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Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France Paperback – 3 Aug 2009


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Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France + Son of Serge Bastarde: Mayhem in the Antiques Markets of Rural France + L'Auberge (Fogas Chronicles)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (3 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840247703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840247701
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Dummer has been a local paper reporter, music business press officer, record plugger and broadcaster. In the sixties he toured with his own John Dummer Blues Band and in the seventies drummed with the hit doo-wop revival group Darts. He met his wife Helen when she was the photographer on a Darts photo-session.
After Darts Helen and John formed their own group, True Life Confessions, and also recorded as the duo, John Dummer and Helen April. John went on to manage the powerhouse rock trio the Screaming Blue Messiahs.
After three years of touring the States, burnt out from all the madness, he upped sticks with Helen and moved to France. There followed a two year sojurn living in a windmill in the Alentejo region of Portugal, and a return to France with finances much depleted. They discovered if they registered as 'brocanteurs'(French antique market traders)they could work and be covered under the excellent French health system.
It was working the French outdoor markets and the amusing and fascinating characters he met that inspired John to write his first book, SERGE BASTARDE ATE MY BAGUETTE. The sequel SON OF SERGE BASTARDE is published by Summersdale on June 4th. John and Helen now live in South West France in the middle of the Landes forest with their dog Buster and quite a lot of cats.

Product Description

Review

'Well written and set at an engaging pace... easy-to-read humorous account of one man's expat dream... is an enjoyable read.' --Featured in Living Abroad Magazine, August 2009 issue.

charming and wonderful, hilarious from start to finish... Fun Fun Read!! --Julie of Waterstone's Lancaster, August 2009

Review

`Yes, Serge Bastarde is his real name: he's a rogueish French brocanteur... Highjinks in rural Aquitaine ensue.'

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kristopher Gray on 10 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
Yes Serge Bastarde is his real name, so ex Darts Drummer John Dummer, also from seminal 60's band The John Dummer Blues Band, assures us. I do believe him as it is a common name in the south of France where he lives. After serving his term in the music business as the drummer for the aforementioned groups and managing 80's band The Screaming Blue Messiahs, John upped sticks and moved to France with his wife, to become an antiques dealer.

It was here that he met the charismatic Serge, who in his inimitable way; teaches our John the ins and outs of the Brocanteur, flea market trader to you. Serge is without doubt a Rouge with a capital `R'. Content to pose as a local official to extract valuables from unsuspecting punters. He also has no scruples when setting up our gullible John as the patsy for his nefarious shenanigans. The story of the Stradivarius brought tears to my eyes.

This book is a real page-turner, which I finished in no time and I really hope there will be a sequel in the not too distant future. If you've read and enjoyed the books by Stephen Clarke then this one is definitely for you. If you haven't then this is a great place to start reading about the adventures of ex pats in France.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. G. Deakin on 21 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
Gentle, entertaining, sometimes funny account of life as an antique dealer in France. The narrative sometimes lacks a bit of punch, but there are some interesting characters on the way and, overall, I enjoyed it.Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By melodykleff on 1 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
Not what I was expecting but very entertaining nevertheless. As well as being a "I escaped to France" book there is a lot of information about the brocante (bric-a-brac, antiques) scene. The characters are depicted vividly, although I'm glad I haven't met some of them! Anyone who has spent any time living in rural France will realise Mr Dummer has described the people who populate the tiny villages and towns with skill and humour. A quick cheerful read, perhaps for a weekend break across the Channel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen FOLEY on 14 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
Entertaining and fun to read, but I find it hard to believe that it is all entirely fact. Serge Bastarde is surely either a fictional character, or a genuine real-life person who has had his antics exaggerated somewhat. Just doesn't ring true.
Steve Foley
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mr Risoe on 1 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
John Dummer's sharply focused descriptions of the landscape, towns and villages, and the weather of the South West of France form a animated background for a series of adventures with an array of characters from some intimidating and belligerent peasants, only softened by a mutual love of the blues harmonica, to a sad little old man whose only companionship is a collection of antique dolls. The main character is Serge Bastarde, the brocanteur and mentor to the author and instigator of these adventures, and Dummer was not making the name up! This archetypal lovable rogue springs off the pages with great energy and good humour, and made this reviewer wonder what a splendid character for a TV series and who would play him. This book is an engaging and entertaining read with a style both literary and colloquial, very good descriptions merged with references to an alcoholic past as a blues drummer to his finding happiness with his wife and a very unconventional lifestyle in rural France. John Dummer can add storyteller to the list of his accomplishments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rose Wood on 5 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Yet another 'Brit moves Abroad' saga, but I enjoyed it. Light-hearted and humorous, it's not a great literary work, doesn't require too much deep thought, but does what is says on the tin, which is to entertain. Worth a read.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Failed Pop Star on 19 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A title that references a celebrated Sun newspaper headline is not designed to lure me in, but I'm very glad I overcame my reservations. This is a minor gem.
As the title suggests, Dummer is not the hero of his own story. Rather he is the chronicler (and sometimes unwitting accessory) in a series of (mis-) adventures, and he undertakes the task with humour, insight, compassion and a palpably growing affection for the book's roguish anti-hero, for whom the casual purloining of an unwatched baguette is the very least of his misdemeanours.
If it helps to picture a Gallic combination of Daley and Trotter, you're not too far wrong.
But don't expect the usual `hilarious' tales of cultural dissonance or the smug condescension of second home-buying, dilettante Brits. After years living with the uncertainties of the music industry, in the UK, Dummer and his wife Helen decamped to south west France in the Eighties - in a decision that seems almost breathtakingly whimsical - to reinvent themselves as operators in the even more precarious, French rural antiques trade and brocante markets. And there they have been ever since, absorbed into the community of brocanteurs and competing on equal terms in a far from easy, hand-to-mouth endeavour, where, at least for M'sieu Bastarde, morals are necessarily flexible and sometimes a dispensable luxury.
Funny, affectionate, and even, on occasion, genuinely edgy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roving Chester on 21 Feb 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Anyone acquainted with musicians will know that they tend to have an acute sense of humour, but not many of them have the skills to put that humour to good literary use. John Dummer is the exception that proves the rule, for his account of skulduggery in the world of the brocanteur is frequently amusing and sometimes hilarious. He tells his tale with the easy style of the born raconteur, bringing to vibrant life the numerous odd characters that people his daily life, not least the "Del garcon" wheeler-dealer of the title. Serge Bastarde is set to go down as one of the great characters of travel writing, and I look forward to his further adventures!
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