Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Light, Sweet and a Little Bit Naughty ; BOOKS

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Light, Sweet and a Little Bit Naughty ; BOOKS

Article excerpt

The Merde Factor By Stephen Clarke (Century, Pounds 12.99) Paul West (or 'Poll Wess' as his colleagues insist on calling him) is trying his best to survive as an Englishman in Paris.

Paul West (or 'Poll Wess' as his colleagues insist on calling him) is trying his best to survive as an Englishman in Paris. His patience is put to the test, however, by those seemingly intent on making his life a misery - former boss Jean-Marie, who wants to sell the English tea shop they coown, ex-girlfriend Alexa, whose presence is causing ructions between Paul and his new girlfriend, and a cantankerous neighbour, whose loud Gallic swearing threatens to disrupt his new business venture.

Some scenarios are so cringeworthy you suspect they may just have happened in real life.

Paul, the outsider in a deeply patriotic nation, is more than believable with his candour and humour.

This latest instalment in Stephen Clarke's series based on Paul's adventures is like a pain au chocolat by the Seine - light, sweet and just a little bit naughty.

Lauren Turner John Saturnall's Feast Lawrence Norfolk (Bloomsbury, Pounds 16.99) It is more than 20 years since Lawrence Norfolk's debut novel, Lempriere's Dictionary, hit the best-seller lists and saw the author hailed as one of literature's bright, young things.

His latest novel combines a trademark historical setting, a complex plot and an exuberant embrace of English guaranteed to introduce the reader to a few unfamiliar words.

The story of a young boy chased from his home by superstitious villagers in 17th century England travels from the kitchens of a local manor house to the battlefields of the Civil War as John Saturnall attempts to create a longforgotten feast which has been handed down the generations in his family.

in his family.

recreates the sights, smells and sounds in vivid, atmospheric detail, littering the book with evocative recipes of exotic Norfolk recreates the sights, smells and sounds in vivid, atmospheric detail, littering the book with evocative recipes of exotic spices to produce a fictional feast fit for a king. …

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