1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781453243589
Release Date: 2012-03-20
Genre: History

The author of A Year in the Merde and Talk to the Snail offers a highly biased and hilarious view of French history in this international bestseller. Things have been just a little awkward between Britain and France ever since the Norman invasion in 1066. Fortunately—after years of humorously chronicling the vast cultural gap between the two countries—author Stephen Clarke is perfectly positioned to investigate the historical origins of their occasionally hostile and perpetually entertaining pas de deux. Clarke sets the record straight, documenting how French braggarts and cheats have stolen credit rightfully due their neighbors across the Channel while blaming their own numerous gaffes and failures on those same innocent Brits for the past thousand years. Deeply researched and written with the same sly wit that made A Year in the Merde a comic hit, this lighthearted trip through the past millennium debunks the notion that the Battle of Hastings was a French victory (William the Conqueror was really a Norman who hated the French) and pooh-poohs French outrage over Britain’s murder of Joan of Arc (it was the French who executed her for wearing trousers). He also takes the air out of overblown Gallic claims, challenging the provenance of everything from champagne to the guillotine to prove that the French would be nowhere without British ingenuity. Brits and Anglophiles of every national origin will devour Clarke’s decidedly biased accounts of British triumph and French ignominy. But 1000 Years of Annoying the French will also draw chuckles from good-humored Francophiles as well as “anyone who’s ever encountered a snooty Parisian waiter or found themselves driving on the Boulevard Périphérique during August” (The Daily Mail). A bestseller in Britain, this is an entertaining look at history that fans of Sarah Vowell are sure to enjoy, from the author the San Francisco Chronicle has called “the anti-Mayle . . . acerbic, insulting, un-PC, and mostly hilarious.”

1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781473508187
Release Date: 2015-06-05
Genre: History

NEW UPDATED EDITION Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Did the French write "God Save the Queen"? Non! But that's what they claim. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066 ... Featuring new annoyances – both historical and recent – inflicted on the French, including Napoleon's "banned" chamber pot, Louis XIV's painful operation, Anglo-French jibes during the 2012 London Olympics, French niggles about William and Kate's royal wedding, and much more ...

1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
ISBN: 0552779938
Release Date: 2015-05-01
Genre:

NEW UPDATED EDITION Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Did the French write "God Save the Queen"? Non! But that's what they claim. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066 ... Featuring new annoyances - both historical and recent - inflicted on the French, including Napoleon's "banned" chamber pot, Louis XIV's painful operation, Anglo-French jibes during the 2012 London Olympics, French niggles about William and Kate's royal wedding, and much more ...

Paris Revealed

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781453243572
Release Date: 2012-03-20
Genre: Travel

A hilarious insider’s guide to Paris by the author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French: “Clarke’s eye for detail is terrific” (The Washington Post). Stephen Clarke may have adopted Paris as his home, but he still has an Englishman’s eye for the people, cafés, art, sidewalks, food, fashion, and romance that make Paris a one-of-a-kind city. This irreverent outsider-turned-insider guide shares local savoir faire, from how to separate the good restaurants from the bad to navigating the baffling Métro system. It also provides invaluable insights into the etiquette of public urination and the best ways to experience Parisian life without annoying the Parisians (a truly delicate art). Clarke’s witty and expert tour of the city leaves no boulevard unexplored—even those that might be better left alone.

Talk To The Snail

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781742748306
Release Date: 2012-04-01
Genre: Literary Collections

From the bestselling author of A Year in The Merde, the Ten Commandments for Living with the French 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.

Annoying The French Encore

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448150250
Release Date: 2012-08-16
Genre: Humor

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR Bonjour cher reader, Ever since European history began, we Brits have been happily engaged in our national pastime - annoying the French. And the past couple of years have shown that this annoying never stops. To give just three examples: After a mid-Atlantic collision between French and British nuclear submarines, France's Minister of Defence seemed to blame the accident on ... shrimps. When French political superstar Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York, France's establishment was outraged. It soon emerged that sexual harassment was regarded as a basic human right by the country's male élite. (This theme provided so much excellent material that I decided to include it in the plot of my soon-to-be published novel, The Merde Factor.) And when David Cameron walked out of a Eurosummit, a French politician accused him of being 'like a man at a wife-swapping party who refuses to bring his own wife.' Yes, a very French image, and it just one of the many anti-Anglais insults that came flying across the Channel. You will find all this, and much more, in Annoying the French Encore! Because, for the French, the merde never ends. Yours historically, Stephen Clarke, Paris, August 2012 ‘Tremendously entertaining’ Sunday Times ‘Relentlessly and energetically rude’ Mail on Sunday

Dirty Bertie An English King Made in France

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448108282
Release Date: 2014-05-22
Genre: History

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.

A Year in the Merde

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781742748290
Release Date: 2012-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Self-published in France, and a subsequent bestseller, the hilarious story of a year in the life of a young Englishman abroad. Paul West, a young Englishman, arrives in Paris to start a new job - and finds out what the French are really like. They do eat a lot of cheese, some of which smells like pigs' droppings. They don't wash their armpits with garlic soap. Going on strike really is the second national participation sport after ptanque. And, yes, they do use suppositories. In his first novel, Stephen Clarke gives a laugh-out-loud account of the pleasures and perils of being a Brit in France. Less quaint than A Year in Provence, less chocolatey than Chocolat, A Year in the Merde will tell you how to get served by the grumpiest Parisian waiter; how to make perfect vinaigrette every time; how to make amour - not war; and how not to buy a house in the French countryside.

A Year in the Merde

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1596917466
Release Date: 2008-12-01
Genre: Travel

A Year in the Merde is the almost-true account of the author's adventures as an expat in Paris. Based on his own experiences and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action-and to prevent the author's legs being broken by someone in a Yves Saint Laurent suit", the book is narrated by Paul West, a twenty-seven-year-old Brit who is brought to Paris by a French company to open a chain of British "tea rooms." He must manage of a group of lazy, grumbling French employees, maneuver around a treacherous Parisian boss, while lucking into a succession of lusty girlfriends (one of whom happens to be the boss's morally challenged daughter). He soon becomes immersed in the contradictions of French culture: the French are not all cheese-eating surrender monkeys, though they do eat a lot of smelly cheese, and they are still in shock at being stupid enough to sell Louisiana, thus losing the chance to make French the global language. The book will also tell you how to get the best out of the grumpiest Parisian waiter, how to survive a French business meeting, and how not to buy a house in the French countryside. The author originally wrote A Year in the Merde just for fun and self-published it in France in an English-language edition. Weeks later, it had become a word-of-mouth hit for expats and the French alike. With translation rights now sold in eleven countries and already a bestseller in the UK and France, Stephen Clarke is clearly a Bill Bryson (or a Peter Mayle...) for a whole new generation of readers who can never quite decide whether they love-or love to hate-the French.

The Merde Factor

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448108275
Release Date: 2012-09-13
Genre: Fiction

Englishman Paul West is living the Parisian dream, and doing his best not to annoy the French. But recently things have been going très wrong: He's stuck in an apartment so small that he has to cut his baguettes in two to fit them in the kitchen. His research into authentic French cuisine is about to cause a national strike - and it could be all his fault. His Parisian business partner is determined to close their tea-room. And thinks that sexually harrassing his female employees is a basic human right. And Paul's gorgeous ex-girlfriend seems to be stalking him. Threatened with eviction, unemployment and bankrupcy, Paul realises that his personal merde factor is about to hit the fan...

A Brief History of the Future

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446463987
Release Date: 2011-07-07
Genre: Fiction

What if teleportation was really possible? Englishman Richie Fisher is about to find out ... Richie and his wife Clara have won a weekend in New York in a newspaper competition. While Clara is off blowing their spending money, Richie wanders aimlessly, chewing on a veggie-burger, ending up in a gift-shop where he finds himself standing in front of an instant transporter machine. It looks nothing like the open-plan teleporter on Captain Kirk's Starship Enterprise; in fact, it seems more like a glorified microwave oven. Richie places his burger inside, hits the return key on the linked-up computer - and the burger disappears. But if he can teleport a half-eaten veggie-burger, what else could you do with the machine? For criminals, the possibilities are endless. Who could catch you if you beamed drugs into nostrils a hundred miles away? And how much would illegal immigrants pay to be teleported into the rich host country of their choice? Richie buys a teleporter and takes it back to England, where the chaos begins ...

Merde Actually

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781742748276
Release Date: 2012-04-01
Genre: Fiction

From the bestselling author of A Year in the Merde, the next instalment in the hilarious adventures of Paul West. 'Edgier than Bryson, hits harder than Mayle' The Times A 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 ternel, or will it all end in merde? MERDE ACTUALLY In 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 courgettes, and I see this as progress. Suppositories to courgettes - I think it proves that I'm developing as a writer.' Stephen Clarke

In the Merde for Love

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 159691744X
Release Date: 2008-12-10
Genre: Travel

The latest episode in Stephen Clarke's almost-true account of his adventures as an expat in France is just as winning as the first. This "anti-Mayle" will have readers chortling over their croissants and café au lait while Paul West struggles to solve the mysteries inherent in life in France. What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Is it really polite to sleep with your boss's mistress? And why are there no public health warnings on French nude beaches? Paul discovers how to judge a French vacationer by the rustiness of his bicycle; opens his English tearoom; and finally understands why Parisian waiters are so cranky. Just in time for spring in Paris, find out if Paul finds the perfect French mademoiselle or if it all ends in merde!

Merde Happens

Author: Stephen Clarke
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781742748283
Release Date: 2012-04-01
Genre: Fiction

Q: What happens when an Englishman, an American, and a French woman drive across America in a Mini? A: Merde Happens ... Paul West is in deep financial merde. His only way out of debt is to accept a decidedly dodgy job that involves him touring America in a Mini, while pretending to be typically British. Also in the car is Paul's French girlfriend, Alexa, and his American poet friend, Jake, whose main aim in life is to sleep with a woman from every country in the world. Preferably in the back of Paul's Mini. But as the little car battles from New York to Miami, and then heads west, leg-room turns out to be the least of Paul's troubles. His work is being sabotaged, his tour plans are in tatters, and his love life becomes a Franco-American war zone. And as Paul knows better than anyone, when you mix love and war - merde happens ...

When the Guillotine Fell

Author: Jeremy Mercer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781429936088
Release Date: 2008-06-24
Genre: History

How long did the guillotine's blade hang over the heads of French criminals? Was it abandoned in the late 1800s? Did French citizens of the early days of the twentieth century decry its brutality? No. The blade was allowed to do its work well into our own time. In 1974, Hamida Djandoubi brutally tortured 22 year-old Elisabeth Bousquet in an apartment in Marseille, putting cigarettes out on her body and lighting her on fire, finally strangling her to death in the Provencal countryside where he left her body to rot. In 1977, he became the last person executed by guillotine in France in a multifaceted case as mesmerizing for its senseless violence as it is though-provoking for its depiction of a France both in love with and afraid of The Foreigner. In a thrilling and enlightening account of a horrendous murder paired with the history of the guillotine and the history of capital punishment, Jeremy Mercer, a writer well known for his view of the underbelly of French life, considers the case of Hamida Djandoubi in the vast flow of blood that France's guillotine has produced. In his hands, France never looked so bloody...