Pardon My French How a Grumpy American Fell in Love with France By Allen Johnson
To make a friend is a joy. To make a friend in another country is a wonderment—a small miracle. Pardon My French follows an American author who has embraced a daunting mission: not to be a spectator in France but an enthusiastic participant—fully engaged, fully alive.

In France, Johnson is like an alien from another planet. Everything is strange to him. His goal is to speak French without going to prison, drive without being squashed like a bug, dance the tango without losing his marriage, and belt out a tune with a world-class jazz combo without being booed off the stage.

Repeatedly, the author fearlessly steps into harm’s way. He joins a summer acting troop and witnesses the French version of sexual liberation. He pits his rather staid and conventional driving skills against the French speed demons of Languedoc. He tries to be cool in a painting class while sputtering nervously in front of the nude model with the long legs and silky voice.

And then, after it all—after the splendor of Christmas on the Mediterranean, the bicycle tours along the French canals, the mountain treks amply supplied with French bread, cheese, and wine—the miracle happens. The often self-deprecating and bungling American meets and falls in love with a beautiful mistress: La belle France. And when he does, an entire village adopts him into a new family—one with a gracious heart and a beautiful French accent.
TitlePardon My French
SubtitleHow a Grumpy American Fell in Love with France
AuthorBy Allen Johnson
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintYucca Publishing
Published27 October 2015
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
IllustrationsB&W photos.

About the author

Allen Johnson holds a M.A. from the University of Washington in communication and a Ph.D. from Washington State University in psychology. He is an international keynote speaker and consultant. His platform style tends to be humorous and dramatic. He served for several years as a contract presenter for FranklinCovey. Johnson is also a jazz instrumentalist, singer, entertainer, and actor.

"Yes. To become a world-class traveler, Johnson believes one must always say yes. He follows his own credo well in this entertaining and enlightening travel memoir. After a stint in France in 1971 to learn the language, Johnson and his wife return decades later for a one-year stay. Although hampered from the getgo in his efforts to find an apartment by the heavy-handed bureaucracy, and still struggling with the language despite much study, Johnson enthusiastically plunges into a variety of classes to learn more about France and, especially, the French. He is neither unreservedly rapturous nor unduly disheartened by the cultural divide, which includes a less-than-helpful attitude about customer service and a downright dangerous approach to driving. Instead, he goes beyond merely noting his experiences to exploring the causes of cultural traditions, primarily by quizzing his French friends. It is this openness and curiosity, along with the author’s infectious humor, that makes Pardon My French both entertaining and enlightening." —Booklist

“Funny and insightful, Allen Johnson’s love for the people of France shines through like a warm summer day on the Mediterranean.” —Christian Valette, Mayor of Pérols, France, 1989-2014

"As a reader who loved A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle and Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik I was greatly pleased to find that Pardon my French is just as delightful and in the same tradition....Anyone who has traveled in France, or would like to someday, will find much to love about this book." —Claire Bellarmine, author of An Adjustment in Consciousness

"One warning: Have your passport up-to-date when you read Pardon My French—you may just want to take the next flight to Paris. Bon Voyage.” —Judith Martin, Co-author of Experiencing Intercultural Communication

“What a wonderful book this is—like an Olympian swimmer, Allen Johnson plunges into the “France profonde” that most of us crave to experience. Here it is, in depth, both practical and poetic—all the paperwork to rent an apartment, what you need to know about joining a club and becoming a member of French society, how to participate wittily and appreciatively at 5-course meals, and most importantly, how to cultivate and maintain friendships. A magnificent and useful read.” —Gene Parulis, Professor at Community College of Vermont
ISBNs: 9781631580642 978-1-63158-064-2 Title: pardon my french category:TRV ISBNs: 9781631580789 978-1-63158-078-9 Title: pardon my french category:TRV 
Back to top