- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Gibson Square Books Ltd (7 May 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908096101
- ISBN-13: 978-1908096104
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 991,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Folly of French Kissing: A Novel Paperback – 7 May 2012
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'Wonderfully atmospheric story that zips along and demands to be read in a single long sitting.' --Daily Mail, Debut Fiction Review
'very funny...begins as a sprightly Sapphic St Trinian s ends with a more than dark hint of Lolita. Highly recommended.' --A.N. Wilson, Spectator
About the Author
Carla McKay is a journalist, reviewer and former fiction editor of the Daily Mail. She lived for half a year in a small village in the Languedoc, France, which inspired this novel. Currently she divides her time between London and Oxford.
Top Customer Reviews
The Folly of French Kissing combines light humour, believable characters and a darker, much more sinister undertone that plays out convincingly without ever getting too heavy at any time, making it a fantastically enjoyable summer read.
The main character is the ex-school teacher Judith who is fascinating in her own right as she struggles to come to terms with her new life in France after escaping the tawdry school scandal which cost her dearly in the form of her job. Judith's character isn't easy to warm to or even relate to but as events unfold she becomes somewhat of a heroine and the way things turn out for her are especially pleasing.
Other leading characters include journalist Tim who is remarkably tame for an apparently cut throat journalist and manages to come across very well, especially once he gets involved with Fern and her trouble son Ben. My favourite characters are the Campions, including the villain of the tale Lance who I think is fantastically drawn and very easy to dislike even before you discover the horrifying extent of his misdemeanours. His wife Jean is a bit more of a stereotype but it's impossible not to feel empathy and compassion for her as events are revealed.Read more ›
It falls lamentably short on both fronts. We learn that the south of France is hot, that the French are inscrutable and that the English behave like caricature English people. There is a paedophile, who is very, very bad - which like everything else in the book is hardly a surprise.
(I suppose that the pecking order of unacceptableness these days dictates that the villain has to be a paedophile. It's like those now dated whodunits featuring American female detectives where you could always spot the villain early on: it's the sexist!)
This is however what publishers like to call a `page-turner'. This is because of the mesmerising quality of the writing. You read it in disbelief, wondering what atrocities the author will commit next, and she keeps the standard up to the very end. It is a vacuous stream of consciousness, from which great big clichés shyly emerge (so-and-so, for instance, we are unblinkingly informed, was `not a happy bunny') and into which commas have been flung as if by a blind darts player. Carla McKay doesn't really do punctuation. No doubt when she writes for the Daily Mail they have a sub-editor who does it for her.
Spelling is also occasionally a problem. We are invited to recall `the hair-raising American film, Dual...the one where the innocent motorist is pursued at breakneck speeds by a psychotic trucker'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read. As others have commented, don't be put off by the silly title and the terrible cover. Read morePublished 8 months ago by PJ
This was one of many books I downloaded during August and the Amazon reading challenge. As a real 'Francophile' I was a little put off by the cover and even the title, but I am... Read morePublished on 9 Oct. 2012 by Avid Reader
I concur with all the reviewers: five-, four- and one-star. This is indeed a gripping page-turner, well constructed and with convincing characters and an exciting if somewhat... Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2012 by robert francis
Light hearted chick litty book, easy read and most enjoyable. Story line of ex-pats being resented at their take over of a small French village and an anti-British campaign by the... Read morePublished on 16 Aug. 2012 by Elaine Simpson-long
This is a wonderful book, with sharply observed characters, a terrific sense of place and great humanity. Read morePublished on 6 July 2012 by Jim Peterson