French Exit by Patrick deWitt

French Exit

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 disintegrationFrances 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...

Details French Exit

TitleFrench Exit
Release DateAug 28th, 2018
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Cultural, France, Adult Fiction

Reviews French Exit

  • Krista
    French exitNoun. French exit (offensive) A hasty exit made without saying farewells to anybody.I have been a fan of Patrick deWitt's from the beginning, and I believe I've read everything he's written; joyfully revelling in his ink-black, violent comedies. I was, therefore, rapturously delighted to have been sent an ARC – months early – of his latest, and so doubly disappointed when it turned out to be just okay. French Exit begins on a promi...
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    Frances Price has always been a bit frightening.  Her name is well known around the Upper East Side for her beauty, snobbery, and especially for scandal.  Years ago when she found her sleazy lawyer husband dead from a heart attack, she left their home and went on a ski trip, not bothering to inform anyone of his death.This has left tongues wagging for twenty years but a new scandal is on the horizon:  she's almost broke.Frances packs up her ad...
  • Lillian
    How refreshing it is to read a story with no physical violence, murder, psychological torture or with the ubiquitous unreliable narrator.deWitt, like Willy Vlautin is a highly underrated author. His amazing novel, The Sisters Brothers has a loyal following but it is no where near the size it should be.The central characters of French Exit are Franklin, Francis and their son Malcolm. Franklin Price has made a fortune as a ruthless and ethically su...
  • Barbette
    The first third of FRENCH EXIT is a quirky and acerbic portrayal of a Manhattan mother, her adult son, and their skewed family history. The comic timing and phrasing are flawless and stylish; I laughed out loud many times while reading, and then found myself laughing out loud again later in the day as I recalled certain passages. While deWitt's novel may bring to mind the writings of J.D. Salinger and the films of Wes Anderson, the New York secti...
  • Kate
    My thanks to for and Advance Reader's copy of French Exit in exchange for my honest review. A variation of this review will be on This was my first Patrick deWitt and I wanted to like it. It was not for me. Described as a "tragedy of manners", it follows the story of a society matron from NY as she has blown through her fortune and her emasculated, dull son. The characters were unlikeable, but more importantly, deWi...
  • Karen W
    Super loved this! Like reading a Whit Stillman movie. Very funny and completely absorbing.
  • Keith Rosson
    This dude is really just fearless when it comes to messing around with genre. This novel, about a beleaguered mother/son duo of socialites fleeing to Paris as a last-ditch resort to their impending bankruptcy, is at times hilarious, touching, daaaark as hell. deWitt writes so deftly that this seems like a fun and light read, even as serious subjects are being tackled. I dunno, I thought it was amazing, I zipped right through it, at times I laughe...
  • Kalen
    What a fun, funny, and odd book. Refreshing.
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    Read in prepub. Due out August 2018. deWitt takes characters that are so specific, so quirky and makes them come alive. The book is perfectly strange and funny, but also explores the meaning of family and friendship and the quirks of romantic love. You've never met anyone like Frances and Malcolm and Little Frank, but once you've read the book you'll wonder how you ever got by without their acquaintance. Recommended for fans of Jonathan Ames, Mar...
  • Ampersand Inc.
    I loved this – I think one of the descriptions as being like a Wes Anderson movie is quite apt. And , of course, Wes Anderson is not everyone’s taste. The writing was sparkling and light but somehow not inconsequential. And very funny!
  • Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
    She knew she was living improperly but hadn’t the strength to correct herself. She had twenty thousand euros left; she’d taken to flushing hundreds down the toilet each morning. Patrick deWitt is best known for his 2011 novel, The Sisters Brothers, which has a star-studded film adaptation set to release this fall. His newest book, French Exit, is slated for publication later this summer. In French Exit, a widowed New York socialite and her ad...
  • Veronica
    Review to come
  • Rose
    Made me laugh out loud a couple times. Wonderful, weird Mother, son and cat!
  • RMazin
    French Exit is an overwrought modern drawing room farce but in a NY apartment, an ocean cruise and a French apartment. Frances Price, a chic but older widow, and her too attached son, Malcolm quickly find themselves plunging into bankruptcy. This means leaving behind the NY one percent life and relying on their dwindling funds, as well as a kind offer from Frances’ s friend Joan to decamp to her Parisian apartment. Frances is never one to be lo...
  • Latkins
    This is the first book I've read by Patrick deWitt, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. It's a fairly entertaining comedy, about a wealthy widow, Frances, and her adult son Malcolm who live in New York, but find themselves having to move to Paris when all their money is spent. Frances's businessman husband Franklin died many years ago, and she was involved in a scandal regarding his death at the time. Since then, Franklin's soul has been living...
  • Nancy
    This is a dark comedy. The kind I love. In many ways a wickedly funny send up of the hoi polloi and yet author deWitt's fabulously eccentric characters are lovable and their antics highly entertaining. In particular, his characterization of Francis Price, the protagonist, makes one think that you might like to have her kind of chutzpa, but definitely NOT be the person to cross her, or even live next door to her! Francis and her 36 yr. old son Mal...
  • Andy Lillich
    While not my favorite Patrick DeWitt novel (those of you who have read him before may or may not agree with my love of The Sisters Brothers), I found French Exit to be delightful and refreshing and pure pleasure to read.I loved it all, from the witty acerbic introduction of Frances and her adult son Malcom, who epitomize, it seems to me, the extreme of what it means to be white, privileged and ridiculously wealthy to the point where you feel your...
  • Shannon
    A "french exit" is defined as leaving a party without saying goodbye to your host or any other departure where you leave, quietly, unnoticed with business still be be finished. This book definitely fits that definition. Our main character, Francis Price, and her son are real experts at leaving situations and leaving other people hanging...It was an interesting book...did I like it? I am not sure. I loved the "not so main character" a cat named Sm...
  • Becky
    FRENCH EXIT by Patrick DeWittI just couldn’t get interested in this book or the characters in it; Frances, a middle aged widow, and her son, Malcolm. While clearly drawn, neither was likeable or very interesting. Their situation (about to become bankrupt) and their reactions were also not interesting. I finished the book all the while wondering why I kept reading. I can’t in good conscience recommend this book.Frances is a snide, snobbish and...
  • Amy
    Francis Price squanders her late husband's fortune leaving her, her still-at-home adult son Malcolm, and their old cat Small Frank nearly penniless, crashing at a friend's apartment in Paris. DeWitt creates an unforgettable cast of characters as Francis lives her life with full abandon and acerbic observations about her life and the people in it. Fans of Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog cast of characters and the sharp-witted writing...
  • Rebecca
    A French Exit refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells and the over privileged Price's, Frances and Malcolm, have made a life long, and then some, commitment to this act. deWitt has a gift for creating characters that you might, in hands of another author, hate but instead you end up empathizing and caring for this motley crew. There is weird joy in this novel and a reckoning of sorts. The book bills itself as a "tragedy...
  • Kalisa Hyman
    Publishing August 2018"a 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"The writing gets more points than the story, which didn't really have much action. The writing is witty and will make you smirk if not laugh a bit out loud. The second half, which takes place in Paris, is almost a completely different book. It turns into a madcap tale of quirky charact...
  • Briana K
    Got an ARC from my favorite bookstore. This was a delightful, quick, and surprising read. While many plot elements were foreshadowed or easy to see coming, the writing style is too wonderful and engaging for that to detract. Many well turned phrases had me laughing, much to the chagrin of the bookseller who had given it to me. He was so amused by the quotes and excerpts I read aloud that he requested the copy back once I’d finished the read and...
  • Cindy
    Frances Price is a force of nature. Living the charmed life of a wealthy widow, complete with a scandalous past, Frances reigns over waiters, friends, and her adult son Malcolm, who lives with her, with equal acerbity. Malcolm, for his part, is passive to a degree that would be unnerving if not for the fact that he’s perfectly happy with the status quo- much to the chagrin of his fiancé, Susan. But when Frances spends every bit of her money sh...
  • Diana Petty-stone
    It took me awhile to get into this book because it seems a bit superficial. I did like Small Frank in the first part of the book but then I'm a big cat lover. The scenes in the Paris apartment were lively and interesting and I had hopes for a better ending then it had. I have not read Patrick DeWitt's previous book but might like to give it a try.
  • Jennifer
    Absolutely love the sheer ridiculousness and frivolity of this book. I am a huge fan of The Importance of Being Earnest for the same reasons. Quirky fun read - that’s not all fun and games- with a quick pace.
  • Amy Hurrell
    I am a big fan of Patrick deWitt's novels Sisters Brothers and Undermajordomo Minor, and although French Exit is delightfully full of deWitt's trademark eccentric characters, witty dialogue and gothic atmosphere, I felt a little let down by the plot. Still an enjoyable read.
  • Kevin Seccia
    A beautifully written book.
  • Kerry
    Loved the quirkiness of the characters. There were parts that made me laugh out loud.
  • Will
    “It’s fun to run from one brightly burning disaster to the next.”