Customer Reviews


48 Reviews
5 star:
 (29)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done
"Almost French" is the story of a woman who goes to France to visit a French lawyer she has only met a couple times before and barely knows. Of course, she gets caught up in the romance of the city and stays on to live there. Despite this description this is not some drippy love story but rather a wonderfully observant series of accounts told from a journalists point of...
Published on 10 Nov 2004 by Isadore Ann

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy!
As a lifelong Francophile, I hoover up any book of this type (ex-pat moves to France and describes trials and tribulations with the locals). However, I was sorely disappointed.
The book is curiously dispassionate, even more bizarre given that the author relocates for love. The only time that she manages to raise any excitement is when she is moaning at the...
Published on 10 Nov 2010 by Vichyssoise


‹ Previous | 14 5 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Presque Parisienne, 16 Sep 2007
This review is from: Almost French: A New Life in Paris (Paperback)
These ex-pat books seem ever so formulaic after a while:

1. Go to France
2. Play up differences between the French and Anglo-Saxons
3. Write a Book
4. Profit!!!

Books taking sideswipes at Gallic culture obviously have a market. So far we've had

1. Crafty Provencals bamboozle London Sophisticate (Peter Mayle - A Year in Provence ISBN-13: 978-0140296037) - shades of Pagnol
2. American Chatteratti bonds with Parisian Chic Set (Adam Gopnik - Paris to the Moon - ISBN-13: 978-0375758232)
3. Brit mocks the gin-swilling Dordogneshire ex-pat crowd (Suzy Kelly - Two Steps Backwards - ISBN-13: 978-0553816204)

And of course
4. Uncultured Aussie all at sea with the Paris smart set. - Almost French

One can't help feeling that George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London - ISBN-13: 978-0140282566) did it so much better in the 1930s by actually walking the walk rather than just mocking from the sidelines.

Almost French, although as another reviewer said, Almost Parisienne would be a better title falls into a class of books you could dub "journo-lit". Rather than having a strong central theme this kind of writing is a series of articles that could have been churned out for aircraft in-flight travel magazines. While each article is well crafted and somewhat informative a 320 page book feels a bit much and Almost French was quite plodding at the end. It seems most of Sarah's adventures had happened in here first 12 months in Paris.

I've given the book 4/5 because, apart from the last chapters which are not that engaging and a bit rushed (maybe she could have cut the waffle about the dog) the book is well written and there are some funny passages and I think people who like these kinds of books will find this pretty good fayre. Having done the whole Paris thing (I lived 5 years in the French capital) I must say I have trouble identifying with the experiences of Sarah (and I'm also married to a lawyer) and feel that she had played up some of the problems and I don't really agree with some of her critics. People have to understand that France is different but that doesn't necessarily mean it is bad. In the end Sarah seemed to have acquired some of the worst traits of a certain crown of Parisiennes - the BCBGs - without becoming as French as she perhaps thought.

Some bits that jarred were the bit where the Green mayor of the 4ieme district that married her and Frederic saying they were the future of marriages - well if having the carbon footprint of Portugal (with all the cheap flights to Oz) is a Green mayor's idea of viable future well then... Bonjour!

The piffle about Jospin's talented female ministerial team - Aubry and Royal were pretty useless and prattling on about the sisterhood - really does make her sound like some sub Germaine Greer lecturing the non-PC Europeans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 27 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This was a good, light read. I found her views on French women a little harsh. The french women I have befriended during my years as an expat have been more than willing to make friends and not the standoffish, cold creatures that Turnbull portrayed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased, 2 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Almost French: A New Life in Paris (Paperback)
Very pleased on receiving the book, even had a plastic protective cover and was in very good condition thank you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read, 20 Dec 2004
By A Customer
I really enjoyed this book, very amusing in parts, & everyone I've lent it too also liked it, a cheerful overview of life in France
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 29 April 2007
By 
M. Graham - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Almost French: A New Life in Paris (Paperback)
I bought this book after goin to paris myself and falling in love with the place and i must say it was a great book to remember paris with. Also if you like fashion as i do there are some fabulous bits about parissienne fashion. Its insightful, light and witty

Just a great read really
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a delight, 9 July 2010
By 
judifoodi (northumberland, England) - See all my reviews
A delightful book about a young australian journalist going to Paris to stay with a young Frenchman and her observations and
experiences of living in Paris and with a Frenchman.
My Mother and I have read it several times.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near almost "French", 28 Aug 2005
"Almost Parisienne" would have been a far more appropriate title. The people and culture that she wrote about have very little in common with the vast majority of French people who do not live in or around Paris.
There were some interesting vignettes and cameos but I felt that the book lacked momentum and enthusiasm. It was flat and there was very little change of pace to relieve this unrelenting flatness.
The authors' boyfriend and ultimately husband was a two dimensional figure and seemed to play very little part in her life except as an occasional stooge and/or fall guy.
I did admire her tenacity in finding work as a freelance journalist but maybe she should still to journalism because there are very few books that I decide not to bother finishing and this was one of them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, tiresome book, 2 Feb 2009
This review is from: Almost French: A New Life in Paris (Paperback)
The book is neither informative nor funny. The author could hardly speak French when she moved to Paris, and apart from a 4 weeks course didn't bother to learn, therefore her perspective is very limited. The book is about a self centred, whiny woman who by chance happens to be in Paris.
Apart from few anecdotes the book could have been placed near enough anywhere. It's not even a love story, beacause her relationship with her French partner aren't discussed (not the romantic side nor the subject of communication- how did they manage when his English was just as good as her French?). The book is a waste of time. Almost French ? Utter bore more suitable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 14 5 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Almost French: A New Life in Paris
Almost French: A New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull (Paperback - 26 May 2005)
6.15
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews