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The Reluctant Traveller: France and the French by [Byron, Patrick]
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The Reluctant Traveller: France and the French Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd.; 1 edition (7 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FPXASX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,291 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Well ok.. more than one comment.. this was quite a funny book... it does focus a bit on the differences lets say between the French and the Brits.. but its done very tasteful.. I think .. Im not sure maybe some of it was a bit near the knuckle but I enjoyed it . Like I said its on the short side .. I need to google the author to see if he has written anything else..
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I don't usually provide feedback on music/books as it is so subjective, however I took a punt on this as I was seeking something light and funny after spending the last year working through Game of Thrones.

I have no insightful critique, but feel compelled to say that this provided exactly what I was looking for; quite simply it made me laugh!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This rather reminded me of naively heading off around Europe myself after University. It was funny from the word go, and Stanley's schedule certainly made me chuckle. Full of witty anecdotes, this is a light hearted read with some great observations about France. A bit crude and obvious in parts, but overall well worth a read
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Format: Kindle Edition
I can't recall the last time that a book gave as much hilarity as "The Reluctant Traveler." The opening lines had me laughing out loud, and the hoots, guffaws, titters and belly laughs continued until I regretfully turned the last page.
Mr. Byron is one of those Englishmen who believes that "the wogs start at Calais." Imagine his consternation when he finds himself maneuvered by Stanley, his pretentious, busybody Francophile friend, into agreeing to a summer excursion across the Channel. The bickering, ill-assorted pair set out on what quickly disintegrates into a series of hilarious misadventures.
Francophobia, Mr. Byron reminds us, has a long and proud tradition in Britain, and especially among those members of the island race who actually see the neighboring country first hand. He quotes liberally from the 18th Century travel journals of Smollett and Sterne to prove his point, as well as from such luminaries as the Duke of Wellington: "We have always been, we are, and I hope that we shall always be detested in France."
All this malice might be regarded as excessive, were it not for the fact the Mr. Byron's treatment at the hands of those French people he meets in the course of his journey--corrupt police, snooty waiters and sadistic medical men--incline the reader to think that he is perfectly justified in his prejudices.
Mr. Byron has a gift for combining low comedy with Olympian literary and historical gags. Sometimes the gags are so highbrow that the general reader is liable to miss them altogether. For example, when he and Stanley encounter a pair of blundering American tourists at the Musée D'Orsay, the Americans inquire of the lads in their best pidgin French if they are at the Gare D'Orsay--the railroad station of the same name.
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Not what I expected, I expected to read on French traits & customs & have a laugh. The book was more about poor sarcasm & travelling on the ferry. not recommending it. I read a few pages then deleted it, don't waste your money !
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Patrick Byron is educated, and that's the one drawback in this otherwise excellent little book. He assumes the reader is as schooled and knowledgeable as himself and Stanley. I was about ¾ of the way through before I realised that I was researching far too many French philosophers than I would normally expect to.

Certain sentences made absolutely no sense whatsoever to me; "The real difference between the two nations (France and England) is not 1789 but 1848." Now in the history room at Oxbridge I'm sure this would raise understanding smiles at the astute and perceptive wit, but as for me, I haven't the faintest idea what happened on either of those dates. So wait there I'm going to look it up.

Okay, I've found it. 1789 was the French Revolution, and 1848 was the European Revolutions, affecting apparently 50 countries, although it too started in France. I still don't get the joke.

Another sentence that had me wondering what on earth was going on; "The unspoken insult behind the premise, I suppose, was that Stanley had been Yorick and that I was Smellfungus."

Made no sense to me at the time, but I figured that he must have at least mentioned these two before, so I first of all looked up Smellfungus. Earlier in the book we learn that apparently "Sterne called Smollet `The Learned Smellfungus.'"

No wiser I've now got to look up Sterne and Smollet. They're travel writers from the 18th century, and we were informed about them earlier in the book, but I'd forgotten.

But who's Yorick? I don't know. He's only mentioned once in the book, so I'm going to have to Google him. Okay, I've got him, he was a dead court jester in Shakespeare's Hamlet; "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well!
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France and the French is a rip-roaring read. Patrick Byron takes us on a comic,though clever, romp through France exposing all of our prejudices and manages to give us a humorous, somewhat perverse, history lesson. He also sees the funny side of architecture and art. It's reminiscent of Milligan,Tom Sharpe and Jerome - and all the better for it. Also, it's a snip at £1.99.
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