French Exit

A Novel
Narrated by: Lorna Raver
Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (198 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling author Patrick deWitt, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration.

Frances Price - tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature - is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts.

Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin - to riotous effect. A number of singular characters serve to round out the cast: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic proposing a seance, and a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, to name a few.  

Brimming with pathos, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind 'tragedy of manners,' a send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute. 

©2018 Patrick deWitt (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

deWitt deLivers Eccentric Quirky Characters

Have you ever read a novel with a central character consistently delivering a flat affect performance in each and every scene, yet who is endearing and extremely well developed?
Do you enjoy mother-son relationships which seem to have an implied but never blatant oedipal undercurrent?
Do you relish a peek into great wealth while secretly celebrating old-money's sudden losses?
Do you keep any DSM (a DSM-V isn't necessary) in your reference library?
Are you fascinated by stories of stilted relationships - familial, financial, friendship, romantic - unfolding into richly satisfying conclusions?
Do you love cats, New York and Paris?
French Exit provides drama, quirky characters, eccentric behavior, some surprises, love of more than one sort, betrayal, eating and drinking to excess, a private investigator, private schools, some Paris flats, some park benches and a few homeless beings in this extremely well written and entertaining novel.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Funny, Serious and Sad

The story was funny, adventurous, serious and also sad. The voices we're perfect for the story line.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Charming!

A story of delightful twists with strange and wonderful characters! It was fun to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Mixed bag

Loved some of this book but it goes nowhere. The ending is awful and sad. Cannot recommend the book simply based on the ending alone.

4 people found this helpful

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Quirky and fun

The book wasn't exactly mesmerizing but it was quirky and fun. The narrator did a good job of going between characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed the story, characters, and narrator

deWitt's quips, descriptions, characters, and dialogue really made this book worth the read. the narrator was great, I felt that Raver captured the main characters very well.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

The humor, the characters, the dialogue are masterfully crafted. Quite a pleasure...looking forward to the film!

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely wonderfull.

What an enjoyable story. if you like dark humor, eccentricity, and original characters you'll love this story. if you are a mouth breathing, narrow minded person you won't like this story. Other reviews have had a problem with the ending. the ending fits the story perfectly.

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So close to being great...

This book has the potential to be superb in the vein of the Mitfords or Gibbons. The story is great with fabulous twists but the author never catches up. He's not a good enough writer to do justice to his story. Left me feeling very empty and frustrated. I wanted what the novel promised. Narration was good.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The worst

Hard to listen to the reader's voice. Even after listening to 93 percent of this book I could find character development or depth of character. Nor depth of a story.

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Profile Image for Gary B.
  • Gary B.
  • 01-07-19

Thoroughly enjoyable carefree adventure

This unbelievable story, filled with unbelievable occurrences (and talking cats) is filled with completely believable characters and a humanity that is both believable, warm and infectious. The characters are real, 3D and yet often unpleasant. In fact, it's only when you put together all these erroneous events and characters that a lovely, well-formed whole comes together. A really enjoyable listen and, in my opinion, one well worth your time.