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Son of Serge Bastarde: Mayhem in the Antiques Markets of Rural France
Son of Serge Bastarde: Mayhem in the Antiques Markets of Rural France
by John Dummer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The son also ruses..., 21 Sept. 2012
Dummer's sequel to the quirky and very entertaining Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette delves further into the uncertain ducking and diving world of southern French brocante markets.
There's a famous story that recounts Mike and Bernie Winters' first appearance at the notorious Glasgow Empire where, after Mike's introductory clarinet solo turn, Bernie pokes his head round the curtains, prompting an audience member to howl: "Oh Christ, there's two of them!"
That may well have been Dummer's unvoiced reaction to the appearance of Serge's indolent, rap culture-loving son, Didier. In fact though, it is Serge himself who continues to be the main pivot throughout a second volume of picaresque adventure, vivid characterisation and occasional, heart-quickening dodginess; a Runyonesque combination in which the narrator is similarly, repeatedly and unwittingly embroiled.
Unlike so many English scribblers, living the French dream, Dummer doesn't sit by the pool, happily ruminating on the discrepancy in property prices between the English home counties and south west France. He is there to make a living and however far you may buy into the stories, you can at least be sure they are based on a fund of first hand, real life experiences that may well be unique among expats. A genuinely different angle and a lot of laughs.


Sub Zero Meraklon Thermal Neck Tube Black
Sub Zero Meraklon Thermal Neck Tube Black
Offered by Sub Zero Store
Price: £9.99

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just fine, but eye watering postage costs, 13 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Yes, I'm sure this will do the job, as advertised. I don't have a problem with the product itself, BUT... I ordered two of these and they doubled the already pretty high postage costs. So, they both arrived fairly promptly, in the same jiffy bag, weighing about the same as a rasher of air, at a cost of... £8.98 p+p. Do factor this in, when you're thinking they look cheap.


Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France
Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France
by John Dummer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.34

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A minor gem., 19 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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