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Detour De France: An Englishman in Search of a Continental Education by Michael Simkins
  

Detour De France: An Englishman in Search of a Continental Education

Biography / Autobiography   

RRP £10.99

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Sue Baker's view...

A bit of middle-aged angst, a quest for broadening horizons, self-improvement and a spot of culture, what else would do but a tour of France? The Simkins credit card comes in for a bit of bashing, classy new suits, a stay at the best hotel in Cannes and gambling in Biarritz- but in between he takes a wayward tour of France, following Jacques Tati’s footsteps, taking the waters and experiencing Lourdes. It’s charming and funny, an excellent introduction to Michael Simkins and his humour.

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Synopsis

Detour De France: An Englishman in Search of a Continental Education by Michael Simkins

Though happy enough with his lot, Michael Simkins has never truly shaken the nagging doubt - helpfully upheld by his partner Julia - that he somehow lacks worldly sophistication. While she spent her teenage years as a nanny on a boat moored at Cannes, his utter lack of travel experience (Weymouth, Cleethorpes and a day trip to Dieppe) still has the power to shock people into leaving dinner parties early. So as he hits middle-age, Michael takes up the challenge of broadening his horizons. He decides to improve himself in the same way English gentlemen lacking refined edges have for centuries: by learning from our more cultured French neighbours. Michael, an English provincial ingenue, sets off to discover just what the Gallic nation can teach him and the rest of us Anglo-Saxons about living the good life with equal parts elan and savoir-faire. Armed only with 50 Useful Phrases in French, he waits to see if his odyssey from La Manche to the Riviera will finally turn him from the scotch-egg eating spawn of Anne Widdecombe and John McCririck into the champagne-sipping love child of Serge Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve. Julia is saying a prayer for him at Lourdes.


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About the Author

Michael Simkins trained at RADA. He has appeared in more than 70 plays in rep, and stage highlights include A View from the Bridge at the NT as well as musicals Chicago and Mamma Mia. He also directed Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends at the Greenwich Theatre. He has made countless TV appearances - recent credits include Foyle's War and My Family - as well as turns on the silver screen in such films as Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. He has worked with luminaries as diverse as Anthony Perkins, John Malkovich, Michael Gambon and Buster Merryfield. He lives in London with his actress wife Julia.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2009

Author

Michael Simkins

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Publisher

Ebury Press

Format

Paperback
320 pages

Categories

Travel writing

ISBN

9780091927523

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