Book Review : Le Dossier (How To Survive The English) - Sarah Long 3*
Purportedly written by Parisienne sophisticate Hortense De Monplaisir and then translated by Sarah Long, this is supposed to be a humorous look at life in England from a French point of view. What is is in reality is a 250 page diatribe railing against virtually every aspect of English in a withering and belittling manner.
It is glaringly clear that the author has an axe to grind against her Southern middle class upbringing, but by couching this point of view as that of Frenchwoman abroad she does herself, and her readers a disservice. The book is short on real humour and rapidly becomes a bore to read as Hortense moans her way through life in London.
A far funnier novel about Anglo-French relations would be Stephen Clarke's A Year In The Merde, Clarke might be baffled by our neighbours, but at least he doesn't detest them.