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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2007
  • ISBN: 9781741664805
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $32.99

Merde Happens




Q: What happens when an Englishman, an American, and a French woman drive across America in a Mini? A: Merde Happens ...

Merde hits the U.S!
In the third volume of his escapades, Paul West is driving across the USA in a Mini, and feeling just as foreign as he ever did in France. He has accepted a job promoting the UK as a tourist destination. His tiny car is supposed to symbolize Britain's image - self-deprecating, fun, stylish but not snobbish. But to Americans it looks plain cramped.
The car feels even more cramped than normal because Paul is sharing it with his French girlfriend Alexa, who has come along to make an on-the-road documentary about American cultural colonialism and similar French preconceptions. The Mini will get even more overloaded when Paul and Alexa are joined by Paul's American friend Jake (whose English has now become so gallicized that only the Cajuns can understand him), and a waitress on the way to Las Vegas to begin her MA in cheerleading.
Paul has to drive coast-to-coast to a tight deadline, putting on "typically British" publicity stunts in certain key cities. Finally, he is to deliver the plucky little car to Hollywood as the centrepiece of Britain's bid to be voted Tourist Destination of the Year and host the next World Tourism Fair. With France, China and the USA also in the running, national pride is at stake, as is Paul's bonus.
MERDE HAPPENS is an Anglo-Franco-American melange of such classic travel romps as The Italian Job (with only one Mini but several more cities), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (with fewer drugs and no actual loathing) and On the Road (without all that tedious free jazz). More importantly, it has a unique extra ingredient that none of the above could offer - lashings of Paul West's merde.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2007
  • ISBN: 9781741664805
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Stephen Clarke

Stephen Clarke lives in Paris, where he divides his time between writing and not writing.

His Merde novels have been bestsellers all over the world, including France. His non-fiction books include Talk to the Snail, an insider's guide to understanding the French; How the French Won Waterloo (or Think They Did), an amused look at France's continuing obsession with Napoleon; Dirty Bertie: An English King Made in France, a biography of Edward VII; and 1000 Years of Annoying the French, which was a number one bestseller in Britain.

Research for The French Revolution and What Went Wrong took him deep into French archives in search of the actual words, thoughts and deeds of the revolutionaries and royalists of 1789. He has now re-emerged to ask modern Parisians why they have forgotten some of the true democratic heroes of the period, and opted to idolize certain maniacs.

Follow Stephen on @SClarkeWriter and www.stephenclarkewriter.com

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