Bryce Corbett (Little Brown)

“Yawn!” I thought as I picked up this book.

“Not another half-baked travelogue from an Antipodean-living-in-a-strange-land.”

But Australian journalist Bryce Corbett has written a very funny and engaging book about his experiences as an expat living and working in the City of Light.

He brilliantly and colourfully captures the hedonism of living in boho suburb Marais, with noisy lovemakers for neighbours, and pokes fun at the run-of-the-mill tourist traps attracting “pimply American teens on their big European trip.”

Of the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore, he observes bitchily: “The only good thing about the store was that it served to keep this curious breed of post-pubescent poets [ie said Americans] concentrated in one tiny pocket of Paris.”

With some very sharp writing he cuts through the clichés to paint a very real portrait of modern-day Paris and the city’s inhabitants.

Admittedly he only briefly touches on the recent race riots, but has promised his next book will go into more depth. ALISON GRINTER