Tartarin of Tarascon (French: Tartarin de Tarascon) is an 1872 novel written by the French author Alphonse Daudet.
It tells the burlesque adventures of Tartarin, a local hero of Tarascon, a small town in southern France, whose invented adventures and reputation as a swashbuckler finally force him to travel to a very prosaic Algiers in search of lions. Instead of finding a romantic, mysterious Oriental fantasy land, he finds a sordid world suspended between Europe and the Middle East. And worst of all, there are no lions left. By a coincidence, Tartarin encounters a lion and kills him. Unfortunately, the lion was a mascot of the local military garrison and Tartarin is dragged in front of a judge. By a stroke of luck, he is released on a technicality and returns to Tarascon with the lion's skin to a hero's welcome.
The book was followed by two sequels: Tartarin sur les Alpes (1885) and Port-Tarascon (1890).
Source: Wikipedia, "Tartarin of Tarascon", available under the CC-BY-SA License.