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Having lived in France for 40 years, I practically doubled over laughing at the way the author so comically describes all of these everyday situations that I've personally lived through and sometimes found little humor in. This book was so delightful to read that I didn't want it to end!
Funny vignettes of daily life and drama so familiar for any American in Paris. A must for students studying French civilization or doing a semester in the city and moral support (misery loves company) for anyone attempting to settle here after retirement.
A tightly-written, unhurried, humourous look at Parisian people, culture, daily life, written from the perspective of an American midwesterner, an academic and writer who is living there during a sabbatical. In some ways, it's a look at the porous, physical infrastructure of a very old, very densely-populated, beloved (sometime hated) city, and at how people continue to live with its limitations and decay. It's also a look at intercultural communication: listening, paying attention, adapting and learning when one is in unfamiliar, quotidian situations.
I all but inhaled this book, savoring ever anecdote. I, too, spent three months of a sabbatical in Paris, followed by three months in Nice. Paris has its own character, distinct from any other place - in France, in Europe, in the world. Professor Carpenter captures this character in episodes from his own experiences during his sabbatical. Each anecdote is a vignette of a particular aspect of real life in Paris. This is unvarnished, unromanticised, genuine life, more interesting and exciting in its quotidian narrative than any guidebook could offer. How refreshing!
Reading French Like Moi is like strolling through Paris with your own personal flâneur—one who can find the perfect meal, dissect French motives, conquer bureaucracy, and keep you laughing all the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I really wanted to love this book! As a transplant to a Latin American country during my informative years and having a working relationship with 5 languages, I had so many questions I wanted to learn about from an immersion “visitor” to France. I doubted throughout this book if the author was still married and his children were in fact, living in France also. Very self-centered, arrogant and comparative perspective of what could have been an informative experience and delightful read.
A great perspective on the real lives of the French, not the fleeting impressions left on travellers. I could well identify with the authors foibles and faux pas of this complex language. Surely any American curious about being a true ex pat will find the enjoyable.
I’ve read several books on Americans living in France. Inevitably the “air hisses out of the tires” when the author opines on their particular political bent. It’s always such a turn-off. My goal then becomes one of powering through their tome. (I always finish what I start) But not here! I found the creative dexterity and humor with which this author uses the English language refreshing and frequently putting a knowing smile on my face as only we Americans understand with our shared sensibilities. Bravo sir! Félicitations!