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C'est La Folie Hardcover – 1 Aug 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (1 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593054695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593054697
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3.8 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Surrey in 1966, Michael Wright had an unfashionably happy education at Windlesham and Sherborne before graduating from Edinburgh University with a first in English Literature, and beginning a career as an arts journalist, theatre critic and columnist. A profound life-change now finds him living in rural France with a flock of very small sheep, several chickens, a lairy labrador from Baltimore and a sarcastic cat.

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Review

"What elevates this book... is Wright's gentle humour and his ability to create a vivid impression of his literal and emotional journey... with such wit and perception" SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "Hilarious and evocative... Michael Wright's book provides the most startlingly honest answer to the question of "can you live your dreams or do they inevitably turn into nightmares?" -- Dr RAJ PERSAUD "Wright captures the fun of the countryside perfectly" THE SUNDAY TIMES

Book Description

An overly urban man's search for a deeper, richer, simpler life (not to mention a dishy copine) in the heart of rural France...

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Swizzlestick on 13 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
Being a great fan of Michael Wright's column in The Telegraph, I was expecting much of "C'est la folie". How completely undisappointed I was!

It probably won't appeal to the type of person who can cheerfully kill an ox with their bare hands, or happily strangle a chicken without a moment's thought, but animal lovers will relate to the author's gentleness and his love of animals, and share his pain at some of the inevitable small tragedies that he faces.

The wit with which this previously timid townie describes his intrepid battle build a life for himself, his cat and his aeroplane in rural France had me sobbing with laughter. He faces all the challenges hurled at him by man, woman and beast, from chasing a runaway cockerel over hill and dale dressed in wellies and pyjamas with no elastic, to breaking up a cat-fight between two hair-pulling harridans in the local supermarket. He throws himself unhesitatingly into local sports, regardless of whether of not he knows anything about them, and occasionally takes to the skies in his vintage aircraft.

If you have a soul, a love of animals, your fellow human beings, and rural France, and appreciate deliciously lyrical writing and subtle humour, you will simply love this book, and you will be praying that the author will find the soulmate he seeks to share his highs and heartaches.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Martins on 27 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I am not sure if the stars are supposed to reflect literary excellence or how much the individual reviewer enjoyed the book. For me, the five stars represent how much I enjoyed reading it and how much I annoyed my husband by laughing out loud and reading out extracts to him.

I have never read any of Micheal Wright's columns or even heard of him. I chose this book over other summer reads because I lived in France as a child, live in Portugal now and was interested on someone else's take on living abroad. I also wanted something topical but light to read whilst on holiday in France last week (in a tent, in the rain).

I recognise that I am a prime candidate for the author's target audience and can see it might not appeal to those wanting more substance from their reads. It is witty, light, occasionally cheesey and occasionally thought provoking. This book ticked all the boxes of my expectations and was spot on in its characterisations and experiences in integrating with the locals in a foreign country.

In addition, anyone who is thinking of moving their own life closer to nature, in the UK or elsewhere, might benefit from Wright's emotional experiences of keeping livestock. Next time I feed my dinner scraps to our neighbour's chickens, I shall be looking at them in a whole new light (the chickens, not the neighbours). I am now thinking twice about whether I am ready to have chickens of my own!

I too miss my piano.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rob Sawyer on 15 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could just write 'simply wonderful' that would be enough to describe my opinion of this book. Perhaps it's because I have quite a bit in common with Michaeal Wright (pilot, Grand Piano, French in laws who live near him) but I think it's more to do with the fact that this is a great book.

For some odd reason although I always buy the DT on a Saturday I never read his columns. Perhaps odder is that I bought this book, but with the number of good reviews it was impossible to ignore.

I am sure you know the story, bloke gets bored in London and does a sort of Good Life in France. But it's more than that. There's lot of characters (human and non human) to enjoy, bits of French, and it is a good insight into the culture of somewhat 'out of the way' France, many bells rang for me reading those bits.

It's also well written, easy to read a nice style with self deprecation and humour, I even laughed out loud a couple of times, unheard of for me normally.

It shows that if you follow your dream and can get used to the ways of countrylife you might just find a better person within.

Brilliant!
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Ashman on 3 Aug 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is such a life-enhancing book; written with honesty,style and self-deprecatory humour.

One man's journey into wisdom.Beginning a new life on an isolated French hillside,renovating not only an ancient farmhouse but his very soul.

He writes engagingly of his immersion into French country life and the gradual acceptance of 'l'anglais' by his neighbours.

The trials and triumphs of animal husbandry are related with humour and warmth when Titus,the aptly named

cockerel, arrives to join his harem of hens,'the girls'.

Before long ,Gaston, the charismatic ram and his entourage of wild Ouessant sheep join the homestead bringing new life and heart-ache in equal measure.

I loved the book for its honesty and Michael Wright's rare gift in expressing his own humanity with truth,sensitivity and witty self-deprecation.He left me reassured that our own personal quest to understand and accept our mortality yet live with hope and joie de vivre is shared.

Vive La Folie !
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Kristien E. Massie on 21 Aug 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a prolific reader and I seldom come across a book which is absolutely spellbinding and this is one of those books. I found I was unable to put it down, time went right out of the window! For me, it will be re-readable and in my collection I only have a handful of such literary penmanship.

Michael Wright tells of his early years in England and his future dreams but becomes dissatisfied enough to seek adventure to prove to himself that he can accomplish something worthwhile. Having previously visited France this is where he ultimately makes his home, and in the heart of rural France he buys a delapatated abode with land attached. He has to undertake the ardious renovation both of the property and the land. To distract him from his labours he becomes the proud owner of chickens and sheep, giving them names is part of the fun! Not to mention his wonderful neighbours and village inhabitants - all of them characters in their own right (pardon the pun!).

Mr Wright has that rare ability to write in such a way that the reader is immediately transported to being with him in person.

Without giving too much away, there is wonderful humour to render the reader to laugh out loud but there is also sensitivity and touches of sadness - these emotions go hand in hand with the life he has made for himself.

The manner in which he pens his words is a treat and a feast for the eyes. Could we live in hope for more of the same?!

Kris Massie

West Sussex, England
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