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Description - My French Whore by Gene Wilder

Grief-struck by the realisation that his wife no longer loves him, timid, self-effacing Paul Peachy enlists as a Private in the army, and leaves Milwaukee for the trenches of WWI France. When his company captures the infamous German spy Harry Stroller, Peachy - who speaks fluent German - is called upon to interrogate him. The next day, after a night spent in conversation with the spy, Peachy himself is captured by the enemy in No Man's Land, having lost his nerve during an attack. He is about to be shot when, inspired in extremis, he hits on the idea of impersonating Stroller (whose identity is so secret that almost no Germans have seen him). Discovering resources of courage and wit he never knew he possessed, Peachy carries off this imposture with style and is feted as a hero by his German hosts. Always aware that discovery must be around the corner, he falls in love with Annie Breton, a French prostitute, with whom he experiences a few final days of happiness before he is unmasked. "My French Whore" is a skillful, touching and often very funny debut novel about humanity's latent potential for heroism and happiness.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781905847150
ISBN-10: 1905847157
Format: Hardback
Pages: 128
Imprint: Old Street Publishing
Publisher: Old Street Publishing
Publish Date: 4-May-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - My French Whore by Gene Wilder

US Kirkus Review » Actor and screenwriter Wilder follows up his well-received memoir (Kiss Me Like a Stranger, 2005) with this slender but nimble fiction about an American soldier captured by the Germans in the waning days of World War I.Chicago train conductor Paul Peachy enlists in 1918 mainly to escape his unhappy marriage. In France, company commander Captain Harrington learns that Paul speaks German and assigns him to interrogate a prisoner who turns out to be a famous spy. The lonely Harry Stroller, who allowed himself to be captured because he realizes Germany will soon lose the war, is more than glad to chat with Paul about his life and escapades in espionage. Soon after, Paul finds himself in the thick of battle. Taken prisoner after running from the fight, our mild-mannered, self-effacing hero commandingly announces to his captors that he is Harry Stroller. He demands to be taken to headquarters, where he quickly charms another lonely German, Colonel Steinig. To amuse his new friend, Steinig arranges an evening with Annie, the young prostitute of the title. At first, Paul rebuffs her professional sexual advances because she wears too much makeup for his taste. At his prodding, she soon removes the makeup, literally and figuratively. After Annie tells Paul the sad story of her misuse at the hands of a cruel German stepfather, they share a brief, idyllic romance filled with good food and tender lovemaking. Then who should turn up as a prisoner of war but Captain Harrington? Paul devises a daring escape for his commanding officer but stays behind, unwilling to leave Annie even though he knows it is only a matter of time before the Germans discover his ruse. Soon enough, an old friend of Stroller's shows up at one of Steinig's parties and unmasks Paul, with tragic results.Modest but satisfying, if unabashedly sentimental. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Gene Wilder

Actor Gene Wilder has appeared in, co-written and produced over 30 films and made countless TV and stage appearances. He is perhaps best known for playing the eponymous lead in 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and his many collaborations with the comedian Richard Pryor and the writer/director Mel Brooks. His collaboration with Brooks lead to his two Oscar nominations, as supporting actor in The Producers in 1968 and as co-writer (with Brooks) of Young Frankenstein in 1974. His autobiography, Kiss Me Like A Stranger, was published in 2005.

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