THE MERDE FACTOR by STEPHEN CLARKE.
Englishman Paul West is living the Parisian dream, and doing his best not to annoy the French.
But recently things have been going très wrong.
His apartment is so small that he has to cut his baguette in two to fit it into the kitchen.
His research into authentic French cuisine is about to cause a national strike.
His Parisian business partner is determined to close their English tea-room.
And Paul's French ex-girlfriend seems to be stalking him.
Threatened with eviction, unemployment and bankruptcy, Paul realises that the merde really is about to hit the fan.
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter Un): The sun came out, and springtime hit Paris like a tsunami of hormones.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 1): Almost overnight, girls decided that the season for tights was over, and the men in the streets mutated into owls, their necks suddenly capable of 360 degree rotation in search of bare legs.
MY THOUGHTS: The fifth novel in the series and, not having read any of the previous books, my reading of this was slightly marred by the fact that there were some in-jokes that I just wasn't getting.
Billed as a must-have comedy of errors about the trouble you can get into if you are a Brit abroad, The Merde Factor is not nearly as funny as it thinks it is and with so much of the humour reliant on stereotypes I'm afraid that what may at first have been relatively amusing quickly become old and tired, the plot repetitive, the characters nothing short of irritating.
Alas not entirely my cup of tea, I wish I could put a more positive spin on this one as it really did start off with such promise.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of Century (A member of the Random House Group) I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.