Cover Image: The Gallic Cooking-Pot

The Gallic Cooking-Pot

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Member Reviews

A tongue in cheek exploration of how British people can best navigate relationships and conversations with their French Comrades.
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"How is it possible that we are so admired for the things we are not even conscious about, while being so condemned for the personality traits that in my opinion are magnificent qualities?"

The authors liken the personality of the French to cooking. It needs to be both enough and not too much, else it is spoilt. They used illustrations, translations and lots of examples. In theory, a great recipe.

I appreciated the educational elements of the book. I can't lie - I did not know the French had 300 types of cheese. The book took a very logical approach, breaking down fundamental elements of French culture, However, there were a lot of strong opinions based heavily on stereotypes and blanket generalisations. What I'd expected to be satire or humour seemed almost too serious.

I'd be super intruiged to hear the thoughts of a French reader on the book, but personally, I enjoyed it at surface level.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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A very short book, it attempts to explain why the world cannot get along with the French. The author's reasoning boils down to this observation of hers: "Just as too much of any ingredient will spoil the taste of a dish, any personality trait used to excess might well spoil a relationship". 
The author breaks down the French traits into four parts. 1) the spirit of the French revolution. 2) the age of enlightenment. 3) the logic of Descartes. And 4) contradiction as an artform. They give examples of each of these, as well as "quick fixes" to work around them. 
I found the book to be somewhat educational, at the same time rather simplistic. It provides one with a starting point to examine SOME French citizens behavior. However, just as one cannot compare a Southern US male's personality with a Midwestern female's personality with a West Coast teen's personality, it is not fair (or advisable) to lump all French people into the same "pot". 
I would suggest using this book as a beginning to explore the French persona, but to always use one's own powers of perception to examine a person as an individual.
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