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New York Times Book Review

He throws himself into learning to speak French with Gérard Depardieu-like gusto

How old is too old to learn something new? Is there anything to be done about a memory that's beginning to sputter? Bon courage, mes amis. As Alexander discovers, French is the least of it when youvve reached late middle age. ... He throws himself into learning to speak French with Gérard Depardieu-like gusto in a George Plimpton-like stunt, toiling over Rosetta Stone, enrolling in immersion classes, joining a conversational group, writing to a pen pal, papering his kitchen with vocabulary-boosting Post-it notes. ... But he never gives up. He hurls himself at French again and again almost like a cartoon character who, smacking up against a slammed door, slides to the floor in a puddle of humiliation. [Read the full review]