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France - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture Paperback – September 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Smart!
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857333071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857333077
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.3 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.

About the Author

BARRY TOMALIN is an English writer and trainer with a BA in Anthropology and Linguistics from the University of London. He has thirty years’ experience of education and training in France. Fluent in French, he has lived in France, Algeria, and in Francophone Africa, and has trained business students and diplomats. He is currently a module leader on the MA program in Media, Technology, and Culture Studies at the University of Westminster, London.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Fabrice on April 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am French, and yet I do not recognise French culture or people in this book.

Even though about 10-20% of the book is accurate, the rest is just a compilation of ridiculous inaccuracies (I am 35 and have never seen any shop closed on good friday in France) or fairly xenophobic clichés (i.e. The French see themselves as a big family, Frenchness and French language are an obsession, they keep on innovating in order to feel good as a country, they do not use deodorant, etc!!!).
The author seems to build on his personal prejudices/frustrations toward the French, without realising that the traits he attributes to the French people in general are usually some types of general criticisms that could apply to any kind of people, including the English or the Americans.

Due to their lack of originality, these criticisms will not teach one much about France, but may comfort one in one's erroneous prejudices. Go for another book about France, sorry...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RainBowie on June 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I heard Culture Smart! is a great series, but this book is a HUGE exception.

Read "Au Contraire: Figuring out the French"(available free online) or "French or Foe" instead. The many quotes he has from these books were the only minor insights available.

The author spent the entire book making snide comments on how horribly impossible and arrogant French people are(The author is British). What was worse than his attitude was the fact that he assumed that if you are a British or American person in France you automatically want to meet other British and American people instead of French people. There were typos, it repeated itself almost verbatim throughout the book and really if I hadn't already fallen in love with France from a previous trip I would have been afraid that French people would eat me. TERRIBLE BOOK.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is where you want to go to learn more- my 3rd visit & still more to learn - essential for business - great for being a tourist
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By Cynthia Carrell on April 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So much good info all in one book! From food to business dealings, this is indispensable. Quick and easy to read.
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the book, I came to the conclusion that the author just hates the French people. If I had read this book before my first trip to France, I would have cancelled it.
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