Dial M for Merde: A Novel

Open Road Media
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Bemused Brit Paul West steps in it once again when a romantic getaway to the south of France is spoiled by international intrigue When the glorious oceanographer Gloria Monday convinces Paul West to travel to the swank beaches of southern France—where she’s investigating caviar-smuggling cartels—he assumes he’s about to have the time of his life. But for West, France has always been full of surprises underfoot, and this trip is no exception to the rule. He’s soon dragged into an undercover investigation that goes all the way to the top and leaves him feeling sometimes like James Bond, sometimes like Inspector Clouseau. Dial M for Merde is a comic caper that pokes fun at French society at every level, from pompous politicians to grumpy waitstaff.
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More by Stephen Clarke

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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.”
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.


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Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 20, 2012
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Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Humorous / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.
Bilbao, Spain
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
     As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
     Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.
For fifteen years, humourist, writer, raconteur and generally funny man George East and his wife Donella lived in the remnants of an old water mill in the heart of Normandy's Cherbourg peninsula. The former night club bouncer, radio presenter, seamstress and professional bed tester's accounts of the couple's life and times in and around the tiny village of Nehou have been enjoyed by millions.This is the FOURTH book in the best-selling Mill of the Flea series, continuing the often farcical and always entertaining adventures of the author and his wife as they attempt to make a new life in rural France. In FRENCH FLEA BITES, new characters and bizarre situations encountered by our innocents abroad include a man who believes he died in 1979, a cat who becomes a werewolf at full moon, and a plan to turn a farmyard compost heap into Nehou's answer to the Millennium Dome. Totally unlike any other book in the genre, FRENCH FLEA BITES covers another eventful year for our hero and his wife as they stumble knee-deep through the rice pudding of their lives in darkest rural Normandy and at the Mill of the Flea. This episode introduces another galaxy of weird characters and situations - and a number of distinctly distinctive recipes, such as the favourite dishes of an (alleged) Ancient Egyptian god and his travelling companion! EVERY TYPE and age of reader from the confirmed Francophile (or Francophobe!) to the armchair adventurer...or anyone in search of a rattling good and very funny read will LOVE this book.Funny, clever, often poignant and always hugely entertaining. Above all, so true about life and people anywhere on the planet.As usual, George has given us his beautifully idiosyncratic view of life in rural France. As ever, it is very, very funny and achingly true throughout. For those with the ability to understand that observation is much more important than actuality, this is another masterclass in humanity...

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

“A hair-raising debut, both unsettling and addictive...A chilling thriller that will keep you reading long into the night.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Good Girl

“This is one readers won’t be able to put down.” —Booklist (starred review)

"A can’t-put-down psychological thriller.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“This debut is guaranteed to haunt you...Warning: brace yourself.” —Bustle (10 New Thrillers to Read This Summer)

“The sense of believably and terror that engulfs Behind Closed Doors doesn't waver.” —The Associated Press, picked up by The Washington Post

“This was one of the best and most terrifying psychological thrillers I have ever read.” —San Francisco Book Review

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.

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