What We French Think of You British - and Where You are Going Wrong Paperback – 5 Jul 2011
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After all the excitement of Jerry Seinfeld, here comes the latest exotic import to arrive on these shores and show us how comedy really should be done. Marcel Lucont is the brilliantly conceived creation of stand-up Alexis Dubus and is releasing his first book..which features (among other things) a tribute to Serge Gainsbourg and a diatribe against the disappointing shape of British breasts. --The Guardian Guide, 9 July, 2011
About the Author
Marcel Lucont describes himself as a flaneur, raconteur and bon-viveur. He has attracted a cult following on the international comedy scene with his trademark sardonic musings, his sharp wit and his louche poetry. Winner of the Buxton Fringe Award 2009 for Best Comedy Individual and the Three Weeks Editors' Choice Award at Edinburgh 2008, he is easily the best French comedian on the comedy circuit today. Just ask him. He currently resides in London for as long as he can put up with your moaning. www.myspace.com/marcellucont
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Yes the humour is pretty cutting, but I found myself going, yup, yup time and time again in agreement, and I didn't really detect any malice; it was all humourous. He talks about British pets, chat-up lines, our 'class' system, men, girls (sounds like he only associates with sterotyped 'Essex girls'), the monarchy, drinking and pubs, sport, cuisine (the lack of, according to the French), England, Wales, Scotland, and of course our weather. There's a grain of truth in all he says, so anyone would find it hard to take offense.
I'm 42, a British Asian and enjoyed it, my hubby who is 47 and of German/Polish and English/Welsh descent thought it quite funny and no doubt the humour and sarcasm will also appeal to our 19yo uni son. A book for all.
That said, for me, it's not a book to be read and re-read, but one of those to either leave in the loo (the author says that that's what we Brits do; we love to spend time in our loos and kit them out accordingly) or on a coffee table. Or perhaps to be used in Best Man speeches. Pass it forward and pass on the enjoyment.
At least the British reader can take consolation from the fact that some blame can be laid on the Americans, who we are invited to laugh at too. Generous swipes are taken at 'our' society, place names, culture, cuisine (of course), the English language and even the British joke. The book also includes amusingly captioned photos and cartoon sketches.
The author does not express any warmth towards the British, which is curious as he appears to have been born in Buckinghamshire; no wonder it is so well-observed. If you are excessively patriotic or pro-monarchy, the acerbic wit contained in this book may not be for you. It also contains some adult language. However, many pages had me laughing out loud. I have a neighbour who is French and she began chuckling the moment she opened the book - needless to say I took it back immediately!
The book is supposed to be an observation on how the French view the British and our ways. It in fact the amusing views of a comedy British Frenchman and how he thinks the French might observe us. More Allo Allo than Bonjeur Bonjeur perhaps.
It must be said that a lot of his observations are spot on. It's nice to have a mirror held up to our culture and have a good old laugh at ourselves. If you can't laugh what can you do?
The book is very light and easy to read, very much a "pick up and drop when you feel like it" book and good for the odd giggle, with some definite laugh out loud moments.
The humour was very much observational humour and, for me, a little hit and miss, mostly funny but at times I found it slightly boring and couldn't wait to move on to the next chapter. Humour is of course a very personal thing, we can't all like the same thing and this wasn't entirely to my taste. Overall a good bit of light hearted fun but not great.