Stephen Clarke, a British, studied French at Oxford. He once moved to Paris and got a job as a journalist for an English Language magazine. With his unique experience, Stephen Clarke is qualified to write novels on life in Paris viewed from an Englishman.
“The Merde Factor” is his fifth volume of the fictional adventures of Paul West, an Englishman, in Paris. His first novel on Paul West was “A Year in the Merde”.
If you know the French language, I reckon that you would enjoy more than I, because French phrases were used in conversations between characters in the story. The author knew that some readers might not understand French, so he added the English equivalent to these French words. I found that this was not an impediment to enjoying the hilarious story. (Except that I had to find out the meaning of “Merde” from a dictionary, though I guess it close enough.)
The story takes a dig at French people, French society and all its quirkiness. Not in anyway rude but it describes how foreigners view these Parisians from their own lens. (The Parisians may not feel the same way, being on the receiving end.)
The storyline was unexpected towards the end. I found myself tickled by the creative literary flair of Stephen Clarke. This book is entertaining and it should lift you up from any gloom you might be under. It is suitable as a travel companion when you are on a holiday (to survive Paris next time).