French Exit: Book summary and reviews of French Exit by Patrick deWitt

French Exit

by Patrick deWitt

French Exit by Patrick deWitt X
French Exit by Patrick deWitt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Aug 2018
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

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 disintegration.

Frances 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.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Readers will be reminded of Peter Mayles' French-oriented fiction, which means that deWitt's delightful novel is made of high-grade chocolate." - Booklist

"DeWitt's novel is full of vibrant characters taking good-natured jabs at cultural tropes; readers will be delighted." - Publishers Weekly

"General fiction readers who enjoy the ironic and absurd will find this book amusing." - Library Journal

"Reminiscent at points of The Ginger Man but in the end a bright, original yarn with a surprising twist." - Kirkus

The information about French Exit shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Vicki R. (York, PA)

Witty, smart and immensely enjoyable!
Patrick deWitt's new novel "French Exit" is a delightfully fun read. Like his previous books it has a full cast of quirky, unforgettable characters. Frances and her son Malcolm head to Paris after learning that they have squandered away their entire fortune. They bring along with them the family cat, Small Frank who they believe is Frances' late husband. Through riotously funny adventures they meet some very fascinating people that surround them in this time of upheaval. DeWitt's books are just such a pleasure to read although they may not be for the seriously minded!

Sue J. (Brookfield, WI)

Fun Read
French Exit is a story about a widow, her adult son and an aging cat. Facing financial ruin, they embark on an ocean voyage to Paris for a new beginning. The characters are quirky, but very likable. The mother and son are dependent and devoted to each other in a way that is humorous and unpredictable. French Exit was an enjoyable fun read, I highly recommend it!

Lorri

Perfectly strange
Read in prepub. Due out August 2018. deWitt takes characters that are so specific, so quirky that they seem a little too unreal and makes them come alive. The book is perfectly strange and funny, but also explores the meaning of family and friendship and the idiosyncrasies of romantic love (who can figure it out?). 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.

Betsy H. (LeRoy, NY)

Quirky Read
I was instantly sucked into the lives of Frances and Malcolm Price. They were both such eccentric characters, that even though I couldn't really relate to them, I was still intrigued by their stories. I also thought the book was quite funny. Their reactions to each other and situations just seemed so off-the-wall compared to the reality I know.

I think this could be a good book for discussion groups. To some degree it reminded me of The Nest (eccentric rich folks who drink a lot and have a complicated family dynamic).

Molly B, Hygiene, CO

Not sure what to think...
French Exit was entertaining, light, strange, funny, odd. I haven't read the Sisters Brothers, but I will, if only to help me determine what I think about DeWitt as an author. The dialogue in French Exit was funny, in the total frankness and lack of self-consciousness of the speakers. The characters seemed to have no guile. Extraordinary events, strange coincidences, very odd behavior - all were received by characters within the book, and presented to the reader, with not just a grain but a cellar full of salt. DeWitt presents a very different world in an entertaining way.

Alison F. (Clearwater, FL)

French Exit
Like Wes Anderson's Royal Tennenbaums, this novel is filled with quirky, privileged eccentrics that may have a layer of dust on their old shimmering life. Likeable and detestable at the same time, the story is compelling.

...18 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Patrick deWitt Author Biography

Photo: Danny Palmerlee

Patrick deWitt is the author of the critically acclaimed Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, as well as The Sisters Brothers, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize, and French Exit. Born in British Columbia, he has also lived in California and Washington, and now resides in Portland, Oregon.

Other books by Patrick deWitt at BookBrowse
  • Undermajordomo Minor jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Vita Nostra
    Vita Nostra
    by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
    Vita Nostra by Ukrainian authors Sergey and Marina Dyachenko is one of those novels that defies ...
  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.