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
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Aug 28, 2018
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

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

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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.

Diana P. (Schulenburg, TX)

A charming but sad little book.
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.

Leslie R. (Lynchburg, VA)

"Now came strangenesses."
When I read this first sentence of Chapter 36, I laughed out loud. In an entire book of "strangenesses," it would be hard to conceive of any more. From the beginning, I imagined this book as a play, perhaps an off-Broadway farce. I could picture each character as an actor in costume. One quirky situation followed another as mother and son behaved in the most inexplicable ways. With short chapters and some witty dialogue, this book is an entertaining read. The reader just needs to abandon convention and go along for the ride.

Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)

Comic Tale
French Exit is a truly engaging book. The characters are unique, the story borders on crazy, and everything fits together in such a delightful way that the book is a great comic read. A quick easy read and lots of fun!

...15 more reader reviews

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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. Born in British Columbia, he has also lived in California and Washington, and now resides in Portland, Oregon.

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