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French Leave Paperback – November 1, 1997


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Later Printing edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140124519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140124514
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This trio (1922, 1956, and 1970, respectively) present a liberal dose of the signature Wodehouse wit and charm. Fans will enjoy his familiar spoofs of uppercrust British stuffiness and mismatched marriages, all with a happy ending.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever." --Douglas Adams

"Could a P. G. Wodehouse revival be more timely? Overlook Press, which is reissuing Wodehouse's comic novels, clearly has its finger on America's pulse…With its sumptuously bound editions, Overlook Press has done the master proud." --Los Angeles Times

"Wodehouse's novels are the very definition of British humor--bubblingly witty and dryly loony. And as Overlook continues its reissue of these absurd souffles, you can buy the work for yourself in suave hardcover volumes, the dust jackets as natty as the prose" --Entertainment Weekly

"Writers from Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell to Frank McCourt and Ben Elton have praised not only Wodehouse's comic genius but also his impeccable craftsmanship…Each element in a Wodehouse plot, however comically familiar, is irreplaceable." --Boston Globe

"The jokes in Wodehouse aren't like anyone else's jokes, because they depend less on punch lines than on how he manipulates the language--flawlessly, but with a well-honed sense of fun." --Newsweek
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Why, in Heavens name, should a modern reader take the time to read the novels of P.G. Wodehouse?? Is it because he was the funniest writer of the 20th century? He was. Is it because you will marvel at his complete mastery of the English language? You will. Is it because his heroes and villians are equally likable persons?? They are. The star of every Wodehouse novel is not Bertie or Jeeves or Lord Emsworth or Psmith or even Mr. Mulliner; the star, of course, is Wodehouse himself. And when he speaks, you should listen!
French Leave is a non-saga novel (meaning no Jeeves or Uncle Fred) with very appealing characters and wonderous and hilarious misunderstandings. It is the story of three American girls and their adventures in France: a story of love at first sight, of mineral-water millionaires, of rascally French policemen, and of a breach of promise suit that never happens. And like all Wodehouse settings, France seems like Heaven on earth. Warm sunshine seems to glow from each and every page. It is almost as if Wodehouse is speaking directly to his audience saying: Wouldn't you like to be here and spend time with my friends? I think all readers of French Leave would transport themselves there in a minute.
If you've never read Wodehouse before, I cannot but strongly encourage you to join the millions who have discovered this wonderful writer. French Leave is just as good a place as any to start. Because it is a later novel (written in the mid-fifties), it will prime you for some of the even wackier masterpieces of the 20s and 30s. Read on, ladies and gentlemen, and even you may find that song lurks in the depths of your heart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dilip S. Kumar on September 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've read over 100 Wodehouse stories and this one is one of my favorites. The harmless phrase "Where is the dossier Quibolle?" had me rolling off the floor (you have to read the book to find out more...). Wodehouse also weaves in French pronounciations and hilarious interactions between the French and non-French characters in the novel. This book makes you laugh right from the Preface to the last page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I came upon PGW in no systematic way, and my favorites by him may be those most easily accessible: Jeeves and Wooster, the Drones Club, the golf stories, the Mr. Mulliner tales. Taking the occasional chance to read more widely in Wodehouse, however, I came across French Leave, which is delightful in every sense and repays even more than better known Wodehouse fare in becoming more tangled, involving more cultures and sensibilities, and painting a very special picture of young love. French Leave could easily be a Doris Day movie, painting, as it does a visual travelogue in which its actresses' high spirits and light comedy can have free reign, with the unerring touch of the master.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Edie B Hitchcock on January 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
French Leave is the epitome of Wodehouse writing. Everyone gets into more scrapes than any other author could pack into 250 odd pages. I enjoy reading all Wodehouse books and this is an especial favorite. Mr. Wodehouse has a command of the English language we could all do well to emulate. You will enjoy this light look at love and foriegn countries!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of all the Wodehouse I have read and re-read French Leave was the first I could, and sometimes wanted to put down. It is one of the most mature and sophisticated of Plums novels, but it is too derivative. That there is nothing novel in any part of the plot is forgivable in a Wodehouse novel. Almost none of his Jeeves books vary from each other. But here everything feels used.

The above quote is from Wodehouse admitting to his friend Guy Bulton that this book was derived from a storyline already used in three movies, the original , Three Blind Mice by Mr. Bulton. (Quote from Wikipedia) Wikipedia will also note that many of the character names had been lifted from other sourses and most will recognize the use of the name Quackenbush as being from earlier Max Brother's fame. None of the earlier sources ae Wodehouse products.

The story line reads like the Anita Loos stories, How to Marry A Millionaire, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In fact I found myself humming, Two Girls from Little rock through the first 1/3 of this short story. Three ladies, having grown up in some sophistication (they speak French) but surviving as chicken farmers come into a small sum of money. The younger sisters execute a long held plan to blow their share of the money on a trip to France, where they will take turns pretending to be well off, the second sister will act as maid and before the money runs out they will have rich husbands. The older sister being more pragmatic and less pretty will chaperone the younger. In short a movie that had been made at least 5 times plus the 1960's TV show. Wodehouse lifted these ideas, again no crime in this but he did so little with them.

Wodehouse's fame as one of the funniest authors of his generation stands on his skill with dialogue.
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