Ce n’est pas la peine


Usually, I like to recommend francophile resources that I think you may enjoy. Recently, however, I read two books that aren’t worth the time I gave to them, so I wanted to warn you before you might be tempted to make the same choice.

The first was actually an audio book, French Exit, by Patrick deWitt. Slap the word “French” on a book and you’ve got my attention. I use my library’s OverDrive system for oodles of free audiobooks and I requested that the library acquire this one. I felt honor bound to listen to the whole drivelly thing. The (thin) plot is that a formerly rich widow and her co-dependent adult son move to Paris where they live in a friend’s apartment with a cat that apparently houses the soul of her dead husband. Not a single character has the tiniest redeeming value. Skip this one, please, even if you did ask someone to buy it for you.

The second book was another one that I asked for when my husband was looking for a gift idea: Une Femme française : The Seductive Power of French Women, by French fashion designer Catherine Malandrino. Malandrino, who splits her time between Paris and New York seemed like a reliable source. The book didn’t propose any particularly novel ideas about how to develop a healthy dose of je ne sais quoi, but it did reveal Maladrino’s interest in S&M clubs. Not really my kind of source after all.

Ce n’est pas la peine (seh nay pah lah pen) means “it’s not worth it.” Save your time and money and read or listen to something other than these two duds. How about you? Read a lousy book lately?


About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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1 Response to Ce n’est pas la peine

  1. Thanks for this! I had that first one on my TBR list. Luckily, I’ve had a good year for books. But I did read the Michel Tremblay play Les Belles-Soeurs as wasn’t all that enthused. I’m thinking that by reading it, I probably lost that sense of time and place… Or perhaps it didn’t translate appropriately and the vernacular got lost in the shuffle.

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