Meet the dysfunctional Price family: New York socialite Frances, her adult son Malcolm and their cat Little Frank. Plagued by scandal and debt the trio cut their losses and slip away to find refuge in Paris. Filled with quirky characters and laden with dark humor, French Exit is feast of wit and human foibles.— Sarah Donner
A challenge to put down, French Exit is a comic novel the finds the tragic in its dreadful, irresistible protagonists. Frances Price an odd, unpleasant, yet charming widow is still surrounded by the social stigma of finding her husband dead and leaving his body to go for a ski weekend. Her adult son is a passive wreck with next to no agency, and their cat Small Frank just might contain the spirit of his dead father. The money has run out, and Frances, Malcolm, and Small Frank decide to make an exit for Paris where more trouble awaits.— Dafydd Wood
“Quirky, wry, darkly witty, strange, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, Patrick deWitt’s French Exit is the perfect remedy for those seeking a respite from the plethora of WWII historical fiction and genre thrillers out there. In deWitt’s depiction of dysfunctional families at their absolute oddest, Malcom Price, his doting mother, Frances, and their cat, Little Frank, abandon New York City practically penniless and scurry off to Paris, where things only get stranger. Every page turned leaves the reader wondering what in the world they will do next. What a breath of fresh air is French Exit! Keep them coming, Patrick deWitt!”
— Angie Tally, Country Bookshop, ,
“This comedy of manners entertains with appalling characters who become more and more endearing in spite of themselves. While there are laugh-out-loud lines and situations, there are also very sad undercurrents as we learn more backstory. This is a tale of high society, cruelty, shallowness, love, despair, humor, and a hint of the supernatural. Oh, and a very unusual cat.”
— Katharine Wright, Charlie's Corner, San Francisco, CA
From bestselling 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.