French Exit
From bestselling author Patrick deWitt, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegrationFrances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts.Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin – to riotous effect. A number of singular characters serve to round out the cast: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic proposing a seance, a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, and the inimitable Mme. Reynard, aggressive houseguest and dementedly friendly American expat.Brimming with pathos and wit, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind ‘tragedy of manners,’ a riotous send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute

French Exit Details

TitleFrench Exit
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 28th, 2018
PublisherEcco
ISBN-139780062846945
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Cultural, France, Adult Fiction

French Exit Review

  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    French exitNoun. French exit (offensive) A hasty exit made without saying farewells to anybody.I have been a fan of Patrick deWitt's from the beginning, and I believe I've read everything he's written; joyfully revelling in his ink-black, violent comedies. I was, therefore, rapturously delighted to have been sent an ARC – months early – of his latest, and so doubly disappointed when it turned out to be just okay. French Exit begins on a promising note – with a smart-talking Upper East Side widow French exitNoun. French exit (offensive) A hasty exit made without saying farewells to anybody.I have been a fan of Patrick deWitt's from the beginning, and I believe I've read everything he's written; joyfully revelling in his ink-black, violent comedies. I was, therefore, rapturously delighted to have been sent an ARC – months early – of his latest, and so doubly disappointed when it turned out to be just okay. French Exit begins on a promising note – with a smart-talking Upper East Side widow browbeating her squishy manchild of a thirty-six-year-old son and ignoring the debts piling up at the door – and once the action moves to Paris, and the mother and son somehow can't prevent a whole slew of odd characters from moving into their small apartment with them, I thought, “Oooh, a French farce, how perfect.” But it's not: it's not perfect, and it's not a drawing room farce; it's just some unhappy people trying – and failing – to make connections, with a bit of snappy repartee, a possessed cat, and a lot of alcohol. I gave four stars to Undermajordomo Minor and Ablutions, and if I hadn't read it before I joined Goodreads, I'd have definitely given The Sisters Brothers a full five, so I can't possible give this book more than three stars; deWitt just might be judged more harshly because I'm judging him against himself. (As I read an ARC, quotes used may not be in their final forms.) “It's important, Mr. Rudy, that you understand my point of view, and appreciate both the fact and scope of my nihilism. Now, you and I know that many of the objects in this house are of an uncommon quality. My effects represent a small fortune. Fifteen per cent of that, even in a hushed, rushed sale? Think of how many socks that would buy.” Mr. Rudy's eyelids dropped, and he became pensive. Frances said, “Now let's walk together, not speaking, to the front door.” Frances Price – still beautiful, feared, and admired at sixty-five – has been burning through her husband's money in the two decades since his death. With the bank threatening to take away everything she has left, Frances heeds her financial advisor's warning to sell what she can and skip town; make a French exit, as it were. Although her son, Malcolm, is engaged to a lovely and devoted woman, Frances insists that he accompany her to Paris, and Malcolm can't help but comply: ever since Frances pulled him out of boarding school upon his father's death when the boy was twelve, Malcolm has rarely left his mother's side. Many interesting things happen in the present, various characters tell weird stories from their pasts, and there are many scenes urging us to be kind to immigrants, the homeless, the deranged. This book has more scenes with people talking about their feelings and attempting to verbalise their personal philosophies than I remember from previous deWitts, and I'd say it suffers for it.On the other hand, deWitt hasn't lost his powers for the satisfying turn of phrase. Dr. Touche is “a sleepy-eyed and swarthy man with the hands of a female adolescent.” Ms Mackey was “a slender, melancholic woman of thirty-five with a gap in her front teeth and aching, pale blue eyes”. A night of impotence sees a couple regarding the man's penis, “a glum mushroom caving in on itself”. And, as ever, deWitt shines through his sparkling dialogue: Julius slept beside Mme Reynard on the couch, which was a foldout, she was delighted to discover. Tapping her chin, she warned Julius, “Talk in my sleep.”“That's all right.”“Also I gnash my teeth.”“All right.”“And I have sleep apnea, and sometimes I sleepwalk. If you see me set out to wander you musn't wake me. But if I try to leave the apartment, will you steer me back round?”“Okay.”Mme Reynard became sheepish. “Occasionally I suffer from nightsickness,” she admitted.“What's nightsickness?”“I sometimes – rarely – vomit the bed.”Julius said, “Sweet dreams, Mme Reynard.”“I never do dream,” she lamented. “Oh, life!” “Vomit the bed” for some reason made me snicker, so that was worthwhile. French Exit might mark a more mature style for deWitt – one in which the balance of tragicomedy tilts more towards the tragic – and it might well have been an intentional departure, but I didn't find it very satisfying.
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  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Frances Price has always been a bit frightening.  Her name is well known around the Upper East Side for her beauty, snobbery, and especially for scandal.  Years ago when she found her sleazy lawyer husband dead from a heart attack, she left their home and went on a ski trip, not bothering to inform anyone of his death.This has left tongues wagging for twenty years but a new scandal is on the horizon:  she's almost broke.Frances packs up her adult son Malcolm and their cat Frank (the reincarnatio Frances Price has always been a bit frightening.  Her name is well known around the Upper East Side for her beauty, snobbery, and especially for scandal.  Years ago when she found her sleazy lawyer husband dead from a heart attack, she left their home and went on a ski trip, not bothering to inform anyone of his death.This has left tongues wagging for twenty years but a new scandal is on the horizon:  she's almost broke.Frances packs up her adult son Malcolm and their cat Frank (the reincarnation of her deceased husband) to leave behind the gossip for Paris.  In the City of Lights, mother and son meet a quirky cast of characters beginning with their strange new friend Mme. Reynard who is starving for attention and decides to move in though no one has invited her.When Frank the cat goes missing, Frances hires a P.I. to search for a woman Malcolm met on their Atlantic crossing who claimed to be psychic. The P.I. returns with the psychic who contacts Frank to find out why he has run away.  Meanwhile, Malcolm's sort-of girlfriend Susan shows up with her new fiancee Tom, who is disgusted with her continued hang up on Malcolm.With an apartment full of strangers turned (uninvited) house guests, Frances burns through the last of the money as quickly as she can while looking back on the prime of her life and her relationships with her husband and son.In an oddball tale of social outcasts (both human and feline), deWitt targets high society in a dark comedy with a few gems of insightful wisdom and plenty of eyebrow-raising conversations.  French Exit proves to readers that money can't buy everything, especially manners and love.Thanks to Ecco and Edelweiss for providing me with a DRC in exchange for my honest review.  French Exit is scheduled for release on August 28, 2018.For more full reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
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  • Lillian
    January 1, 1970
    How refreshing it is to read a story with no physical violence, murder, psychological torture or with the ubiquitous unreliable narrator.deWitt, like Willy Vlautin is a highly underrated author. His amazing novel, The Sisters Brothers has a loyal following but it is no where near the size it should be.The central characters of French Exit are Franklin, Francis and their son Malcolm. Franklin Price has made a fortune as a ruthless and ethically suspect litigator. When we meet Frances, it is 20 ye How refreshing it is to read a story with no physical violence, murder, psychological torture or with the ubiquitous unreliable narrator.deWitt, like Willy Vlautin is a highly underrated author. His amazing novel, The Sisters Brothers has a loyal following but it is no where near the size it should be.The central characters of French Exit are Franklin, Francis and their son Malcolm. Franklin Price has made a fortune as a ruthless and ethically suspect litigator. When we meet Frances, it is 20 years after Franklin's death and she has blown through his entire fortune. With only a small remnant left, she decides to go to France with Malcolm and her cat, Small Frank in order to gain time to decide her next step. While there, she unwittingly meets a perfectly enigmatic cast of characters that aid in her decision.French Exit is a story about people and their desire for connection. It is about their flaws, their vulnerability and ultimately their humanity. Patrick deWitt's strength is in creating engaging characters that do really eccentric things yet become endearing. His prose is sharp, sparkling, darkly humorous and totally enchanting. However, the extraordinary quality of French Exit is that it feels like it was entirely written by a woman. It is a testament to his writing skill that he can come completely out of himself and embody a woman like Francis Price, or Mme Raynard, or Susan or Madeleine or Joan and he does it masterfully.French Exit is wonderful and I have nothing but praise for Patrick deWitt.If you liked The Sisters Brothers, I think you'll enjoy this as well.Is it just a coincidence that both he and Willy live in Oregon?Thank you HarperCollins for this ARE!
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  • Barbette
    January 1, 1970
    The first third of FRENCH EXIT is a quirky and acerbic portrayal of a Manhattan mother, her adult son, and their skewed family history. The comic timing and phrasing are flawless and stylish; I laughed out loud many times while reading, and then found myself laughing out loud again later in the day as I recalled certain passages. While deWitt's novel may bring to mind the writings of J.D. Salinger and the films of Wes Anderson, the New York section of the book struck me as freshly original and n The first third of FRENCH EXIT is a quirky and acerbic portrayal of a Manhattan mother, her adult son, and their skewed family history. The comic timing and phrasing are flawless and stylish; I laughed out loud many times while reading, and then found myself laughing out loud again later in the day as I recalled certain passages. While deWitt's novel may bring to mind the writings of J.D. Salinger and the films of Wes Anderson, the New York section of the book struck me as freshly original and nearly perfect.Things don't exactly take a dive in the Paris chapters, but the book loses its pitch. The family stories, character eccentricities, and clever conversations still charm, but the book loses focus and the plot never delivers on the promise of the book's tightly written set up. Still, FRENCH EXIT was a pleasure to read and I would recommend it to readers of literary fiction looking for something smart and fun to refresh and divert. It will surely appeal to fans of Salinger's Glass family.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to BookBrowse.com for and Advance Reader's copy of French Exit in exchange for my honest review. A variation of this review will be on BookBrowse.com. This was my first Patrick deWitt and I wanted to like it. It was not for me. Described as a "tragedy of manners", it follows the story of a society matron from NY as she has blown through her fortune and her emasculated, dull son. The characters were unlikeable, but more importantly, deWitt did not give me a reason to care about them. Th My thanks to BookBrowse.com for and Advance Reader's copy of French Exit in exchange for my honest review. A variation of this review will be on BookBrowse.com. This was my first Patrick deWitt and I wanted to like it. It was not for me. Described as a "tragedy of manners", it follows the story of a society matron from NY as she has blown through her fortune and her emasculated, dull son. The characters were unlikeable, but more importantly, deWitt did not give me a reason to care about them. The mother is a bully and has few friends, the son seemingly, none. The best character was Small Frank, their cat, but he was unable to redeem this book for me.
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  • Karen W
    January 1, 1970
    Super loved this! Like reading a Whit Stillman movie. Very funny and completely absorbing.
  • Keith Rosson
    January 1, 1970
    This dude is really just fearless when it comes to messing around with genre. This novel, about a beleaguered mother/son duo of socialites fleeing to Paris as a last-ditch resort to their impending bankruptcy, is at times hilarious, touching, daaaark as hell. deWitt writes so deftly that this seems like a fun and light read, even as serious subjects are being tackled. I dunno, I thought it was amazing, I zipped right through it, at times I laughed out loud, and the dialogue is an absolute joy. R This dude is really just fearless when it comes to messing around with genre. This novel, about a beleaguered mother/son duo of socialites fleeing to Paris as a last-ditch resort to their impending bankruptcy, is at times hilarious, touching, daaaark as hell. deWitt writes so deftly that this seems like a fun and light read, even as serious subjects are being tackled. I dunno, I thought it was amazing, I zipped right through it, at times I laughed out loud, and the dialogue is an absolute joy. Recommended.
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  • Kalen
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun, funny, and odd book. Refreshing.
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    January 1, 1970
    Read in prepub. Due out August 2018. deWitt takes characters that are so specific, so quirky and makes them come alive. The book is perfectly strange and funny, but also explores the meaning of family and friendship and the quirks of romantic love. You've never met anyone like Frances and Malcolm and Little Frank, but once you've read the book you'll wonder how you ever got by without their acquaintance. Recommended for fans of Jonathan Ames, Maria Semple, Kevin Wilson. Would be a fun book group Read in prepub. Due out August 2018. deWitt takes characters that are so specific, so quirky and makes them come alive. The book is perfectly strange and funny, but also explores the meaning of family and friendship and the quirks of romantic love. You've never met anyone like Frances and Malcolm and Little Frank, but once you've read the book you'll wonder how you ever got by without their acquaintance. Recommended for fans of Jonathan Ames, Maria Semple, Kevin Wilson. Would be a fun book group choice.
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  • Ampersand Inc.
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this – I think one of the descriptions as being like a Wes Anderson movie is quite apt. And , of course, Wes Anderson is not everyone’s taste. The writing was sparkling and light but somehow not inconsequential. And very funny!
  • Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
    January 1, 1970
    She knew she was living improperly but hadn’t the strength to correct herself. She had twenty thousand euros left; she’d taken to flushing hundreds down the toilet each morning. Patrick deWitt is best known for his 2011 novel, The Sisters Brothers, which has a star-studded film adaptation set to release this fall. His newest book, French Exit, is slated for publication later this summer. In French Exit, a widowed New York socialite and her adult son flee to Paris in the wake of scandal and impen She knew she was living improperly but hadn’t the strength to correct herself. She had twenty thousand euros left; she’d taken to flushing hundreds down the toilet each morning. Patrick deWitt is best known for his 2011 novel, The Sisters Brothers, which has a star-studded film adaptation set to release this fall. His newest book, French Exit, is slated for publication later this summer. In French Exit, a widowed New York socialite and her adult son flee to Paris in the wake of scandal and impending bankruptcy. What follows is a comical path of self destruction and financial ruin. Sometimes referred to as the French Exit or Irish Goodbye, the practice of leaving a social gathering without bidding adieu is generally considered bad manners. The book itself is described as a tragedy of manners, and this is true on many levels. While the tone is light hearted and refined, there is an underlying emotional current running throughout. As he wittily mocks high society, deWitt shows the reader an intimate portrait of a broken family, largely through words left unsaid. What at first seems to be a comical romp in the City of Light, is in truth the story of vulnerable people in search of meaning and connection. Thanks to NetGalley and House of Anansi for the ARC!https://allisonhikesthebookwoods.tumb...
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Made me laugh out loud a couple times. Wonderful, weird Mother, son and cat!
  • RMazin
    January 1, 1970
    French Exit is an overwrought modern drawing room farce but in a NY apartment, an ocean cruise and a French apartment. Frances Price, a chic but older widow, and her too attached son, Malcolm quickly find themselves plunging into bankruptcy. This means leaving behind the NY one percent life and relying on their dwindling funds, as well as a kind offer from Frances’ s friend Joan to decamp to her Parisian apartment. Frances is never one to be logical or frugal. She books passage (with Malcolm) on French Exit is an overwrought modern drawing room farce but in a NY apartment, an ocean cruise and a French apartment. Frances Price, a chic but older widow, and her too attached son, Malcolm quickly find themselves plunging into bankruptcy. This means leaving behind the NY one percent life and relying on their dwindling funds, as well as a kind offer from Frances’ s friend Joan to decamp to her Parisian apartment. Frances is never one to be logical or frugal. She books passage (with Malcolm) on a luxury ocean liner for her farewell voyage. At sea they have odd adventures and encounter strange people, which is later matched by a coterie of people who eventually show up at their Paris apartment. So many arrive it begins to take on aspects of the Marx Brothers stateroom onboard that ship.The only reason to read this book is that you should be enamored by a comedy of manners, have an affinity for Edward Gorey tragedies and enjoy cats. The best character in the book is of course, the cat, Small Frank. His name derives from the deceased husband/father who placed them in this penurious situation. Small Frank is believed to be channeling the spirit of the previously mentioned deceased. The book is humorous although the characters, (except Small Frank) are all quite flawed, eccentric and/or unlikeable. Not your average comedy but written-well with a unique take on upper-class angst. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the opportunity to review a very different book.
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  • Latkins
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I've read by Patrick deWitt, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. It's a fairly entertaining comedy, about a wealthy widow, Frances, and her adult son Malcolm who live in New York, but find themselves having to move to Paris when all their money is spent. Frances's businessman husband Franklin died many years ago, and she was involved in a scandal regarding his death at the time. Since then, Franklin's soul has been living in a cat, which Frances calls Small Frank (!). Ma This is the first book I've read by Patrick deWitt, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. It's a fairly entertaining comedy, about a wealthy widow, Frances, and her adult son Malcolm who live in New York, but find themselves having to move to Paris when all their money is spent. Frances's businessman husband Franklin died many years ago, and she was involved in a scandal regarding his death at the time. Since then, Franklin's soul has been living in a cat, which Frances calls Small Frank (!). Malcolm was left by his parents in a boarding school for much of his childhood, until his father's death, when Frances came and and took him away, and he has lived with her ever since. He has a girlfriend called Susan, but Frances dislikes her and Malcolm finds himself caught between them. When they set off for Paris, to live in Frances's old friend Joan's apartment there, they soon meet many other unusual characters along the way, and we hear lots of little stories from these characters' lives. It was quite funny in places, and easy to read, and there was a hint of darkness throughout, but I found myself wanting more by the end. The characterisation was fairly light and I didn't feel that I really knew any of the characters well enough. I'd like to read a sequel!
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a dark comedy. The kind I love. In many ways a wickedly funny send up of the hoi polloi and yet author deWitt's fabulously eccentric characters are lovable and their antics highly entertaining. In particular, his characterization of Francis Price, the protagonist, makes one think that you might like to have her kind of chutzpa, but definitely NOT be the person to cross her, or even live next door to her! Francis and her 36 yr. old son Malcolm(who lives with mom) suffer bankruptcy and sca This is a dark comedy. The kind I love. In many ways a wickedly funny send up of the hoi polloi and yet author deWitt's fabulously eccentric characters are lovable and their antics highly entertaining. In particular, his characterization of Francis Price, the protagonist, makes one think that you might like to have her kind of chutzpa, but definitely NOT be the person to cross her, or even live next door to her! Francis and her 36 yr. old son Malcolm(who lives with mom) suffer bankruptcy and scandal in NYC and decided to make a "French Exit"(look up what it means!) to Paris so they may carry on in the lifestyle to which they have been accustomed. Chaos and some mayhem ensue. There is a sweet, sort of very dark ending here but many laughs along the way. I am reminded of some of the works of Vonnegut while reading this author and the odd sense of admiration you come to feel for deWitt's similarly quirkey characters. As I said, darkly funny but highly recommended for those who enjoy this sort of humor.
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  • Andy Lillich
    January 1, 1970
    While not my favorite Patrick DeWitt novel (those of you who have read him before may or may not agree with my love of The Sisters Brothers), I found French Exit to be delightful and refreshing and pure pleasure to read.I loved it all, from the witty acerbic introduction of Frances and her adult son Malcom, who epitomize, it seems to me, the extreme of what it means to be white, privileged and ridiculously wealthy to the point where you feel yourself infinitely superior to all others you encount While not my favorite Patrick DeWitt novel (those of you who have read him before may or may not agree with my love of The Sisters Brothers), I found French Exit to be delightful and refreshing and pure pleasure to read.I loved it all, from the witty acerbic introduction of Frances and her adult son Malcom, who epitomize, it seems to me, the extreme of what it means to be white, privileged and ridiculously wealthy to the point where you feel yourself infinitely superior to all others you encounter. The only problem being that such loftiness also makes you lonely, hopelessly misfit and pretty much unable to connect with almost anyone else.I also loved the post French Exit part of the novel, where lonely, misfit characters find themselves flailing somewhat helplessly in attempts to form the very human connection they long for. All of that said, I reserve that final star on account of feeling rather let down and unsatisfied with the ending. I have come to expect more of a Patrick DeWitt ending.Do read it though, reading friends, and let me know what YOU think, yes?
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    A "french exit" is defined as leaving a party without saying goodbye to your host or any other departure where you leave, quietly, unnoticed with business still be be finished. This book definitely fits that definition. Our main character, Francis Price, and her son are real experts at leaving situations and leaving other people hanging...It was an interesting book...did I like it? I am not sure. I loved the "not so main character" a cat named Small Frank and I have to admit, he is the reason I A "french exit" is defined as leaving a party without saying goodbye to your host or any other departure where you leave, quietly, unnoticed with business still be be finished. This book definitely fits that definition. Our main character, Francis Price, and her son are real experts at leaving situations and leaving other people hanging...It was an interesting book...did I like it? I am not sure. I loved the "not so main character" a cat named Small Frank and I have to admit, he is the reason I kept reading! Because I hung in there I sort of cared about the Francis and her son and their persistent troubles. If you are looking for a funny book with a happy ending, skip this one. If you like Patrick DeWitt, his writing style, his strange sense of humor and a couple of really touch characters, you will probably like this one.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    FRENCH EXIT by Patrick DeWittI just couldn’t get interested in this book or the characters in it; Frances, a middle aged widow, and her son, Malcolm. While clearly drawn, neither was likeable or very interesting. Their situation (about to become bankrupt) and their reactions were also not interesting. I finished the book all the while wondering why I kept reading. I can’t in good conscience recommend this book.Frances is a snide, snobbish and selfish person. Malcolm is a man/child who has no amb FRENCH EXIT by Patrick DeWittI just couldn’t get interested in this book or the characters in it; Frances, a middle aged widow, and her son, Malcolm. While clearly drawn, neither was likeable or very interesting. Their situation (about to become bankrupt) and their reactions were also not interesting. I finished the book all the while wondering why I kept reading. I can’t in good conscience recommend this book.Frances is a snide, snobbish and selfish person. Malcolm is a man/child who has no ambition and no desire to do anything including attend to his long suffering fiancé. The entourage they acquire is made up of misfits and ne’er-do-wells. The conclusion is a relief.2 of 5 stars
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Francis Price squanders her late husband's fortune leaving her, her still-at-home adult son Malcolm, and their old cat Small Frank nearly penniless, crashing at a friend's apartment in Paris. DeWitt creates an unforgettable cast of characters as Francis lives her life with full abandon and acerbic observations about her life and the people in it. Fans of Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog cast of characters and the sharp-witted writing style of Emma Straub will enjoy this short, engag Francis Price squanders her late husband's fortune leaving her, her still-at-home adult son Malcolm, and their old cat Small Frank nearly penniless, crashing at a friend's apartment in Paris. DeWitt creates an unforgettable cast of characters as Francis lives her life with full abandon and acerbic observations about her life and the people in it. Fans of Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog cast of characters and the sharp-witted writing style of Emma Straub will enjoy this short, engaging novel.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    A French Exit refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells and the over privileged Price's, Frances and Malcolm, have made a life long, and then some, commitment to this act. deWitt has a gift for creating characters that you might, in hands of another author, hate but instead you end up empathizing and caring for this motley crew. There is weird joy in this novel and a reckoning of sorts. The book bills itself as a "tragedy of manners" and it is but it is also a play on wo A French Exit refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells and the over privileged Price's, Frances and Malcolm, have made a life long, and then some, commitment to this act. deWitt has a gift for creating characters that you might, in hands of another author, hate but instead you end up empathizing and caring for this motley crew. There is weird joy in this novel and a reckoning of sorts. The book bills itself as a "tragedy of manners" and it is but it is also a play on words, an exploration of the mother/son relationship, a dark comedy and good god it has a Talking CAT!. (The Master and Margarita & Kafka on the Shore). I hereby personally nominate Patrick deWitt for the Kafka Award - I can do that, right?.
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  • Kalisa Hyman
    January 1, 1970
    Publishing August 2018"a darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration"The writing gets more points than the story, which didn't really have much action. The writing is witty and will make you smirk if not laugh a bit out loud. The second half, which takes place in Paris, is almost a completely different book. It turns into a madcap tale of quirky characters that make me think this may one day be made in Publishing August 2018"a darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration"The writing gets more points than the story, which didn't really have much action. The writing is witty and will make you smirk if not laugh a bit out loud. The second half, which takes place in Paris, is almost a completely different book. It turns into a madcap tale of quirky characters that make me think this may one day be made into a movie.
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  • Briana K
    January 1, 1970
    Got an ARC from my favorite bookstore. This was a delightful, quick, and surprising read. While many plot elements were foreshadowed or easy to see coming, the writing style is too wonderful and engaging for that to detract. Many well turned phrases had me laughing, much to the chagrin of the bookseller who had given it to me. He was so amused by the quotes and excerpts I read aloud that he requested the copy back once I’d finished the read and has since lent it to three more friends.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Frances Price is a force of nature. Living the charmed life of a wealthy widow, complete with a scandalous past, Frances reigns over waiters, friends, and her adult son Malcolm, who lives with her, with equal acerbity. Malcolm, for his part, is passive to a degree that would be unnerving if not for the fact that he’s perfectly happy with the status quo- much to the chagrin of his fiancé, Susan. But when Frances spends every bit of her money she and Malcolm pack up for Paris, taking their elderly Frances Price is a force of nature. Living the charmed life of a wealthy widow, complete with a scandalous past, Frances reigns over waiters, friends, and her adult son Malcolm, who lives with her, with equal acerbity. Malcolm, for his part, is passive to a degree that would be unnerving if not for the fact that he’s perfectly happy with the status quo- much to the chagrin of his fiancé, Susan. But when Frances spends every bit of her money she and Malcolm pack up for Paris, taking their elderly cat Small Frank (who happens to house the spirit of the late Mr. Price). So begins a farcical “tragedy of manners” that rivals P.G. Wodehouse and Barbara Pym for its intricate plot and witty dialogue. This is a finish-in-one-sitting, smile-while-you’re-reading, entertaining read!
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  • Diana Petty-stone
    January 1, 1970
    It took me awhile to get into this book because it seems a bit superficial. I did like Small Frank in the first part of the book but then I'm a big cat lover. The scenes in the Paris apartment were lively and interesting and I had hopes for a better ending then it had. I have not read Patrick DeWitt's previous book but might like to give it a try.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely love the sheer ridiculousness and frivolity of this book. I am a huge fan of The Importance of Being Earnest for the same reasons. Quirky fun read - that’s not all fun and games- with a quick pace.
  • Amy Hurrell
    January 1, 1970
    I am a big fan of Patrick deWitt's novels Sisters Brothers and Undermajordomo Minor, and although French Exit is delightfully full of deWitt's trademark eccentric characters, witty dialogue and gothic atmosphere, I felt a little let down by the plot. Still an enjoyable read.
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  • Kevin Seccia
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully written book.
  • Kerry
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the quirkiness of the characters. There were parts that made me laugh out loud.
  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    “It’s fun to run from one brightly burning disaster to the next.”
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