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38 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as the earlier books
I tend to agree with other opinions expressed about number 5 in the Merde series not being quite as good as 1-4. But that doesn't mean this isn't an enjoyable book, on the contrary, it just means we've been spoilt by the sublime story-telling, comedy and observations of the earlier books. Rest assured that all the familiar elements of those novels are still there, but...
Published on 9 Nov. 2012 by GM12

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less interesting than previous books
After Stephen Clarke's earlier books I found this one disappointing. This one lacked the humour usually associated with his observations of French society and culture and the story was somewhat less interesting
Published on 22 Oct. 2012 by anthony muchall


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as the earlier books, 9 Nov. 2012
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I tend to agree with other opinions expressed about number 5 in the Merde series not being quite as good as 1-4. But that doesn't mean this isn't an enjoyable book, on the contrary, it just means we've been spoilt by the sublime story-telling, comedy and observations of the earlier books. Rest assured that all the familiar elements of those novels are still there, but perhaps with a little less punch.

So, as brilliant as the earlier books? No. Still a fun read? Absolutely. Hence 4 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The merde could hit the fan a little bit harder, 26 Sept. 2012
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The Merde Factor is as entertaining and well-written as the previous four adventures of Englishman Paul West and definetely worth a recommendation if you have read the others. As the book is relatively short and therefore the story is quite straight forward it unfortunately lacks a bit of the typical sense of humour and hilarious situations Paul had to deal with the last four times. Or in other words: The merde could have hit the fan a little bit harder for my expectations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE FANTASTIQUE FACTOR, 22 Nov. 2012
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Great to read that 'Pool' West is alive and kicking in Paris. I have all of Monsieur Clarke's books and this one continues to titillate from start to finish. Love the way he writes - try it for yourself!SO YOU WANT TO WIN WIMBLEDON?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less interesting than previous books, 22 Oct. 2012
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After Stephen Clarke's earlier books I found this one disappointing. This one lacked the humour usually associated with his observations of French society and culture and the story was somewhat less interesting
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first one is the best, 3 Dec. 2012
The last of the "Merde" books is funny and still good read. You will probably not be disappointed, but to be honest, none of the Paul West stories is as good as the first one. ;)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Clouded Hilariousness, 20 Dec. 2012
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This is Peter Mayle on steroids. Should be good stuff. Unfortunately the author tries too hard and if one dares reflect the comic effect is greatly diminished. I mean since when has a car-rental company found itself short of stock and rented out a single-seater dumper truck ?! And since when has an engagement ring (however cheap) dissolved in a glass of champagne so that the unfortunate recipient swallows the "diamonds" and fishes out a lustreless grey thing ? I think Mr. Clarke should not imagine his readers will find everything hilarious. Then there is the constant necessity of ensuring all follow the "double entendres" and this means laboriously translating the French at every opportunity - rather boring for those who understand it - most of us, I suspect ! The storyline in this book is perhaps not his best although it rattles along at a nice clipt pace, but ends almost too cosily, as though life is like that ! However if his whimsical phantasies are taken as escapist literature, I suppose it might work. The best aspect for me were his arch observations of French bureaucracy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suz, 15 Oct. 2012
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There is no doubt this is a funny book and on the whole i enjoyed it, but i have to say i got very irritated with the sentences in french. Stupid thing to say you might say judging by the cover and the fact it has a very french feel to it, and to an extent i agree. But although many authors do this with all sorts of languages, this one doesn't have the meanings... i struggled with the limited amount of french i did at school and got there, but it did take a big shine of the story.

Having said that, there is very many people who will see straight past the french and enjoy this book whole heartily, the humor is brilliant and the book did keep me gripped to the end so i would give another of these books ago, but without any promises.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!, 26 Oct. 2012
I have read all the other books by Stephen Clarke, on the "Merde" line. This one is by far the worse and must surely indicate that the author has reached the end of the line on this particular topic. As a Frenchman and long term resident in the UK, I have always enjoyed Stephen's writing style and accuracy of observation on our quirky " mode de vie". "The Merde factor" is very poor in my opinion. The story line is bland and far fetched. Unlike its predecessors, it just isn't funny or really topical...anywhere! The plot is off to a slow start and just does not get going. A very disappointing read! I am glad I borrowed the book from a friend and not paid for it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 16 April 2014
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In general, I found the book enjoyable throughout. In parts, it was as good as the others in the series, in parts it had me laughing out loud. Will look forward to reading number 6!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Paul West book, 11 Feb. 2014
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You always know what you're going to get with Stephen Clarke. Some moments made me laugh out loud on the train.
A good enjoyable read.
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The Merde Factor: (Paul West 5)
The Merde Factor: (Paul West 5) by Stephen Clarke (Paperback - 28 Mar. 2013)
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