Touche : A French Woman's Take on the English, Paperback Book

Touche : A French Woman's Take on the English Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Why France and Britain are so different, and why they do things in opposite ways.A brilliant and vigorous observer of both French and British societies, which she knows intimately, 32-year-old Agnes Catherine Poirier has spent the last ten years explaining the peculiarities of France to the British and of Britain to the French. Not an easy job.Having studied both in Paris and London, writing in both languages for the French and British press, Agnes Catherine Poirier plays with national stereotypes, which are both stupid and dangerous, with dexterity and savoir faire. She goes beneath the surface to explain why France and Britain keep arguing and competing endlessly, why they are so different and why they do things in almost opposite ways.Covering the worlds of art, politics, action, food, institutions, sex, history, media, society and philosophy, she tells us as much about us as why France is a nation apart.Revenge for tabloid attacks on France or for British expats' invasions of Brittany and the Dordogne? You decide. But this will entertain and educate all readers about their own country and whether its 'entente' with La Belle France is 'cordiale' or not.You may disagree with her but you may never see yourself in the same way again.


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Review by

I was surprised by how clever this little book is. The cover certainly suggested otherwise - that this would only be a bagatelle, a little gossip-column look at superficial differences between two nations, but it is far more than that.

Review by

What Agnès Poirier explains in this little book is often very true, and I'm surprised she could grasp so clearly the differences between the French and the English. However, I found the book more interesting in its first half. In the other half, shorter chapters give the impression that Agnès Poirier was impatient to get to the end...At least this book taught me some nice phrases in English which can be useful next time I visit London for engaging me in conversation with the locals (for instance: <I>Fuck off, you fucking retard</I>). I found funny (funny ha-ha) that Agnès Poirier remarked that there was no intermediate level in English between such a phrase and, for instance, <I>Sorry, dear, I'm afraid you stepped on my toes</I>.There are also some nice anecdotes on food and drinks, even if I do not agree with what Agnès Poirier says about the <I>rognons</I> she ate in a Lyonese restaurant. If I remember correctly, she says rognons are ram's testicles. This is true for what is discreetly called <I>rognons blancs</I>, but <I>rognons</I> are just kidneys, well-known to British palates. Agnès Poirier also tells that British children are often unable to recognize vegetables. In one instance she reports having seen on TV, a boy presented with rhubarb thought that was a potato. Amazing, isn't it?

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