Cover image for French exit : a tragedy of manners
Title:
French exit : a tragedy of manners
Title:
French exit : a tragedy of manners
Publisher Info:
New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Physical Description:
244 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Pagination may vary.
Abstract:
"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."-- provided by publisher.
Geographic Term:

Available:*

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FIC DEWI New or Popular Adult Fiction Book
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F DEWITT New or Popular Adult Fiction Book
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FIC DEWI New or Popular Adult Fiction Book
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DEW New or Popular Adult Fiction Book
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DEWITT, P. New or Popular Adult Fiction Book
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On Order

Summary

Summary

National Bestseller

NAMED A RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE SEASON BY:

Vanity Fair * Entertainment Weekly * Vulture * The Millions * Publishers Weekly * Esquire * San Francisco Chronicle * USA Today * Parade * The Washington Post * Buzzfeed

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, and a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, to name a few.

Brimming with pathos, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind 'tragedy of manners,' a send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this entertaining novel (subtitled a "tragedy of manners") that lampoons the one percent, deWitt (The Sisters Brothers) follows the financial misfortune of wealthy widow Frances Price, a magnetic and caustic 60-something New Yorker who has spent most of the fortune her late lawyer husband amassed defending the indefensible. Insolvency comes as a shock to Frances despite repeated warnings her financial adviser about her extravagant lifestyle. She reluctantly accepts an offer to occupy a friend's Parisian flat and sets sail with her rakish, lovesick son, Malcolm; her house cat, Small Frank; and her last _170,000. On board, she concocts a secret plan to spend every penny, while Malcolm befriends a medium who can see the dying (they're green). In Paris, the book finds its surest footing, as Small Frank flees and a lonely neighbor connects Frances to a doctor, his wine merchant, and a private eye, who locates the medium to contact the cat, who may hold some secrets. The love of Malcolm's life and her dim-witted fiancé also arrive, as does the owner of the now extremely crowded flat. DeWitt's novel is full of vibrant characters taking good-natured jabs at cultural tropes; readers will be delighted. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

This smart, very nearly smart-alecky social comedy by the author of Undermajordomo Minor (2015) rewards casual fiction readers with a load of fun. Frances Price is a sixtysomething Upper East Side widow and socialite, with whom her 30-year-old single son still lives, and the cat in the household, Small Frank, also holds his own as a prominent character. All of a sudden, Frances' money goes down the drain due to her excessive spending, an inevitable crisis that gives the plot its dramatic tension. A friend of Frances' lends her the use of an apartment in Paris, and off to France on a steamship go Frances, her son, and Small Frank, to calculate what their next step in life should be. To put it succinctly, things don't settle down and go smoothly, but then Frances' philosophy has always been, It's fun to run from one brightly burning disaster to the next. Readers will be reminded of Peter Mayles' French-oriented fiction, which means that deWitt's delightful novel is made of high-grade chocolate.--Brad Hooper Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Frances Price, wealthy widow of high-rolling lawyer Franklin Price, has made it her mission to spend every dime of her inheritance. As the story opens, she has very nearly accomplished this goal. She and son Malcolm find themselves forced to sell everything of value left to them. With their cat, Small Frank, they take up residence in a friend's apartment in Paris. They collect a variety of roommates, including the owner of the apartment, a lonely expat, a wine merchant, a private detective, a clairvoyant, and Malcolm's fiancée. When Small Frank goes missing, Frances calls on the clairvoyant to contact him. At the story's dark and emotionally complex end, they all get what they want-more or less. Acclaimed author deWitt (The Sisters Brothers) crafts a story that entertains to the last page. His characters are quirky caricatures, warped by their social position and wealth by their nurturing (or lack thereof) and mostly bereft of any practicality. The result is both comical and sad. In the long view, the moral seems to be that money can't buy love, so you might as well spend the cash. VERDICT General fiction readers who enjoy the ironic and absurd will find this book amusing. [See Prepub Alert, 2/12/18.]-Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode -Island Libs., Providence © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.