: Merde happens by clarke,stephen (9780552773515) : Stephen Clarke : Books
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Merde Happens By Clarke,stephen

by Stephen Clarke
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Publishing date: 24/03/2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780552773515
  • ISBN: 0552773514

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  • Beach reading for the not-too-picky...
    From Amazon

    Merde Happens pretty much sums up Paul West's life. In Clarke's third "merde" book, Paul bumbles his way across the United States hoping to win a prize for Britain's tourism board, and a big bonus for himself. Naturally, nothing goes as planned. The disasters start in Britain, where he is mistakenly photographed in a skimpy kilt on his way to an interview for Visitor Resources: Britain, and instantly achieves internet fame on a somewhat questionable website ("Meninskirts"). Things go downhill from there. In Boston, Paul hosts an outdoor Tea Party (in February) that ends in a brawl on Bunker Hill between two fractious restaurant owners. In Miami, he manages to burn down his hotel (with the help of the language-impaired Jake). New Orleans seems to be filled with gun-happy "swamp things" and Las Vegas, is, well, Las Vegas. (Not even Stephen Clarke is capable of exaggerating Las Vegas.) Throughout his trip, Paul is sabotaged by the nefarious Elodie (who intends to win the prize for France), verbally harangued by his girlfriend Alexa and surrounded, unfathomably, by gorgeous, voluptuous women. While I found the book entertaining, (more so than In the Merde for Love, but less so than A Year in the Merde), I can't say that I'd read Merde Happens anywhere but on a beach. Clarke's wit is sharp, but there chapters that drag, or that act as "filler." Paul West's personality grates after a while (and you'll really want to give Alexa a swift kick in the derriere about half way to Miami). Although I had fun with these three books, I hope there won't be a fourth. Clarke has wrung all he can get out of the premise that merde happens.

  • Merde Happens
    From Amazon

    The book is quite entertaining, though showing a somewhat particular take on a Brit's experience and understanding of the United States. Mr. Clarke's other books dealing with life in France are much more entertaining, as he describes something he knows well. This book is missing the intellectual insights and understanding of other "travel" books, such as those written by Bill Bryson.

  • Un bon livre
    From Amazon

    Oh, his books are SO entertaining! In this one, he takes on America and while I was VERY disappointed that he didn't go to Chicago, I really enjoyed it - I laughed out loud and I'm still eager to see what happens next with him. I will continue to watch out for his books! I wonder what color his next cover will end up being...

  • Surprising Ending That Changed My Opinion on the Book
    From Amazon

    I thought the description of American life was accurate, but the book itself was not stylistically different from the previous two. Therefore, boring. So boring, that I, in fact, flipped to the last page and read the ending, "Just as I thought", I thought. But I did keep reading, only to discover to my ultimate delight that the ending was the exact opposite of what I thought, - have I read the last two pages, instead of one, I would have known. The book is worth reading for that ending alone. I look forward to the next one. P.S.: "the ending" is a reference to Paul West's love life, and not to the contest ending. The "fight scene" between Elodie and her "Papa" was silly, as well as the whole contest set up. Seriously lacks even traces of realism.

  • Not as good as the first two
    From Amazon

    I was disappointed by this installment of the series, after very much enjoying the first two. The book went on a fairly quick pace through the various parts of the US, without really diving deeply into any of them. I would have liked fewer cities maybe, with more focus on each. I also found it to be fairly sad, with the humor not quite making up for it. My own personal life following a similar path however may have made it hit home harder than most.

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