This smart, very nearly smart-alecky social comedy rewards casual fiction readers with a load of fun ... Readers will be reminded of Peter Mayles’ French-oriented fiction, which means that deWitt’s delightful novel is made of high-grade chocolate.
Do not be fooled by how disarmingly funny Patrick deWitt’s latest novel is. Though you will likely find yourself laughing out loud on numerous occasions while reading French Exit (assuming you enjoyed the author’s previous work or have a decent sense of humour), the book is a bleak, heartbreaking tragedy of the first order ...While we are following the self-inflicted downfall of Frances and Malcolm and getting pulled into their relationships with the other characters, deWitt subtly yet explicitly jabs at us to pay attention to the grander themes of humility, generosity, and even finding one’s purpose in life. The fact that he does so while making us snort in amusement renders the experience that much more enriching. With French Exit, deWitt proves that while The Sisters Brothers may have made his name as an author, it was far from a singular success.
...[a] sharply observed moments give deWitt’s well-written novel more depth than the usual comedy of manners—a depth reinforced by the exit that closes the tale, sharp object and all. Reminiscent at points of The Ginger Man but in the end a bright, original yarn with a surprising twist.