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on 19 January 2016
Thoroughly enjoyed this - as much as I did the first of these books. A lovely account of expat life in the south-west of France, full of gentle humour, entertaining escapades, and engaging characters - not all of them necessarily lovable but always with at least something to redeem them. Dummer comes across as a warm, self-effacing type, and you could easily imagine sitting out under that French sun as he recounts some of these tales on a break from his antiques stall at a small-town market. The ending hints that there are plenty more of these tales to come, which is a good thing; I'd love to see some stories from the author's earlier life in the music business, too, if he's ever at a loose end!
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on 21 September 2012
Dummer's sequel to the quirky and very entertaining Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette delves further into the uncertain ducking and diving world of southern French brocante markets.
There's a famous story that recounts Mike and Bernie Winters' first appearance at the notorious Glasgow Empire where, after Mike's introductory clarinet solo turn, Bernie pokes his head round the curtains, prompting an audience member to howl: "Oh Christ, there's two of them!"
That may well have been Dummer's unvoiced reaction to the appearance of Serge's indolent, rap culture-loving son, Didier. In fact though, it is Serge himself who continues to be the main pivot throughout a second volume of picaresque adventure, vivid characterisation and occasional, heart-quickening dodginess; a Runyonesque combination in which the narrator is similarly, repeatedly and unwittingly embroiled.
Unlike so many English scribblers, living the French dream, Dummer doesn't sit by the pool, happily ruminating on the discrepancy in property prices between the English home counties and south west France. He is there to make a living and however far you may buy into the stories, you can at least be sure they are based on a fund of first hand, real life experiences that may well be unique among expats. A genuinely different angle and a lot of laughs.
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on 7 June 2012
I read and greatly enjoyed Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette, John Dummer's first account of life as a brocanteur in rural France. Now he's come up with a worthy sequel, which recounts more bizarre adventures in the antiques trade, and takes up the story of the oddly-named Serge where the previous book left off. A little more serious than 'Baguette' (but none the worse for it - and it still has many laugh-out-loud moments) Son of Serge is another fascinating journey into the underbelly of South-West France, and it's stuffed with even more memorable characters: Lord Snooty, the faux-posh English dealer, 'Diddy' Bastarde, the even dodgier son of the dodgy Serge, Claudette the ancient but still charming lady of the night, to name but a handful. Well-written, easy to read, stuffed with fascinating detail, 'Son of Serge' deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone who enjoys a slice of French life interwoven with memorable characters.
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on 2 August 2012
I enjoy reading almost any book about France and the French and this one was no exception. I enjoyed reading about the exploits of this character (I wonder if his name is real?) and how the author got drawn into them, unwittingly on some occasions. I am looking foward to reading the second volume of this series and expect it will be as amusing as the first one.Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France: On the Road in Real Rural France
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on 16 June 2013
A very good read, this book is the sequel to 'Serge Bastarde ate my baguette', although it does stand alone, I feel it best to read the two books in order. At times very funny and at times quite touching. Just the thing if you love France and are missing it.
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on 19 June 2013
This book was so funny as was the first one. I hope there's more from John Dummer. Having lived and worked in France and also holidayed many times in France, I could identify with so many things. Unputdownable.
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on 1 December 2013
The follow up to the brilliant 'Serge Bastard Ate My Baguette' finds us in the weird but wonderful world of the French brocanteur (antique dealer) and we meet the son of the wily Serge Bastarde. I made myself late a couple of times for work after reading in my lunch hour as I just couldn't put it down! John doesn't mind poking fun at himself, and certainly has a knack for bringing characters to life. When on holiday in France I have always loved poking around old stuff in junk shops and car-boots, and am now looking at vide-grenieres and brocantes with a different eye. What a brilliant community! Being more flea-market than posh-antique, and having enjoyed a bit of bin-diving now and again, I have also gained respect for big skips after reading this book! A laugh-out-loud book with some great characters. Can't wait for the next installment!
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on 4 March 2013
I throughly enjoyed Serge Bastarde At My Baguette and was therefore thrilled to hear there was a sequel. I was not disapointed, the further adventures of Serge and his side-kick John Dummer were most enjoyable and I couldn't put it down.

I really hope we get to hear more adventures of these pair of brocanteurs, if you go to flea markets or boot sales as the British call them then this book and the previous one are for you.
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on 8 August 2014
Could not put the kindle down. I love France and loved the story of life in France and her colourful characters in the markets of the broadcasters. Having travelled around France I could picture each town and village mentioned in the book. A really good read for any Francofile.
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on 3 August 2012
John lives in a lovely area of South West France, an area I don't know as well as I would like, but having read his book I'm determined to see more of. Village life in rural France is full of wonderful characters, some you love, some you do your best to avoid and John's life has all of this and more. He and his wife Helen work the brocantes markets selling their English wares - china tea sets go down a storm apparently. The other traders, English, French and Gypsy are a colourful lot and life with them gives John some great things to write about. His main buddy Serge, who he introduces us to in his first book Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette: On the Road in the Real Rural France: On the Road in Real Rural France suddenly reappears back on the brocante scene and has a son in tow. The three of them have some great misadventures, often trying to fix situations Serge's son has got him into. I know I shouldn't have laughed when John and Serge found themselves trapped in a skip with no mobiles, a need to pee and a bad back, but I couldn't help it. This book is very entertaining.
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