Friday, 29 July 2011

AN ENGLISHMAN IN PARIS – Michael Sadler, 2002

I find it slightly disconcerting when the opinions of those who are famous (but not for their literary abilities) take up more space on the cover of a book than the title. I have a great deal of respect for Michael Palin – perhaps it is his experience as a travel writer which is being acknowledged here - but do I really care what Anne Robinson thinks about a book? Will her “Terrific” make me buy it? I think not.
However… An Englishman in Paris is a very enjoyable book. Sandler’s account of a year in France is highly amusing. I do not appreciate the food he eats; like many others he seems to think that trying disgusting culinary offerings, almost, it seems, as a dare, makes his experience more authentic. His attempts to master the language and navigate the French streets are told, though, with a simplicity which is beguiling.
What is also quite impressive is that it was previously published in French in 2000.

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