How refreshing and, to be honest, reassuring, to come across a book of such high quality… If you want to unravel French DNA read this book. It deals with an erudite subject in a way that is easy to digest and a pleasure to read. If you call yourself a Francophile or wish to understand your French friends better, this book belongs in your hands. It should come with a ‘learning guaranteed’ certificate.
Sylvie Wheatley France Magazine
It’s a miracle of compression spiced with good trivia… Read the book carefully and you will have the skeleton of French culture. It will then be up to you to put the flesh on the bones and really dominate those conversations.
Anthony Peregrine Daily Telegraph
For anybody living in France, visiting the country on holiday or simply interested in French life, Speak the Culture, France is essential reading, giving its readers access to information normally gained through years of cultural observation.
Living France Magazine
No publisher has attempted anything quite like this, and the publishers Thorogood are to be much applauded for their ingenuity and achievement. While not being in the slightest dumbed down, the information here (while often dealing with such weighty subjects as Proust and French existential philosophers) is delivered in a concise and highly accessible style (and aided considerably by the clever graphics which have a nicely self-mocking subtext – when was that last seen in a book on a foreign country?)
Barry Forshaw Amazon
A veritable cultural kaleidoscope of famous, influential and significant activities, events, places and people that add up to France.
French Property News
… a tapas menu with bite-size chunks on everything from history to film.
… essential… a fabulous new book.
Living Spain Magazine
Captures the true spirit of Spain.
Spanish Homes Magazine
Speak the Culture – a new set of travel guides which aim to give you a working knowledge of the indefinable gestalt of a country – look rather good on the basis of a casual browse, offering an informal introduction to the philosophy, food and artistic preconceptions of various European countries…There are some very nice touches in the British volume – including an illustration of the safe gaze-range while looking at passengers opposite you on the Tube (anywhere between shoelaces and mid-chest is OK) and the recommendation that visitors check out the website of nicecupofteaandasitdown – a deep-end immersion in the British love of the biscuit.
Tom Sutcliffe The Independent
Visitors and locals alike will enjoy these key facts, insights and anecdotes about Britain and what makes it tick.
Speak the Culture: Italy is a wide ranging and accessible exploration of the cultural forces and figures that have shaped Italy.
The emphasis on ‘speaking’, being able to communicate intelligently about Italian culture, is refreshing. Its style is light but not flippant, smart buy not remotely pedantic, modern but not obtuse. The text is straightforward and entertaining while managing to stay unbiased and egalitarian – an extraordinarily rare feat especially when dealing with the intricate world of Italian media and politics. Astute, intelligent and fun, Speak the Culture Italy will help you through the complex and complicated and put you on the path to cultural fluency whether you’ve been in Italy a week, a year or a lifetime.
Alexandra Lawrence The Florentine (Florence)
Speak the Culture: Italy is a gem. With sharp crisp writing it’s easy to read. If you are only going to read one book on Italy this year, Speak the Culture: Italy is worth considering. It’s entertaining, informative and a page turner for both newcomers to Italy and old hands.
Jane Cotter The Grapevine (Lucca)
Speak the Culture Italy is a guidebook with a difference. Rather than suggesting itineraries across Italian landmarks, it steers people through that intricate maze that is Italian culture. Speak the Culture does provide a rare insight on Italian life, culture, and society. Rather remarkably, it also avoids most of the stereotypes that often plague efforts of this kind, painting a realistic picture of the country rather than indulging in a rose-tinted portrait of an imaginary Dolce Vita idyll. Even better, all this comes packaged in a witty, humorous style.
Carla Passino Italy Magazine
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