"How refreshing and, to be honest, reassuring to come across a book of such high quality.... If you want to unravel French DNA, read this book. Thanks to good research and a modern, reader-friendly layout, it paints a true picture of French culture in such a way that you can read about a subject thoroughly or just pick little snippets of interesting information....This is a very impressive book indeed...a pleasure to read ....It should come with a 'Learning guaranteed' certificate."
"In intelligent tabloid style, it gallops through history (from Cro-Magnon to Sarkozy in 14 pages: brilliant), art, literature, music, food and more besides. Overlooking hardly anything of importance, it's a miracle of compression spiced with good trivia....Read the book carefully and you will have the skeleton of French culture."
"Even as Eurostar relocates to a gloriously refurbished St Pancras station and the journey time between London and Paris is shaved even closer, more and more people on both sides of the Channel are taking advantage of the extra opportunities this highly cherishable link offers us. And for those already in love with France (not to mention the ever-increasing legions of converts), Speak the Culture: France will be an invaluable aid and companion.
Actually, no publisher has attempted anything quite like this, and the publishers Thorogood are to be much applauded for their ingenuity and achievement. The subtitle is Be fluent in French Life and Culture, and that facility is just what this remarkable volume offers, cramming an amazing mass of information into its well-designed pages. Everything is here, from French art and literature, architecture, media, sport, fashion and (of course) food and drink. But while not being in the slightest dumbed down, the information here (while often dealing with such weighty subjects as Proust and French existential philosophers) is delivered in a concise and highly accessible style (and aided considerably by the clever graphics which have a nicely self-mocking subtext--when was that last seen in a book on a foreign country?).
So, you're sitting on Eurostar, and a fresh espresso is to hand. Don't reach for the glossy magazine the train company provides--crack open Speak the Culture: France and you'll be thoroughly tooled up for your visit to the City of Light."
"For anybody living in France, visiting the country on holiday or simply interested in French life, Speak the Culture: France
is essential reading."
"A veritable cultural kaleidoscope of famous, influential and significant activities, events, place and people that add up to France."
Andrew Whittaker has travelled widely and written extensively on France and the Mediterranean countries.