comedy for BBC radio, self-published this book under a pseudonym in Paris last summer. It became a word-of-mouth hit, and one can readily see why: Clarke does for Paris what Peter Mayle did for Provence, but Clarke's month-by-month account will have readers chortling throughout. In a tale that the author describes as "almost true" (he's changed some details to avoid having his "legs broken by someone in an Yves St. Laurent suit"), expat Paul West (a thinly veiled Clarke) arrives in Paris in September 2002 as marketing director for a newly launched chain of English tearooms. In May 2003 he is fired, partly because of the war in Iraq and the anti-Anglo American sentiments current in France. One of the book's many delights is West's deft depiction of the local pronunciation of English words, for example mayors for my horse. This laugh-out-loud yarn about West's colleagues, particularly his double-dealing boss, his romantic escapades, and French culture in general, will win Clarke many fans, who will soon be clamoring for more. Highly recommended.-Ravi Shenoy, Naperville P.L., IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Take a self-assured Brit with an eye for the ladies, drop him in the middle of Paris with a tenuous grasp of the language and you have Clarke's alter ego, Paul West, who combines the gaffes of Bridget Jones with the boldness of James Bond. Hired to oversee the creation of a French chain of British tearooms, Clarke, aka West, spends nine months-the equivalent of a French business year-stumbling his way through office politics a la francaise. Clarke's sharp eye for detail and relentless wit make even the most quotidian task seem surreal, from ordering a cup of coffee to picking up a loaf of bread at the boulangerie. Luck is by West's side as he moves into a stunning apartment (with his boss's attractive daughter), but he has to be careful where he steps, as he finds he "began to branch out from literal to metaphorical encounters of the turd kind." Between conspiring colleagues, numerous sexual escapades (he deems French porn "unsexy" since "Being French, they had to talk endlessly before they got down to action") and simply trying to order a normal-sized glass of beer, West quickly learns essential tricks to help him keep his head above the Seine. Originally self-published in Paris, Clarke's first book in a soon-to-be-series is funny and well-written enough to appeal to an audience beyond just Francophiles. Agent, Susanna Lea at Susanna Lea Associates. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

" Highly entertaining... Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably." -- "Washington"" Post"
" Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious." -- "San Francisco"" Chronicle."
" The antidote to Peter Mayle, this ' almost-true memoir' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles." -- "New York"" Post "(4 stars)
" The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, "Merde" is a comedy of errors... [with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture." -- "Rocky Mountain News"
" 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"

" Highly entertaining ... Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably. " -- Washington Post
" Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious. " -- San Francisco Chronicle.
" The antidote to Peter Mayle, this ' almost-true memoir ' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles. " -- New York Post (4 stars)
" The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, Merde is a comedy of errors ... [with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture. " -- Rocky Mountain News
" 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

"Highly entertaining...Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably."--"Washington"" Post"
"Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious."--"San Francisco"" Chronicle. "
"The antidote to Peter Mayle, this 'almost-true memoir' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles."--"New York"" Post "(4 stars)
"The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, "Merde" is a comedy of errors...[with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture."--"Rocky Mountain News"
"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"

"Highly entertaining...Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably."--"Washington"" Post"
"Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious."--"San Francisco"" Chronicle."
"The antidote to Peter Mayle, this 'almost-true memoir' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles."--"New York"" Post "(4 stars)
"The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, "Merde" is a comedy of errors...[with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture."--"Rocky Mountain News"
"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"

"Highly entertaining Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably."--"Washington"" Post"

"Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious."--"San Francisco"" Chronicle. "

"The antidote to Peter Mayle, this 'almost-true memoir' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles."--"New York"" Post "(4 stars)

"The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, "Merde" is a comedy of errors [with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture."--"Rocky Mountain News"

"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"

"

Highly entertaining Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably. "Washington Post" Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious. "San Francisco Chronicle." The antidote to Peter Mayle, this almost-true memoir' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles. "New York Post (4 stars)" The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, "Merde" is a comedy of errors [with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture. "Rocky Mountain News" 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""


"Highly entertaining...Clarke renders the flavor of life in Paris impeccably." --Washington Post"Call him the anti-Mayle. Stephen Clarke is acerbic, insulting, un-PC and mostly hilarious." --San Francisco Chronicle."The antidote to Peter Mayle, this 'almost-true memoir' will appeal equally to Francophobes and Francophiles." --New York Post (4 stars)"The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Like the best of British comedy, Merde is a comedy of errors...[with] great interlingual puns, a vivacious spirit and a playful attitude about the absurdities of a foreign culture." --Rocky Mountain News"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

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