French Exit by Patrick deWitt

French Exit

Patrick deWitt

French Exit (aka ‘ghosting’) is a term for leaving a social situation without saying goodbye to the hosts - a particularly apt title for this novel about New Yorker socialites (a dysfunctional mother and son relationship) decamping to Paris after being declared bankrupt. This old fashioned tragicomedy of manners, with its absurdist plot and cast of stock farce dramatis personae, is a must for lovers of social satire like myself.

Extract

After she'd gone Madeleine said, 'She's neat. What's she paying you?'
'Paying me?'
'Aren't you her gigolo?'
'Oh my God,' said Malcolm. 'That's my mother.'
Madeleine held up her hand. 'Excuse me. But you'd be surprised at how common it is.'

Parallels
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • The Dalkey Archive by Flann O'Brien

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