French Exit: A Novel

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Frances Price is bankrupt. Selling off her estate, and bringing little more than a handbag full of euros, her adult son Malcolm, and a cat named “Small Frank”– presumably because it carries the ghost of her late husband, Frank— Frances sets sail from New York on an ocean liner bound for Paris. When she and Malcolm arrive, a colorful cast of characters is soon assembled, and hijinks ensue, particularly between the overbearing Frances and her hapless, childish son. By the end of the novel, someone is dead. Also, this novel is somehow one of the funniest I have read in years.

Patrick deWitt’s French Exit follows a breezy, vague plot, and any likable characters in this story do not include the central protagonists, Frances and Malcolm. At the same time, the absurdity of the characters and events of the plot, combined with deWitt’s persistent and clever banter, result in a tale of American aristocratic manners that is both eminently readable and impossibly entertaining. I found myself reading this book in long stretches, unable to wait to see what kinds of trouble Frances and Malcolm would get themselves in and out of, and I wholly recommend you do the same.

Reviewed By:

Author Patrick deWitt
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2018-08-28
ISBN 9780062846921 Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category Modern Literature


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