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81 Reviews
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est magnifique!
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...
Published on 13 Nov. 2007 by Swizzlestick

versus
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not the book for me
I'm clearly in the minority here but I didn't find this book to be particularly well-written (notwithstanding that the author appears to be/have been a drama critic & columnist on the Telegraph) or interesting. I love France, have spent a lot of time there and intend to settle one day so I can empathise with the author's situation. Unlike some reviewers I had never read...
Published on 23 Jan. 2011 by Marand


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est magnifique!, 13 Nov. 2007
This review is from: C'est La Folie (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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did what it said on the tin, 27 July 2007
By 
S. L. Martins (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (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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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On how to live sans Marmite and hard cheese, 3 Aug. 2006
By 
M. B. Ashman (Truro Cornwall England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'Est La Folie - Author Michael Wright, 21 Aug. 2006
By 
Mrs. Kristien E. Massie (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (Hardcover)
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're miserable then read this, 15 Nov. 2010
By 
Rob Sawyer (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (Paperback)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very amusing and touching book, 6 Aug. 2007
This review is from: C'est La Folie (Paperback)
I really found this book a very amusing read and was suprisingly touched at the more poignant sections. I would recommend this book to anyone with a love of France and escapist novels.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Read in Months, 31 Aug. 2006
By 
R. C. Curtis "Rosemary Curtis" (Dumfriesshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (Hardcover)
C'est La Folie is a gentle very positive tale written by an endearing author who considers his readers - perhaps, their fast- paced Blighty lifestyle (and with less cheerful sunshine than he enjoys in France), perhaps, too, a person only able to read a chapter here, or there - so Michael Wright generously reminds the reader of a name or incident. The reminders are never patronising or irritating. They radiate kindliness.

The book is packed with anecdotes, while his analogies about animals, or workmen, or lovesickness for his grand piano, even the flights in his aeroplane, are evocative. He captures something `lost' from modern society, without judgement or wistfulness, and gives it back to his readers in spades. I'd rather read 10 books by Michael Wright than a typical selection of so-called bestsellers, faithfully columned each weekend in our broadsheets.

A copyright issue, perhaps? "Today is Monday. I've given myself a week to find a house near an aerodrome." It is this reviewer's hope that C'est La Folie will be published in large-print as soon as possible: not just because of the scandalous dearth of large-print in the non-fiction genre but, also, because Michael Wright (like Nicholas Crane's Clear Waters Rising, and Peter Mortimer's Broke Through Britain) has that pure gift of taking you with them...in words, yes, but their `words' dance from within themselves.

C'est La Folie is an excellent read - at any level, and for most age groups. And for visually impaired people to have the chance to read it in large-print, would indeed be a treasure trove - especially if in paperback to reduce the weight for frail, housebound people. And, please remember, deaf people cannot always enjoy audio books.

Rosemary Curtis, Dumfriesshire Scotland
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Formidable!, 12 Feb. 2008
By 
P. Thomas "Penny" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (Paperback)
My husband and I love Michael Wright's Telegraph column and so I bought him this book and he loved it and kept laughing out loud and then I read it and loved it too. It is beautifully written and full of humour and humanity and one laughs and cries with the characters both human and animal that are so well drawn and real. I would strongly recommend it to anyone and we can't wait for the sequel. Thank you Michael.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars life in france, 5 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (Paperback)
any one one who has a house in France but lives in England....do not buy this book it will make you so homesick ..I think we live relatively close to Mr Wright so any time an aeroplane flies over I will allways look for the little yellow plane...perfect picture of rural france ..wish i had seen la folie first i would have bought it too...only downpoint in the book is Mr Wrights French is too good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbe!, 26 Jan. 2008
By 
Rachel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C'est La Folie (Paperback)
I had never heard of Michael Wright prior to reading this book as 'one doesn't take the Telegraph'! However, it is a gorgeous little book about upping sticks and going for a complete change of life in France. It is warm, sad, funny and makes me want to get on a ferry right now! I am very much looking forward to a sequel which I believe is in the pipeline.
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C'est La Folie
C'est La Folie by Michael Wright (Hardcover - 1 Aug. 2006)
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