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Download What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind, by Debra Ollivier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (486 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Debra Ollivier Narrator: Debra Ollivier Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781101079539
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It’s not the shoes, the scarves, or the lipstick that gives French women their allure. It’s this: French women don’t give a damn. They don’t expect men to understand them. They don’t care about being liked or being like everyone else. They generally reject notions of packaged beauty. They accept the passage of time, celebrate the immediacy of pleasure, like to break rules, embrace ambiguity and imperfection, and prefer having a life to making a living. They are, in other words, completely unlike us. Ollivier goes beyond familiar ooh-la-la stereotypes about French women, challenging cherished notions about sex, love, dating, marriage, motherhood, raising children, body politics, seduction, and flirtation. Less a how-to and more a how-not-to, What French Women Know offers a refreshing counterpoint to the stale love dogma of our times. Peppered with anecdotes from its Franco-American author and filled with provocative ideas from French sexperts, mistresses and maidens alike, it debunks longstanding myths, presenting savvy new thinking from an old sexy culture and more realistic, life-affirming alternatives from the land that knows how to love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Nicole | 2/8/2014

    " This book was mostly fluffy pseudo-anthropology. But. I didn't hate it. I am an admitted Francophile, and the comparison between American culture and French culture was fun. It had some sound advice, but nothing groundbreaking. If you are already interested in this subject matter, it is an entertaining read. 3.5 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isla McKetta | 2/6/2014

    " I didn't love the writing and some of the ideas are cliched, but as an opportunity to reexamine my own culture (a la sociology) and challenge some basic assumptions, I enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Mcnamara | 2/6/2014

    " I loved this book, but it seems like the author leaves out the very obvious fact that the French are allowed their "cest la vie" attitude primarily because of economic conditions in their country. You can remain single, have a thousand beautiful children and vacation for six weeks in some fantastic European destination if you have a year of maternity leave, 35 hour work weeks, fabulous free child care, and paid vacation out the wazoo! All told, I am horribly jealous;) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 April | 2/5/2014

    " This book seemed to glorify the French culture and put down the American culture in stereotypical ways. I get it, "The French are more relaxed and less materialistic." But some Americans are too. I didn't appreciate it's broad cultural generalizations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/28/2014

    " This was a delight to read. As Descartes said, "It is good to know something of the customs of different people in order to judge more soundly our own, and so that we might not think that all that which is contrary to our own ways be ridiculous and contrary to reason, as those who have seen nothing have the habit of doing." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sylvia Barker | 1/28/2014

    " This felt like a sociology book and read like a textbook. The information provokes some interesting discussion but very dry reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nida | 1/26/2014

    " Incisive and full of good humor, Ollivier juxtaposition of the French and American culture is both lighthearted, instructive and acute. Unexpectedly, a salve for addled minds to embrace one's femininity heartily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 1/22/2014

    " This is kind of a follow up to her Entre Nous, Finding your inner French Girl which I very much enjoyed when it came out six years ago or so. But I think this book is better. The writing is more sophisticated, and I found she really captures the mindset of the French, and shows the Americans the differences. One of my favorite ideas is the notion that a little imperfection is sexier - lets stop worrying about how many abs we can do, or whether the refridgerator needs to be wiped down. Let something go, looser is actually much more interesting than perfection. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 1/19/2014

    " If you've read Ollivier's first book, Entre Nous, then you've read this book. I listened to the book on CD, so I at least had the pleasure of hearing the text read by the author. If you've read any of the books about French women, then this one offers nothing new. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 1/18/2014

    " This is not a scientific study, but somewhat based on previous observations (some serious, some not), with a healthy dose of the author's own extensive experiences -- which make the books much more entertaining. For anyone interested in how the French (and especially the French women) think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 12/28/2013

    " Cute, very true in many ways... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lila | 12/11/2013

    " Made me want to move to Paris! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leabelle | 10/3/2013

    " The author, an American married to a Frenchman contrasts American and French approaches to the interaction between the sexes. An interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiara | 9/22/2013

    " Written from a journalistic perspective, where each of her thoughts, whether introduced by her own observations, are all supported by concurring statements or historic literature. Loved her perspectives. So well written. I read it in a day. And I'll read it many more times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne Walbridge | 8/8/2013

    " This wasn't nearly as much fun as Ollivier's previous book, Entre Nous. I felt it was just an endless string of generalities, pretty much all of which were unflattering to American women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 7/28/2013

    " This was a fun and easy-to-read book by an American woman married to a Frenchman. She analyzes what she has learned from her own experience with French women, and discusses how they think about things in contrast to how American women think about things. Interesting and enlightening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tatiana | 9/18/2012

    " I love this type of genre (the what-makes-the-french-so-wonderful genre) and was a big fan of her earlier book "entre nous." A really lovely, light-hearted read, perfect for unwinding. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Polly | 4/25/2012

    " I've come to the conclusion that I don't really care what French women know about love, sex, etc. Not that it's a bad book, in fact, if you're in the mood and interested, it's probably a good one, I'm just not. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 6/5/2011

    " A really good book with some great advice! I'm not usually into non fiction, but this one was hard to put down. It was really interesting to see how women on the other side of the world treat love, life, and work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiara | 12/13/2010

    " Written from a journalistic perspective, where each of her thoughts, whether introduced by her own observations, are all supported by concurring statements or historic literature. Loved her perspectives. So well written. I read it in a day. And I'll read it many more times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maggie | 8/4/2010

    " I honestly don't care what French women think, so it was probably not the best book for me to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lenore | 6/21/2010

    " Interesting observations between the two cultures. Something to make you say, "huh". It made for a great discussion at book club. But it was nothing deep or mind blowing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 April | 5/4/2010

    " This book seemed to glorify the French culture and put down the American culture in stereotypical ways. I get it, "The French are more relaxed and less materialistic." But some Americans are too. I didn't appreciate it's broad cultural generalizations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne | 3/14/2010

    " This wasn't nearly as much fun as Ollivier's previous book, Entre Nous. I felt it was just an endless string of generalities, pretty much all of which were unflattering to American women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Francesca | 2/23/2010

    " All American women should read this book for a fresh perspective on gender and amour. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 2/18/2010

    " This is not a scientific study, but somewhat based on previous observations (some serious, some not), with a healthy dose of the author's own extensive experiences -- which make the books much more entertaining. For anyone interested in how the French (and especially the French women) think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheena | 1/25/2010

    " Very good book and very true! Makes us American women really look at our lives and at least for me it really makes me want that art de vivre! hehe "

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