• I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do)

  • Living in a Small Village in Brittany
  • By: Mark Greenside
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Beville
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.49

Buy for $17.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

When Mark Greenside - a native New Yorker living in California, political lefty, writer, and lifelong skeptic - is dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France in Finistere, or what he describes as "the end of the world," his life begins to change.

In a playful, headlong style, and with enormous affection for the Bretons, Greenside shares how he makes a life for himself in a country where he doesn't speak the language or understand the culture. He gradually places his trust in the villagers he encounters - neighbors, workers, acquaintances - and he's consistently won over and surprised as he manages to survive day-to-day trials.

Until he came to this town, Greenside was lost, moving through life without a plan, already in his 40s with little money and no house. So when he settles into the rhythm of this new French culture not only does he find a home and meaningful relationships in this French countryside, he finds himself.

I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do) is both a new beginning and a homecoming for Greenside. He has never regretted his journey and, as he advises to those searching for their next adventure, neither will you.

©2008 Mark Greenside (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do)

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration and story are transportive.

What a delightful book! It had all that I expected from the description - humor, self-reflection, abundant description of the French countryside (that made me want to pack a bag immediately!), and an obvious affection for the new friends and home Mark discovered.

What I did not expect was to be blown away by Jonathan Beville's narration. From "go" he delivered pithy performance that made me feel as if I was talking to Mark. So often narration is simply a rendering of the story. But Beville's narration was as if he was truly living this experience. What Beville delivered was not simply narration, but a true performance that added so much to the experience. I truly believe that this book is better understood and enjoyed via Audible than if I'd read it myself, as my own internal "voice" simply couldn't compare to what Beville brought to the narrative.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A hilarious, neurotic and tantalizing travelogue!

I happened upon this Audible book in desperation for an out-of-town Thanksgiving drive. I always do a sneak-peek listen and was immediately hooked. Mark Greenside's brilliant and colorful writing was brought to life in perfection. If you understand and appreciate the lovable New York kvetching rants of people like Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Lewis Black, Larry David, and Richard Kind (and also happen to be a lover of all things French), this, my friend, is for YOU. Or, from the little high school French I remember, "Pour Vous! A lover of words the way the French love their cafe au lait, buttery croissants, au jus, and wine, Mark's writing is strong, vivid, delicate, juicy, and overflowing.

Jonathan Beville's flawless narration should get him an Audie Award. As in the movie Jerry Maguire, "He had me at hello." I have never laughed so hard. He read the book as if he wrote it and was performing his own one-man show. Jonathan's wry delivery and French character impersonations are nothing less than hilarious! C'est Magnifique!

If you remember and enjoyed Peter Mayle's 1991 bestseller, "A Year in Provence" - this is a new twist on a foreigner adapting to life in a new country – as Greenside's travel adventures are like therapy sessions of drippy brie - examining his messy American cultural upbringing and how he has moved through the ever-suspicious New York Jewish immigrant culture he was raised in. "Expect the Unexpected" became his motto. Amazingly, and despite the language barrier, things worked themselves out. He admits his experience softened and allowed him to become a more trusting and better human when he was uncomfortable and out of his element - living in a culture that allowed him to unwind and to be exasperated at the same time. Every time he would return to Brittany, he was reminded that this small medieval village and the Breton culture he fell in love with seemed to function like a Tesla in motion, Quiet. Predictable. Trustworthy. At ease with life. In the moment. Truth and beauty. Simplicity. It's All Good. C'est Bon.

I just started it again because I enjoyed it so much. It was truly enjoyable, it makes me want to pack my bags and escape Los Angeles as soon as Covid restrictions are lifted and find another way to breathe in the simplicity of another culture and reimagine my so-called life.