Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Talk to the Snail

A colleague lent me her copy of Stephen Clarke’s book Talk to the Snail: Ten Commandments for Understanding the French. While it wasn’t laugh out loud funny like his Merde books, it was still an amusing read including commandments such as: Thou shalt be wrong (if you’re not French),Why every Frenchman is ‘Monsieur Right’ and Thou shalt be ill, Getting the best out of the French national drug habit. Anyone who doesn’t like generalizations should stay away from this book. But if you’re coming to France (or are already here) and want a quick explanation of French behavior and customs, this book can save you the pain of having to figure some things out for yourself.


David said...


This book might just be the best English speaking book about France and the French I have read.
Almost no stupid cliché -like so many other books- and almost everything is right on spot.
The only issue I have with it is that some of the things that he says are "typically French" are really "typically Parisian".

caelle said...

I agree, I really liked it and I find it quite useful in a way because it pinpoints things I don't like here and couldn't figure out really on my own because I'm from Paris.

A Seattleite in Paris said...

David and Caelle - definitely, I wish I'd read this when I first arrived in France.