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Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi Paperback – July 5, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

- Hilariously perceptive - New York Magazine

- Extremely funny and intelligent - France 24

- Hysterically funny - Girls' Guide to Paris

- One of the funniest books I've ever read and one of the cleverest concerning the French - John Talbott

- Extremely well written and witty - Paris Missives

- A well deserved spanking for all Parisians - GQ

- Indispensable and irresistible - Le Point

- An insider’s look at the delights of Paris - British Weekly

- Really well written and absolutely hilarious - Mediapart

- I barely made it through the first page laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes - Weekend in Paris

- Run and get it - France 3

From the Back Cover

In the tradition of the New York Times bestseller Stuff White People Like, a tongue-in-cheek homage to Parisians.

To be mistaken for a Parisian, readers must buy the newspaper Le Monde, fold it, and walk. Then sit at a café and make phone calls. Be sure to order San Pellegrino, not any other kind of fizzy water. They shouldn't be surprised when a waiter brings out two spoons after they order le moelleux au chocolat- it is understood that the dessert is too sinfully delicious not to share. Go to l'île Saint-Louis-all Parisians are irredeemably in love with that island. Feel free to boldly cross the street whenever the impulse strikes-pedestrian crosswalks are too dangerous. If they take a cruise on the Seine, they will want to stand outside, preferably with their collar popped up. If they want to decorate, may we suggest the photographs of Robert Doisneau? To truly be cool in Paris, own an iPhone, wear Converse sneakers, and order sushi. And as they stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, remember-they can't go wrong wearing black. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425241181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425241189
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephen Hagata on August 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I am a francophile, to be sure and love Paris and its history and culture. That being said, Olivier Magny has written a book that presents Parisians in a style that is readily understandable to Americans who so often travel to Paris unaware that they are in a very foreign culture. What made the book especially fun was Olivier's tongue-in-cheek humor as he gently mocked his fellow Parisians. Such insight and wit make it very hard to believe that English is not his native tongue. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I sought out this book on Amazon after seeing it mentioned in the news somewhere. After reading it, I visited Paris and happened to wander over to O Chateau, Olivier Magny's very cool wine bar, and had a warm chat with the author himself over a great Bordeaux. Not only is Olivier's book hilarious and biting in its laser-like take on Parisians vs. "All the Others," Olivier himself is a delightful, droll Parisian who doesn't take himself too seriously and also pours some great wine! You won't find any other book exactly like this, so if you want to get the insider's view, pick up this book AND visit O Chateau which is definitely a happening place.
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Format: Paperback
Then "Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi" is the book for you. Part homage, part satire, part serious and part tongue-in-cheek, the author lambastes what he considers the decline in Parisian sophistication.

Well, as it turns out the products description choose the same quote from the promo matrial as I did. So here's another of the authors sallys, this time about Americans: "Parisians have a bit of a different physiology. Things like a certain inability to smile are quite well known expressions of this phenomenon. Some are much lesser known: an interesting experience when chatting with a Parisian is to place the words "Les Américains" in a sentence. These two words put together - in any imaginable sentence - immediately trigger a chemical reaction in the Parisian's brain. When hearing the phrase "Les Américains", the Parisian will implacably lose track of his previous ideas to just be taken over by one overpowering thought. That is: "Oui, mais les Américains, ils sont cons".

There is no exception to that rule. Americans are all stupid. End of the story. The fact that America is the most successful and probably the most creative country in the world should come as no argument. The fact that all Parisians deliberately wear American clothes, watch American movies, listen to American music, use American words or fantacize about American celebrities either. Americans are fat, stupid and ugly. Period.....

It would be impolite at that point to bring to the Parisian's attention that he starts to sound like the stupid American he despises so much. Plus, despite his obvious in-depth knowledge of America, chances are he might not get the joke...
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Format: Paperback
I have bought several copies of this book both in French and English and offered them as gifts to friends and family. Being myself a parisian since birth myself, I can confirm it is all true ! Some chapters made me laugh ! Olivier Magny's approach to describing parisians is hilarious and so witty. A fun book indeed ! Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi
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The author is hilarious and gives you an insider (and wry) view of Parisians. Essentially, they apparently like to be miserable but manage to look chic while wallowing in their misery. Surprises also abound --why don't French women get fat? Cuz they don't eat! Learn more and laugh with this witty book.
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A brilliant book, hilarious!
If the saying "Every joke has a bit of truth in it" makes sense, this book is no kidding has 99% truth.
It's funny and pleasure to read. I enjoyed it till the very last page.
Divided into small chapters with bottom lines and useful expressions in French, this is in a way a guide book and a key to mysterious character and phenomenon of Parisians.
The book is written by a gently sarcastic insider, an author who really knows what he is talking about.
Being bona fide Parisian himself and having a great sense of humour he puts a magnifying mirror in front of fellow Parisians and invite us to lough out loud together.
And Parisians are not so distant anymore, they are human beings after all, just the lucky ones to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
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For those who have met and observed Parisians, this is a very amusing description and send-up of that animal. For an English speaker, the big bonus is learning some of the language as it is really spoken, idoimatic phrases and all. This would be a great read on a plane headed to the City of Light. When the traveler gets there, he/she will be able to spot the Parisians among the throngs as well as the tourists we all try not to be.
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Olivier Magny is not Mark Twain and this is not Huckleberry Finn on the Seine. But, if the saying "Every good joke has truth in it" makes sense to you, you will find this book has a lot of truth and generates some smiles. It is a guide to the character and contemporary culture of Parisians. It is written in English with one or two page chapters that end with useful hints and some non-textbook expressions in French. It's funny and easy to read.
The author is a gently sarcastic bona fide Parisian himself, a Parisian business school graduate and a guy with a great wry sense of humour. Parisians are not so distant anymore, they are just as human and messed up as the rest of us. They just live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
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