Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smile for each year, 4 Jun. 2012
This review is from: 1000 Years of Annoying the French (Paperback)
An ideal book to read curled up on the sofa in front of the fire on a cold night (most nights in the UK)if you're female, or settled on the privy if you're a bloke- except for Oxford dons or donnas, or whatever lady dons are called, who probably wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
Some reviewers take the Francophobe thing a bit too seriously, and in fact if your school days were spent desperately trying to stay awake during snoozeville school history lessons, this is a pretty good way of tracing Anglo-Saxon (Mr Clarke pulls in the Americans quite a bit)-French relationships over the last millenium, filling many gaps we weren't taught much about, such as colonial and exploration rivalries in far flung corners of the planet, as well as cultural issues ranging from spats over cuisine to fashion. Humour abounds, but the author doesn't skimp on uncomfortable events where Brits or English don't come out well either His affection for France and the French is obvious-after all, don't most of us poke the most fun at our friends?
I have to say there is one tiny thing that does irritate me in this book. When he's dealing with WWII, Mr Clarke refers to German 'Panzer tanks'. 'Panzer' is simply German for 'tank' or 'armoured', so he's actually saying 'tank tank' or 'panzer panzer'. It's either just plain 'tank' or 'panzer'. So there we go, a Brit irritated by something in a book about irritating the French on a matter which has nothing to do with the French at all.
I suppose the acid test is the answers to the questions: would this book enourage me to read further on the subjects he covers, or read one of his other books? The answer is very likely, on both counts.
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