How to Travel Incognito (Paperback)
Prion (GB), 9781853755217, 200pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
Monsieur Le Comte de St Cucuface, a charismatic aristocrat fallen on hard times, slums his way around postwar France in elegant style, trading on his name and his exquisite manners. After a chance encounter on a train, he convinces a wide-eyed Ludwig Bemelmans to adopt the identity of an imaginary German prince and join him in his ruse. Together they set out on an enchanted adventure through a France that is crumbling to dust, feeding off the comically vulgar continental set that is fast replacing Cucuface's blue-blooded caste. They dine on the finest food and wine, stay at the most splendid hotels and chateaux, pausing only for Cucuface to recount another amusing tale of his eccentric lineage. Mixing autobiography and fiction to magical effect, How to Travel Incognito is an affectionate and melancholic hymn to the passing of an ancient order.