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The books are a series of first-person narratives that read, like the best fiction, in a style that feels semi-autobiographical the author, Stephen Clarke, is himself a Brit living in Paris. At least, they feel that way right up until the inevitable bizarre hijinks start. Then, well, they just feel like funny, silly fiction — in the best possible way.

Dial M for Merde

The latest installment has Paul gallivanting off to the South of France with a hottie named Gloria Monday. Sounds wild, no? I absolutely loved the first book, quite enjoyed the second, and was a little less enthusiastic about the third. In each book, Paul blunders his way into some bizarre drama, barely manages to escape with his skin, and somehow always ends up the hero at the end of the day.

There are laugh-out-loud parts to each and every book, whether situational or conversational, and the characters are a great mix of stereotypes and defiantly unique individuals. I read the first three books in rapid succession. Pace yourself. Aug 13, Nonethousand Oberrhein rated it liked it Shelves: british , humour. A new change of setting from the two first Parisians novels and the third American one, as well as a new narration style that transforms the classical fish-out-of-the-water novel in something while still greatly comical more like a spy-story.

Entertaining as usual!


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Apr 12, Norbert P rated it it was amazing. With "Dial M for Merde" Stephen Clarke not only added another account to his list of linguistic pitfalls prepared for the France-traveling Englishman, but he also wrote a really funny thriller that develops into a real page turner. Again his friends of the first book, Elodie and Jake are with Paul, and while Elodie, the genuine french woman, unravels to him the almost invisible differences in the french language that turn a dealer into a traitor, Jake seems to loose the grip on his english more With "Dial M for Merde" Stephen Clarke not only added another account to his list of linguistic pitfalls prepared for the France-traveling Englishman, but he also wrote a really funny thriller that develops into a real page turner.

Again his friends of the first book, Elodie and Jake are with Paul, and while Elodie, the genuine french woman, unravels to him the almost invisible differences in the french language that turn a dealer into a traitor, Jake seems to loose the grip on his english more and more, speaking kind of frenglish. In the end everybody becomes either a hero or fabulously rich and the merde is reserved for the president himself.

I enjoyed this book starting from the first line. I lived in the past 15 years or so in francophone countries in which the last 3 in Paris. I felt that a lot of things Paul West described were exactly how I felt at various occasions during my life in France. Extremely witty style - I must admit.

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While reading how he described the status of a public toilet in Marseille or so, I closed the book and laughed for really long! I witnessed something similar while I was vacationing in the Normandie a fe I enjoyed this book starting from the first line. I witnessed something similar while I was vacationing in the Normandie a few years ago. But I wouldn't have been able to describe it in such a funny way as Stephen Clarke! I recommend this book to anyone who has some experience living in France. Sep 02, Hrvoje rated it liked it. Since I have been a big fan of Merde series, I jumped right in this book.

I loved it immensely since it involves characters that I have grown to love. However, saying that, this book is not the strongest one in the series.

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Some parts were a bit stretched and bit harder to pull through than usual, and the whole feeling was that this instalment was a bit rushed in the production. Having all this in mind, I would still recommend it since it has that typical Franco-British wit and sharpness. It is s Since I have been a big fan of Merde series, I jumped right in this book. It is still full of humour and a bit absurd situations that we learned to love in this Clarke's series.

Jan 11, Stella rated it liked it. Another funny instalment by Stephen Clarke. I have enjoyed the 'Merde' series but I have to say that none were better than the first one. It wasn't as easy a read as the others either. I felt myself distracted at times and found other things to do. In the end, it still made me giggle here and there but I don't think I would read it again. Sep 13, Dark Lord rated it liked it.

Dial M for Merde: A Novel

Pretty much on an equal level with the other 'Merde' books. Paul West is still likeable, the books normally have three or four real laugh out loud moments and are generally really good fun. They always make me wish I was Poolside or in a cafe in France to be able to sit and read them in one sitting. Roll on the next one whenever that may be,.


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  • Aug 24, Joelle Anthony rated it liked it. I thought this book was very funny.

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    At first, it seemed a little slow like I didn't know what the point is, but then it just picked right up and I ended up really liking it. It seemed like a sequel, so I'll look for others someone gave it to me. Humorous with elements of a travelogue to the south of France. I enjoyed reading the book and finished it quickly but I was slightly disappointed with the ending where the plot lost some of its energy.

    Nonetheless, a worthwhile read and fitting addition to the curious adventures of Paul West. View 1 comment. This one is simply ridiculous. I have come to the conclusion that the only Paul West book actually worth reading was Merde Happens.

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    Dial M for Merde was silly, unbelievable and not at all funny. I will not be reading book number five. I think I've had enough. Fourth instalment in this comical series about a Brit living in France. Although the storylines are getting more and more far-fetched it was still a nice lifght enjoyable read. Recommend to anyone to needs a chuckle or two. Jul 25, Shui rated it it was ok. Same old same old from monsieur Clarke, I really liked his previous books but the Englishman in France thing is starting to wear a bit thin.

    Only bother reading this is you really like him otherwise too much deja vu.


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    • Feb 22, Lisa rated it really liked it. Brilliant, comic genius, had me laughing out loud with the subtle mix ups of English - French translations of similar words. Please, please don't pronounce bouillabaisse incorrectly!! If you want a laugh, read this.

      Mar 05, Jill rated it liked it. This was exactly the kind of book I was looking to read -- frivolous, with the occasional linguistic pun. I read some of his other Merde books, and was surprised to find this a mystery I know, the title. Good snow day book. Jan 05, Heidi rated it really liked it. Really enjoyed this book. Even though I had a pretty good idea of where the book was going it just grabbed me.

      Maybe cause I can relate to an English speaking person attempting to figure out the nuances of the French language. I would definitely read other books by this author. Oct 06, Laura rated it did not like it Shelves: genre-fiction , disliked-a-lot , reads. The review for this book is too obvious to state.

      Just read the cover.