Sunday, September 17, 2017

French License --by Joe Start

Nonfiction / Essays
292 pages / 2305 KB
5 Stars

DISCLAIMER: I was given a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am a fairly fast reader, and normally, when I am given a book in exchange for a review, I sit down and read it. After all, the author or publisher who entrusted it to my care is waiting for my input. Now and then, I find a book that I don't want to read in one sitting Never in a Hurry by Naomi Shihab Nye, Places Left Unfinished at the Moment of Creation by John Philip Santos and now French License by Joe Start. I started this book of essays about his odyssey of moving to France and obtaining permission from the Country to legally drive on their highways and byways and was enjoying it so much, I parsed out the essays to a few a day just to make the book last longer. Sorry Mr. Start, if I've taken too long to read it.

Having lived in Germany, many years ago, I could relate to some of his frustrations. Not that I had to deal with a drivers license, but I did have to deal with a new country, language, and culture. As much fun as it was, it still had its moments.

French License should be read by anyone who is considering moving to a different country, for whatever reason and for however long. In fact, it jolly well might be worth it to read before going on a vacation in a country with a language and culture you're not intimately familiar with.

While the basic story is about the trials and tribulations of getting his drivers license, it is also a marvelous and quite humorous look at life as an ex-pat. There is, as he learned, a major difference between Futball and Football, and though I'm not a fan of the latter, his story of going to the bar to see the game is pretty funny.

There is a lot of French thrown in, but for the most part, it's translatable from the context, and when it isn't, translation is provided by the author. The one thing I have a question on, obviously I don't speak French, is at the beginning of each chapter, after the Chapter (Number) is the word Borne and a double digit number—00, 25, 50, etc. I never did figure that one out.

Do I recommend this book? Without hesitation or reservation. A delightful read that will be savored again, I'm sure.

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