A Year in the Merde

      Stephen Clarke
A Year in the Merde

From Publishers Weekly

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 à la française. 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)

From Booklist

Brit Paul West escapes his homeland to take a job in Paris marketing English tearooms to the French. Over a year's cycle he discovers that the French way of doing business thrives on maneuvering nimbly through a minefield of unique, demanding personalities. An inveterate womanizer, he finds plenty of skirts to chase and conquer. After a comic search for an apartment, he settles in the city's trendy Marais district. Urban stress in general, combined with a need to escape the upstairs family whose every move reverberates to distraction, forces West to escape to a Norman getaway featuring all the bucolic charms and a cast of neighbors and townspeople to rival Peter Mayle's Provencal rustics. West disdains French food for its love of organ meats and its fascination with revoltingly smelly cheeses. Francophobes will find much here to reinforce their prejudices; more balanced observers will find Clarke's caricatures of the French simply very funny reading.

Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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    Merde Actually

      Stephen Clarke
Merde Actually

'Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle' The TimesA year after arriving in France, Englishman Paul West is still struggling with some fundamental questions:What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Why are there no health warnings on French nudist beaches? And is it really polite to sleep with your boss's mistress?Paul opens his English tea room, and mutates (temporarily) into a Parisian waiter; samples the pleasures of typically French hotel-room afternoons; and, on a return visit to the UK, sees the full horror of a British office party through Parisian eyes.Meanwhile, he continues his search for the perfect French mademoiselle. But will Paul find l'amour éternel, or will it all end in merde?MERDE ACTUALLYIn his second comedy of errors, Paul West continues to sabotage the entente cordiale.Author's apology: 'I'd just like to say sorry to all the suppository fans out there, because in this book there are no suppositories. There are, however, lots of...


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    Dirty Bertie

      Stephen Clarke
Dirty Bertie

The entertaining biography of Edward VII and his playboy lifestyle, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde.

Despite fierce opposition from his mother, Queen Victoria, Edward VII was always passionately in love with France.

He had affairs with the most famous Parisian actresses, courtesans and can-can dancers. He spoke French more elegantly than English. He was the first ever guest to climb the Eiffel Tower with Gustave Eiffel, in defiance of an official English ban on his visit. He turned his French seduction skills into the diplomatic prowess that sealed the Entente Cordiale.

A quintessentially English king? Pas du tout! Stephen Clarke argues that as 'Dirty Bertie', Edward learned all the essentials in life from the French.


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    Merde in Europe

      Stephen Clarke
Merde in Europe

One Brit in Brussels. Two French Women. And a whole lot of merde.
The hilarious new novel from Stephen Clarke, bestselling author of A Year in the Merde and *A Thousand Years of Annoying the French. *

Does Brussels really want to outlaw bingo, bagpipes and smoky bacon crisps? Are eurocrats trying to rename the English Channel? And can the ink in euro notes really make men impotent?

No. Well, not exactly.

But it is true that the EU is a seriously flawed institution.

And it's about to become even more so as Englishman Paul West goes to Brussels to work for a French MEP, and gets an insider's view of what really goes on in the massive madhouse that is the EU Parliament.

As Britain prepares to vote whether it stays in or exits the EU, Paul gets the chance to influence the result of the referendum.

He has to decide: better the devil you know? Or bring on the Brexit?

It's a decision that could cost him a lot more than his euro paypacket . . .


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    Dial M for Merde

      Stephen Clarke
Dial M for Merde

In the South of France, Paul West has a licence to thrill...Paul West has received an offer he can't refuse: two weeks in the sun with a beautiful blonde. M, as she likes to be known, is down south to report on caviar trafficking - or is she? Meanwhile, Paul's friend Elodie is marrying an aristocrat, and Paul has been asked to do the catering. Although cooking for the French is always a risky assignment ... As Paul is sexually harassed by a hen party, picked on by French commandos and arrested by excitable gendarmes, events start spiralling out of control. And when he discovers that M's real target is France's new President - and that he's coming to Elodie's wedding - Paul realises the merde really is about to hit the fan...


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    How the French Won Waterloo - or Think They Did

      Stephen Clarke
How the French Won Waterloo - or Think They Did

Published in the 200th Anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo a witty look at how the French still think they won, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde. Two centuries after the Battle of Waterloo, the French are still in denial. If Napoleon lost on 18 June 1815 (and that's a big 'if'), then whoever rules the universe got it wrong. 

As soon as the cannons stopped firing, French historians began re-writing history. The Duke of Wellington was beaten, they say, and then the Prussians jumped into the boxing ring, breaking all the rules of battle. In essence, the French cannot bear the idea that Napoleon, their greatest-ever national hero, was in any way a loser. Especially not against the traditional enemy - les Anglais. Stephen Clarke has studied the French version of Waterloo, as told by battle veterans, novelists, historians - right up to today's politicians, and he has uncovered a story of pain, patriotism and sheer perversion...

**


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    Merde Happens

      Stephen Clarke
Merde Happens

From Publishers Weekly

In this entertaining third installment to his Paul West series, British journalist Clarke sets his acerbic sights on America. Paul, an ex-pat Brit running a tearoom in Paris, commits a grievous crime when he presents English menus at his tearoom. The Ministry of Culture slaps him with a massive fine, and a broke Paul returns to London and accepts a position with Visitor Resources: Britain to represent his home country in a global tourism contest. So, with his Parisian girlfriend in tow, Paul heads for America, picks up an embarrassingly decorated Mini Cooper in New York and heads to Boston, Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Los Angeles in an effort to win the prize. Trouble follows, of course, and what makes the transcontinental romp so much fun is Clarke's sarcastic sendup of each city, embellishing the traditional stereotypes of each with a dry, jaded Brit wit. (The magazines found in a Louisiana home include Sniper's Gazette, Drive-by Weekly, Firing Squad Monthly. Standard stuff.) Peripheral characters add even more color to the madcap story, and while not all of Clarke's stabs at the states hit their marks, the ones that do are sublime. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Clarke works his humor in a frantic, colorful choreography of mayhem, like Busby Berkeley conducting Harold Lloyd. Amusing travelogue from an engaging narrator who never lets a little bad news mess with his joie de vivre.”   —Kirkus Reviews

“Sublime. In this entertaining third installment to his Paul West series, British journalist Clarke sets his acerbic sights on America. What makes the transcontinental romp sp much fun is Clarke’s sarcastic sendup of each city, embellishing the traditional stereotypes of each with a dry, jaded Brit wit. Peripheral characters add even more volor to the madcap story.”—Publishers Weekly


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