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The Crack Magazine


French Exit

Patrick deWitt, Bloomsbury

The Canadian author Patrick deWitt scored a huge hit with his 2011 novel ‘The Sisters Brothers’ (which has just been made into a film) and ‘French Exit’, his latest, is every bit as good. It begins in modern day Manhattan where we’re introduced to the 65-year-old Frances Price, an acerbic widow who lives with her thirty-something son, Malcolm, and Small Frank, her ageing cat who Frances believes hosts the spirit of her late husband. She has lived most of her life steeped in riches but after putting off her accountant one time too many he eventually catches up with her to say that the money has run out and she must sell up. A friend tells her that she has an apartment going spare that she can use, with the only catch being that it is in Paris. Frances once lived in the French capital and so has no qualms about upping sticks – with her son and cat in tow. Chuck in a cast of true eccentrics and you’ve got a very funny tale that, nevertheless, is full of warmth and pathos.   

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