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An Englishman in Paris: L'education Continentale Paperback – 3 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (3 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743440463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743440462
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 527,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Sadler is a writer and academic. Born in Lewes, he now lives in Paris, where he teaches an MA course in Contemporary French Studies at the British Institute. He is married with one daughter and grows his own leeks.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Expat Brit Peter Mayle has written several delightfully witty books (A YEAR IN PROVENCE, TOUJOURS PROVENCE, ENCORE PROVENCE) describing his long residence in Provence in an old farm house that he and his wife fixed up. Peter contributes the preface to AN ENGLISHMAN IN PARIS written by lunch-buddy and fellow countryman Michael Sadler.
According to the book's back flap, Sadler now lives in Paris and Touraine with his French wife and their daughter. There's no time frame to AN ENGLISHMAN IN PARIS, but I gather that it recalls Michael's experience as a younger and still-single man during his first extended trip to Paris from his home in England.
Sadler's narrative contains some decidedly humorous moments, as when he transports a large wheel of odiferous cheese from point A to B. Or when he makes his first tremulous journey through that chaotic maelstrom of traffic known as the Place de l'Etoile. And when he must transfer his belongings from temporary hotel lodgings to a new apartment, and there's nowhere to park in front of the latter. Or his culinary introduction to such delicacies as beef testicles and pigs ears. Then there's his giddy affair with a married French woman.
Compared to Peter's volumes, however, Sadler isn't quite so relaxed. Perhaps it's the abundant energy and hormones of a younger man. At times, Michael's activities seem positively frenetic. Moreover, he introduces into the text many French phrases and sentences, the translations of which aren't always readily apparent as you read them, if at all. To be fair, there is a 5-page glossary of terms and colloquial expressions at the end. Language aside, chapter 28 is entirely incoherent (by design, I assume) - as if he was writing under the influence of some cooking sauce made with hallucinogenic mushrooms.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. BLEASE on 12 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
The book is recommended by Michael Palin, Prince Charles, Anne Robinson and Punch magazine on its cover. If you can imagine the sort of thing that amuses this coterie you will not be taken by surprise. The book has a few amusing moments, when the author is not trying to sound like a comedian, and there is the odd flush of literary flair, but on the whole it read just like a Richard Curtis story board- perhaps the author had this in mind when he wrote it. If you enjoyed Four Weddings and A Funeral you will think it "wonderfully amusing" (the endorsement that Prince Charles gives the book), and I couldn't help thinking Bridget Jones had found her soulmate in the character. If you have ever enjoyed a Brit Flick of this ilk you will like this book. For my part "one was not amused"- too contrived, and dare I say it "too English".
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Format: Paperback
If you live in Paris, there is no point reading this book. You are living it!

The hero goes to Paris to study French live (or that is the official excuse to get out of his colleague's way) and in this book he delivers his observations and funny anecdotes (when he treads into the traps of don't-s English people tend to tread into in France). Anecdotes rather than a coherent story with one big climax at the end. All delivered from a humourus angle.

I have moved from Paris to London three and a half years ago. I have read many books of English people living in France. All funny in their own way, but this one is my favourite. Observations rather than prejudices. The descriptions of live and people in Paris are so accurate that for as long as i was reading it, it cured my chronic homesickness. It is like a journey home to Paris!

Only critique: interwoven in the text are many French phrases. While I enjoy that (because I understand them), a footnote for non-French-speakers would have been good rather than having to flick to the back of the book and trying to find it.

It is on my Christmas gift's list for all friends and relatives abroad (outside of France that is). Highly recommended for anyone who wants to read about real live in Paris rather than prejudices wrapped in humour.

Thank you Michael Sadler for this great book about live in my beloved city!
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By Viscacha on 23 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recommended to me by a Quebecois (?) lady and agreed with her view it was a good read - as indeed are the Michael Sadler books I read of his life in France. I wish I'd known a bit more idiomatic French to be able to read straight through this book that was hilarious in places, funny in many other and also always informative. You will definitely enjoy his exploits and it is a thoroughly good read too because it is observtional and very well written.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jock on 8 July 2010
Format: Paperback
As the book title states, its about an Englishman in Paris, an academic called Michael Sadler who gets the opportunity to move to Paris for one year though at no point does the writer mention what he's doing there. Book is mainly about the quirks of the French through his experiences in France.

Book starts off well, fairly funny at the start but then starts to loose the plot halfway through. He meets a woman at a dinner party which starts a rather bizzare affair which ends fairly abruptly. The story doesn't really go anywhere and the last few pages are just a bit of a random rant. In fact one of the last chapters is about him going out to dinner with himself and it reads like he wrote it drunk which may have been the point but I didn't think it worked.

I also think you need to have at least an intermediate understanding of the French language to understand some of what he's saying. I suspect the author assumes prior knowledge of the French language as rarely translated any of the French phrases in the book though bizarelly at the end he adds a glossary on some interesting French terms and words which are more simple than the book's text. Begs the question, why did he not translate the more complex text?

Overall, partly amusing, partly random nonsense. I wouldn't recommend it. If interested in this type of thing then read: A Year in the Merde which is much more insightful and much funnier.

A missed opportunity.
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