Review of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki Lesage

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About Confessions of a Paris Party Girl

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and fall in love. It proved to be much more “difficile” than she’d imagined. In this laugh-out-loud memoir, this cheeky storyteller recounts the highs and lows of her life in the City of Light. Sassy and shamefully honest, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re right there in Paris stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

My Review

Lesage shares her experiences adjusting to life as an expat in France. Despite the adjustment and challenges Lesage maintains her sense of humor and positive attitude as she initially starts off contending with the key to her apartment which leads to a hilarious first adventure. Dealing with the famous French bureaucracy, learning the ropes of French office decorum, baptismal shopping experience, Lesage is quickly adapting to life as a resident of France without batting an eye. However, mastering the bar and culinary scene comes with ease, Lesage even dips her toe into the dating pool while acquiring friends along the way.

An entertainingly humorous story of an all American girl acclimating to call France home along with the intricacies associated. I admire Lesage’s patience, courage and determination, I truly lived vicariously through her, quite a fun reading adventure.

About Vicki Lesage7760779

Amazon best-selling author Vicki Lesage proves daily that raising two French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. In her three minutes of spare time per week, she writes, sips bubbly, and prepares for the impending zombie apocalypse. She lives in Paris with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charming daughter, all of whom mercifully don’t laugh when she says “au revoir.” She penned two books, “Confessions of a Paris Party Girl” and “Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer,” in between diaper changes and wine refills. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com.

Published January 12th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing

Review: How’s the Pain? by Pascal Garnier, Emily Boyce (Translator)

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About How’s the Pain?

Death is Simon’s business. And now the ageing vermin exterminator is preparing to die. But he still has one last job down on the coast and he needs a driver.

Bernard is twenty-one. He can drive and he’s never seen the sea. He can’t pass up the chance to chauffeur for Simon, whatever his mother may say.

As the unlikely pair set off on their journey, Bernard soon finds that Simon’s definition of vermin is broader than he’d expected…

Veering from the hilarious to the horrific, this offbeat story from master stylist, Pascal Garnier, is at heart an affecting study of human frailty.

My Review

More amusing than heavy noir. The adventure has a few misfires as plans derail. As with any road trip, plenty of amusing characters stumbled upon. Life changes for all parties involved including spectators. No ones life will be the same in the end.

Story has an overall balance with the scales leaning towards clever satire with a touch of gritty.

As always the translation is well done, great job by Emily Boyce.

About Pascal Garnierimage

Pascal Garnier, who died in March 2010, was a talented novelist, short story writer, children’s author and painter. From his home in the mountains of the Ardèche, he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life. Though his writing is often very dark in tone, it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry wit. Garnier’s work has been likened to the great thriller writer, Georges Simenon. Read an article by Pascal Garnier, describing his path to becoming a writer.

Published June 11th 2012 by Gallic Books (first published January 1st 2006)

Review: On the Run with Mary by Jonathan Barrow

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About On the Run with Mary

Shining moments of tender beauty punctuate this story of a youth on the run after escaping from an elite English boarding school. At London’s Euston Station, the narrator meets a talking dachshund named Mary and together they’re off on escapades through posh Mayfair streets and jaunts in a Rolls-Royce. But the youth soon realizes that the seemingly sweet dog is a handful; an alcoholic, nymphomaniac, drug-addicted mess who can’t stay out of pubs or off the dance floor. In a world of abusive headmasters and other predators, the erotically omnivorous youth discovers that true friends are never needed more than on the mean streets of 1960s London, as he tries to save his beloved Mary from herself. On the Run with Mary mirrors the horrors and the joys of the terrible 20th century. Jonathan Barrow’s original drawings accompany the text.

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 My Review

Jonathan Barrow demonstrated indescribable creativity and imagination, talented beyond belief. A true tragedy his life was extinguished all too soon, his promise evident in this book, along with accompanying illustrations.

Barrow’s borderline “locker room-potty-juvenile school boy humor” might not appeal to every one, however, his potential cannot be denied. His maniacal, frenzied, stream of consciousness writing forces the reader to take notice. Castration, flatulence, feces, violence are outlandish and off-putting, yet you continue to turn every page. Not exactly my type of humor yet there were occasions I couldn’t stop laughing. His thoughts and humor indeed reflect that of a twenty-two year old male causing you to imagine what’s going on in the deeper recesses of his mind.

The eclectic characters included in his story add to its endearing bizarreness. Their actions, encounters leave you both in awe and perplexed. Mary is the perfect mischief partner, these two cause havoc as they jaunt through London. Barrow stirs in varying shades of humor from the lightest to the darkest with every thing in between, not to mention fantasy, as well as magical realism.

Unknown if Barrow’s humor or intent will fall under your desire spectrum, nonetheless there is genius weaved throughout this preposterous narrative. If only Barrow could have expanded with his writing, such a shame it wasn’t possible. Barrow is gone but not forgotten thanks to this sampling of his artistry, man and work both memorable.

About Jonathan Barrowimage

Jonathan Barrow was born in 1947, north of London. His promising career as a writer and artist was cut short when he was killed at age twenty-two in a car crash alongside his fiancée, two weeks before they were to be married. The manuscript was discovered in Barrow’s office drawer the day after his death.