French Exit
by Patrick DeWitt


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
 
 
 
Overview

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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062846921
  • ISBN-10: 0062846922
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: August 2018
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.75 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General
Books > Fiction > Humorous - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Flailing in style

Whatever you do, don’t mess with Frances Price. If you’re a waiter, and the “moneyed, striking woman of sixty-five” who is the protagonist of French Exit enters your restaurant, make sure you’re polite to her, or she just might take out her perfume, spritz the centerpiece and set it on fire.

She has nice qualities, too—she gives money to charities and the homeless—but she’s also likely to leave for a ski holiday in Vail rather than contact the authorities when she discovers that her husband, a ruthless litigator, has died of cardiac arrest.

The tabloid scandal caused by her indifference hasn’t stopped her from living an extravagant Manhattan lifestyle since her husband’s death 20 years ago. But enforced austerity is about to begin. Her financial adviser tells her that the money she inherited has run out. Sell everything that isn’t nailed down, he tells her, and begin again.

When an old friend offers her the use of a Paris apartment, Frances reluctantly accepts. Soon, she’s sailing across the Atlantic with Malcolm, her 32-year-old kleptomaniacal “lugubrious toddler” of a son, and Small Frank, an elderly cat she is convinced houses the spirit of her late husband.

Patrick deWitt has great fun with this premise. He populates the story with such characters as Susan, the fiancée Malcolm leaves behind in New York; Madeleine, a medium who can tell when someone is about to die because they look green; and Madame Reynard, an American widow who befriends the Prices because of her fascination with the tabloid scandal.

If French Exit doesn’t always reach the zany heights it strives for, it’s still an entertaining portrait of people who are obsessed with the looming specter of death and who don’t quite feel part of the time they were born into.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews