Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis: [from: eloquentbooks.com]
Frédéric was a perfectly normal French boy. He lived on the outskirts of Paris, in a countryside setting, and his life seemed destined to be a quiet, predictable ride if you were willing to ignore a reasonably dysfunctional family, dangerous and colorful friends, a gorgeous English teacher, a near-paralytic attitude toward women on a romantic level, no self-confidence to speak of, and a habit of letting himself be dragged into twisted situations. Through the French school system, family vacations, beauty school, military service, complicated border crossings, wedding plans, and a ludicrously long trail of failed attempts at relationship, he remained barely sane enough to forge his own opinions on what, how, and why the French do the things they do. In this series of essays, he reaffirms or decries stereotypes, presents the pros and cons of the French lifestyle, but also shows that not all French men are smooth, sophisticated, or have all the answers about the female gender. However, if you’d rather read about car sickness, moped accidents, German flatulence, foul-mouthed grannies, beachside mishaps, tanks, or the wrong way to marry the right girl, you’re in luck! This book does that too.
I can pretty much sum the entire book up into one word: HILARIOUS! I found myself laughing out loud immediately in the first few pages. As I continued my reading adventure into Frederic's life, there was ranges from a grin, to a chuckle, to all out bursts of laughter that caused some serious weird looks from family members.
This collection of essays tells the story the author's life, Frederic Guarino, who I have really come to love! I'm totally jealous of the hilarities in his life and I even told him I hope my life is full of adventures and crazy characters like his has been. It's hard to sum up the book even though it's a pretty well laid out timeline which ranges from some of Frederic's childhood, to his teen years and then into his young adult years. Reading this was more like a journey. I don't really know if it was the writing itself or if it was the tone set throughout the book that had me really feeling like I was there.
Something that really stood out for me was my preconception of France, and foreign countries in general for that matter. I suppose the way I grew up, even with the media and internet, I always felt that life was different for people outside of the U.S. Okay, so maybe I didn't totally feel that way but I was really taken aback at how much Frederic's life resembled everyone else's I knew. It just seriously made me want to smack myself in the head for ever thinking that life was different outside the U.S.
Anywho, I think what really made this book were the characters! Ranging from his parents to complete strangers, they truly are unforgettable. I promise you will definitely find a favorite character in the book. I'm very happy to announce that tomorrow I will have an excerpt from the book for your viewing pleasure thanks to Frederic. I definitely think if you get a taste of his writing you'll want to go out and read the book.
French Bred is only available in e-book format as of right now. Something that really seemed to have bothered me. Apparently I'm not a big e-book fan. Maybe I'll have to invest in a Kindle or a Sony e-Reader. So tune in tomorrow for Chapter 1 and a slice of this Parisian's life.