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Acquired Tastes Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Acquired Tastes + French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew + Toujours Provence
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Later Printing edition (April 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553371835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553371833
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On assignment for GQ (where these tonic pieces first appeared), Mayle sallied forth to sample the little luxuries of the richest, the best that life is reputed to offer. With unabashed gusto he praises good cigars, grand hotels, Parisian bistros, second homes, antiques and fresh truffles. With swank savvy he reviews the advantages and drawbacks of servants, the pleasures and costs of mistresses. His excursions comprise an informal buyer's guide to single-malt whiskies, pure Mongolian cashmere, deluxe shirts and hand-made London shoes. For ballast, Mayle ( A Year in Provence ) presents curmudgeonly diatribes on lawyers, tipping, New Year's resolutions, writers' gripes, Christmas ("the universal expensive habit") and Manhattan's giddy spending opportunities. This delightful celebration of the little (and not-so-little) extravagances that make life worth living scintillates with wit, brio and trenchant observations on the best and the second-rate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Having dissected the pleasures of life in the south of France in his popular A Year in Provence ( LJ 4/1/90) and Toujours Provences ( LJ 5/1/91), Mayle turns his witty and keen eye on the lifestyles and spending habits of the very, very, very rich. In this collection of pieces from GQ magazine, he describes the ritual of ordering a pair of $1300 hand-made shoes. "Everything is measured: altitude of instep, curve of heel, contours and slope of the metatarsal range. You might even be asked if you normally wear your toenails that length, because millimeters count." Mayle advises the reader on selecting the right stretch limousine. "White is vulgar, gray is a compromise banker's color, puce and magenta and antique crackle-finish gold are not for gentlemen." He explains to the neophyte the proper way to eat true caviar (forget the sour cream, anchovies, chopped onions and capers, and hard-boiled eggs). While there is no great depth here, Mayle's amusing observations provide die-hard fans of Dynasty and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with a few hours of pure hedonistic escapism.
- Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
And he's very funny in a dry British way.
Johnine
When I start on of his books I can't put it down ...must read to the end.
Laurie myers
I love books by Peter Mayle and usually they are about Provence.
Rebecca of Amazon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. McGuire on April 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
The first time I saw this book, I was at the local library and the title caught my eye. When I saw that Peter Mayle was the author, I expected that I would enjoy it. I was not disappointed.
Whether you are rich, know people who are, or just enjoy imagining what you'd do with great wealth, this book offers an array of amusing possibilities. Mr. Mayle's best attribute as a writer is his ability to be witty without sacrificing erudition, and this book delivers on both counts.
My favorite chapter, without question, is the one about buying a vacation home; first because I know a few people who own second homes, and second because it's probably the only thing mentioned in the book that I'll ever be able to afford. Mr. Mayle offers an intriguing suggestion of how to savor the pleasures of a second home without any of the potential pitfalls. I haven't yet decided if I'll buy a vacation house or choose the Mayle method, but in the meantime, this book has been a great gift for friends and relatives who have taken the plunge.
In short, the best reason to buy this book is that it's fun.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mayle's book on the best that money can buy is like living the lives of the rich without paying the large sums of money. His wordpainting is so vivid, I imagine I'm sitting in a room furnished with astronomically priced antiques, sampling caviar with my 50 servants by my side. Perfectly charming and entertaining. I recommend this book highly.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on April 20, 2000
Format: Unknown Binding
I thought this book was great! I could read it again and again. I especially enjoyed reading about the experience of buying shoes. It was difficult to come back to reality after drooling over this book's vivid descriptions of privileges of the super-rich. Now I know where I'm going to spend my lotto winnings! Wish me luck!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
If your interests extend to the outermost reaches of extravagance and luxury but enjoy the wit Peter Mayle always delivers you will enjoy thisunexpected treasure. I have found it to be the perfect gift for my friends who have everthing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Linwood on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you're ever in one of those wacky movie situations where a super-rich relative gives you a couple million dollars that you have to spend in 30 days, buy this book. If you wouldn't mind just reading about that lifestyle, read this book.
Peter Mayle leads the readers through the finer things in life, such as handmade shoes, truffles, and caviar.
People that already like Peter Mayle's books will appreciate this one, although it doesn't have a lot to do with Provence.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Debs Phelan on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love all things "Peter Mayle!" He's just so fun to read! Aquired Tastes is witty and even a little wild!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sherrilynn S. Palladino on October 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Leaving his haunts in the South of France, Peter explores the tastes of the rich and famous. Custom shoes, shirts, suits, second homes, stretch limos and all. A good read but not his best!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Johnine on October 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Be forewarned, I like everything Peter Mayle writes. This is an entertaining book even if you don't enjoy exactly the same tastes as Peter Mayle, such as cigars and everything French. His writing broadens our perspective about the good things available to us without having to leave the house. And he never once preaches about saving the earth or warns against the dangers of smoking and drinking and eating rich food or says anything remotely politically correct. And he's very funny in a dry British way.
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