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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.
Filippo Visco... said on Mar 25, 2011, 14:18
Mi aspettavo qualcosa di molto diverso da Stephen Clarke, l'autore di Dial M for Merde, un simpatico romanzetto simil-noir in cui il protagonista inglese vive un'avventura nel sud della Francia. Questo Talk to the Snails prometteva uno sguardo ironico e scanzonato alla società francese, con simpatici aneddoti sugli usi e costumi dei transalpini visti da un britannico. In realtà il libro trasuda livore da ogni riga. L'autore critica in maniera sarcastica tutti gli aspetti della vita francese (che, descritti in questo modo, possono essere trasportati pari pari nella realtà italiana) trovando pochissimi pregi nell'essere francese e nel vivere in Francia (e a questo punto mi risulta incomprensibile il fatto che si sia trasferito in Francia). Il libro si divide in capitoli, e ognuno prende in considerazione un aspetto della società da criticare aspramente. Arrivati al capitolo delle relazioni amorose, a pag. 235, ho scoperto l'arcano: l'autore è stato lasciato dalla sua fidanzata francese. Non mi sembra ci possa essere altra spiegazione a descrizioni tanto rancorose quanto prive di analisi sociologiche oggettive. Un consiglio: perchè non restare a vivere in Gran Bretagna?
Leyla4 said on Feb 07, 2010, 09:12
manua said on Nov 09, 2009, 09:54
Stephen Clarke, author of bestsellers "A Year in the Merde", "Merde Actually" etc, offered ten commandments for understanding the French in this hilarious work of non-fiction.
Clarke, a British journalist who has been living in France for 12 years, obviously has had enough with the French. He dished out his advices to people who plan to travel to, live in or do business with France as a pretext for French-bashing. The first commandment, "Thou shalt be wrong (if you're not French)", sums up his views on the French: that every Frenchman thinks he is right and all the others, be they fellow Frenchmen or their most hated Anglo-Saxons, are wrong. That's why one seldom gets any service in restaurants, shops or post offices in France, French people work short hours and take long holidays, and one must speak French: because the French regard themselves as "Monsieur Right". What they do is always right.
Other commandments like "Thou shalt work", "Thou shalt eat", "Thou shalt not be served", "Thou shalt not love thy neighbour" etc are equally funny and insightful. The book also contains a number of French phrases (with English translation and pronunciation) and advices to help readers survive in France and get what they want, e.g. get the attention of a waiter in a restaurant.
Don't know how the book is received in France. But then, they won't read anything in English anyway ... ils ne comprennent pas Anglais.
Tracy W said on Oct 26, 2008, 16:14
This is the book to read if you want to know why you never get served by a French waiter and whether you are on a bonjour or salute or a kissing mode with a gorgeous French woman. It always explains the recent youtube favourite of the French president blasting the technician for not returning a bonjour to him. The writer let you know with humour why French are French and he explains all their idiosyncracies with the usual Anglo-saxon entertaining snub. However, reading between the lines, you know that he is a secret admirer of the French and the French way. It is a most entertaining book I have read for a long time.
Oz said on Jul 04, 2008, 03:55