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Download A Year in the Merde Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Year in the Merde Audiobook, by Stephen Clarke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,414 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Clarke Narrator: Gerard Doyle Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2005 ISBN: 9781593977566
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An urban antidote to A Year in Provence, Stephen Clarke’s book is a laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of an expat in Paris— for Francophiles and Francophobes alike
A Year in the Merde is the almost-true account of the author’s adventures as an expat in Paris. Based loosely 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 (or quite possibly, a Christian Dior skirt), ” A Year in the Merde is the story of a Paul West, a 27-year-old Brit who is brought to Paris by a French company to open a chain of British “tea rooms.” 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; they are still in shock at being stupid enough to sell Louisiana, thus losing the chance to make French the global language, while going on strike is the second national participation sport after pétanque. He also illuminates 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, even outselling Bill Clinton’s memoir at Paris’s fabled American bookstore Brentano’s. With translation rights now sold in eleven countries, 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginger | 2/4/2014

    " very funny...brought back lots of memories! laughed out loud in parts! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meme | 2/3/2014

    " A very funny book about a young Englishman hired to help a French company in Paris grow, all the differences in business practices, cultural habits, and romance. Even if you're not a Francophile, you'll find it very amusing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luaba | 2/1/2014

    " Amazingly funny, having been to France many times, I m glad to finally see a book that is closer to the real Paris rather than fictional rosy one North Americans tend to cling on to. The author describes the city so well, with great details I felt like I was back in Paris while reading it. If you also speak French, this book is even more hilarious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Conor Pendergrast | 1/31/2014

    " Funny enough to keep me reading, but light entertainment is all you can expect from this. The stereotypes are pretty accurate of French people but are, obviously, just stereotypes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ummu Auni | 1/30/2014

    " A Year in The Merde chronicles Paul West adventure in Paris. It was laughable, the author wrote in such humorous manner on how a British trying to adapt living in French. The first 100 pages had my attention, but then the slapstick humour at certain times, transgressed the boundaries especially with the dry humour on having sex or seeing women as sex objects. If I'm a French citizen, I may be offended by this. But maybe, this is a fiction or a non-fiction mangled in both, which I couldn't even interpret which one is true. Having been in France on vacation for such a short period of time, I may take this true at heart. For certain events occurred in the book, maybe true such as the dog poops, the picket, the relaxed attitude (?) or even the snail dish. A book that contains humour but should not taken into heart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 1/22/2014

    " I read this book on a recommendation and on the whole it is enjoyable, the first half I think is funnier than the second, but after living in France for 9 months whilst at university, some of the observations are spot on, particularly those that are food based - it is widely known how much the French love their food! This is one of a series and I would definitely read the next one but the book is decidedly laddish in some places, particularly all the many sex references. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rosemarie | 1/15/2014

    " If only I like the protagonist better, I would have enjoyed this more. All he (and it seemed the other ex-pats) cared about was sleeping around. Since I didn't find this to be the case when I lived in France, I found it hard to relate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Stedman | 1/5/2014

    " Funny funny funny - a light-hearted poke at French customs. A joy to read. I've read all his books "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 1/2/2014

    " This book made me laugh out loud. It was a hilarious, fast read, packed with information and great french phrases. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Régis | 12/25/2013

    " Quite funny, but a little bit repetitive once you've reach half of the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Harbut | 12/15/2013

    " I read this and the subsequent books by this author when I first moved to France in 2006. Made me laugh out loud and did help me understand the working mentality of the French! A good lighthearted holiday read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy Aquila | 12/10/2013

    " Light, fun and totally entertaining. I was laughing out loud at some points. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb | 11/25/2013

    " Like a rite of passage; guess you have to read it if you've found yourself living in Paris/France. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pelle Braendgaard | 11/19/2013

    " Quite funny, yet not particularly profound. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 11/14/2013

    " one of the worst books i've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie Pendergrass | 10/22/2013

    " Good ...a little scandalous, perhaps! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 4/19/2013

    " Totally hilarious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paulah | 12/28/2012

    " For the francophile---a great romp through French culture. Formidable! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lina | 11/15/2012

    " funny! I was a bit disappointed that it was a fiction book after all (and not an autobiography) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Iris | 11/5/2012

    " No sex please, he's British. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalia | 6/24/2012

    " It is quite rude, but very truthful book. I guess every foreigner is coming through some hard situations trying to install in Paris. Unfortunately, there is nothing about parisian romatism and soul. But quite a good book to read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 1/20/2012

    " Too "meh" to waste time reading past page 50. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacob | 12/26/2011

    " awesome . . . well worth the wait. although, I thought it was non-fiction for most of the read. when it got TOO good, that's when I checked.still a fun (fiction) travel read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mariana | 8/21/2011

    " Poking a little fun at a different culture (specially if being self-deprecating and not high and mighty) is a time-honored style of comedy. So this is not high art, but it's amusing, particularly if you are/have ever been an expat. Lighten up, people. Taking life too seriously is carcinogenic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda | 7/5/2011

    " Is this a biased look at the workforce of France? Oh who cares? Stephan Clark's book is a wonderful look at modern day France. It will tide me over until I can go back for a visit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lina | 5/18/2011

    " funny! I was a bit disappointed that it was a fiction book after all (and not an autobiography) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allyn | 5/16/2011

    " I'm not British. I'm not French. But I was entertained by the humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 5/8/2011

    " Hilarious read about living in Paris from an Englishman's perspective. A good light book to take when travelling to France..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 4/9/2011

    " Not your typical travel journal and almost as funny as Bryson. It was fun following the adventures of Paul West as he 'tramps' his way around Paris and the French countryside. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 3/30/2011

    " Absolutely true and hilarious. A great book for those anglophones coming to France "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 3/26/2011

    " Amusant, though requiring too much suspension of disbelief at times. Seems a bit like the male equivalent some of these romantic novels written for women. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 3/25/2011

    " A light hearted easy humourous read. a book just to pass the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa | 3/24/2011

    " his commentary is hilarious. this book was a good read, but i'm not sure i would care to read his others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 3/10/2011

    " Not bad, but didn't enjoy it as much as other expat books. Probably written to a younger audience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlotte | 3/7/2011

    " Funny to read about the differences between the English and the French. Witty. "

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About the Narrator

Gerard Doyle was born of Irish parents and raised in Hertfordshire, England. In Great Britain he has enjoyed an extensive career in both television and repertory theater and toured nationally and internationally with the English Shakespeare Company. He has appeared in London’s West End in the gritty musical The Hired Man. In America he has appeared on Broadway in The Weir and on television in New York Undercover and Law & Order. A seasoned narrator of audiobooks, he has been awarded eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards and in 2006 won the prestigious Audie Award for his reading of Blackstone’s recording of The Dead Yard by Adrian McKinty. He lives with his wife and two children in Sag Harbor, New York.