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The Second Worst Restaurant in France

by Alexander McCall Smith

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Humour (fiction) Modern and Contemporary Fiction

LoveReading View on The Second Worst Restaurant in France

Gentle and pointed good humour abounds in this lovely read, Alexander McCall Smith excels in creating whimsical yet sharply observed novels with real heart. He was the winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2015 with Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party which I absolutely adored, and The Second Worst Restaurant in France certainly lived up to my expectations. Food writer Paul Stewart escapes to France to stay with his cousin Chloe in order to finish his latest book, however, located in the village is the restaurant aptly known as second worst in France. Within a few pages I had an understanding of Paul, he very simply makes himself known and acts as a perfect foil to Chloe, who on occasion rather steals the limelight! A whole host of wonderful characters enter the story as Paul’s livelihood is threatened and everything is thrown into a delightful muddle. The Second Worst Restaurant in France is a gorgeously easy read, I smiled, I laughed, and enjoyed every moment… PS I would love to see Chloe feature in her own story, what a woman! 

Liz Robinson

The Second Worst Restaurant in France Synopsis

Paul Stewart has returned to Scotland to continue his successful career. His agent and girlfriend, Gloria, has arranged for him to write The Philosophy of Food in Six Easy Chapters, a project he relishes but that will have to be delivered in six months. It is not going well, as Paul finds his domestic circumstances unsuited to concentrated hard work: Gloria has now moved in with him (not specifically invited) and has brought with her two extremely vocal and demanding Siamese cats. The cats give Paul no peace. Beginning to worry that The Philosophy of Food will never be written Paul calls on the aid of his cousin, Chloe, who suggests a radical course of action. She has taken a six-month lease on a house in a French village not far from Poitiers and invites him to join her there and get the book finished in peace. He needs no second bidding and it is not long before he escapes to France. Once there, however, Paul finds his fortunes tangled up with the fate of one eating establishment in the village: the infamous Second Worst Restaurant in France ...

The Second Worst Restaurant in France Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

The Second Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith is a great read with some distinctive characters to enjoy along the way. Based a round a food writer and a French restaurant! Full review


A great novel, a great author and great characters. I can't wait to read more. Full review

Kat Thack

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781846974212
Publication date: 09/05/2019
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781846974212
Publication date: 9th May 2019
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 256 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Humour, Modern and Contemporary Fiction,
Collections: 50 Books To Transport You To Another World, 80+ Humorous Novels - from Wry and Sly Observations to Outright Chuckles and Laughter.,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction & related items, Humour,

About Alexander McCall Smith

McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humor, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers — New York Times Alexander McCall Smith, often referred to as ‘Sandy’,  is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the UK and abroad before turning his hand to writing fiction. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist ...

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