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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I laughed at the shotgun murder ... and felt good about it!
Twelve years ago, Peter Mayle gifted us with "A Year In Provence", an account of this expatriate Brit's plunge into Gallic life, revolving around the pleasures and pitfalls of establishing a residence in rural France in an old country house that was somewhat of a "fixer-upper". Several Provence-related books later, and after a period of time living on Long Island,...
Published on May 29, 2000 by Joseph Haschka

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A third helping
I am a big fan of Peter Mayle's writings on this brilliant region of Southern France. As a backpacker a couple of years ago, I travelled through France extensively, and have a special fondness for Provence.
In Mayle's two previous books, A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, he captured the essence of the characters and geography of the region beautifully. The...
Published on November 20, 2001


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I laughed at the shotgun murder ... and felt good about it!, May 29, 2000
This review is from: Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France (Paperback)
Twelve years ago, Peter Mayle gifted us with "A Year In Provence", an account of this expatriate Brit's plunge into Gallic life, revolving around the pleasures and pitfalls of establishing a residence in rural France in an old country house that was somewhat of a "fixer-upper". Several Provence-related books later, and after a period of time living on Long Island, Peter and his wife return to the land they (and we) love. The result is "Encore Provence". The latest book doesn't hold together as well as "Year", the elements of the latter forming a more cohesive whole. However, "Encore" is certainly much better than some of his other books written in the interim.
In "Encore", Peter briefly revisits several topics covered in the original, as well as several more which were apparently overlooked. The range is quixotic: the cultivation of olive trees, an explanation of the three grades of virgin olive oil, the smelly art of selecting fragrances for designing perfumes, foie gras as the key to longevity, discovering the perfect corkscrew, touring Marseille, the almost-underworld of the village truffle market, how to execute the Provençal full shrug, the obligatory elements of the Provençal village, and, umm ..... the shotgun murder of an amorous meat cutter. And, of course, many hedonistic references to the local food and wine. All are treated in the utterly charming and dryly humorous Mayle-style that makes his books so delightful.
Bravo and merci beaucoup, Mr. Mayle! You've provided another enjoyable spice to my life.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More! More!, September 7, 2002
By 
Brett Benner (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France (Paperback)
Once again reading Peter Mayle is the next best thing to actually being there. Most of the book covers brand new territory in the South of France including the perfect corkscrew, an olfactory lesson, and the joys of olive oil, while also revisiting many of his favorite topics including the wonder of truffles and of course the wine and food.In fact my only slight beef with the book is his need to revisit some topics already covered in previous books, but it's so slight it hardly detracts from the overall joy the book manages to evoke.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A third helping, November 20, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Peter Mayle's writings on this brilliant region of Southern France. As a backpacker a couple of years ago, I travelled through France extensively, and have a special fondness for Provence.
In Mayle's two previous books, A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, he captured the essence of the characters and geography of the region beautifully. The reader was captivated by the author's ability to make the smallest occurrence an interesting event. I personally felt that Mayle did an excellent job of describing the cast of characters and their insights into French rural life.
Encore Provence does not have the same level of character development and I feel that this is a weakness in the book. I found that in some cases, well known characters from the previous books are either mentioned in passing or totally re-introduced to the reader. This lack of consistency is annoying.
One other gripe with the book is Mayle's constant reference to America (No offence to American readers intended). Obviously, this has been done to give a reference point to American readers and is also related to the fact that the author had just returned from the USA, but the cynic in me feels this was also done to boost American sales of the book.
Overall though, Encore Provence, is well written and contains enough of the amusing stories and observations that fans and Francophiles alike will enjoy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Encore, Monsieur Mayle! Encore!, February 28, 2000
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This review is from: Encore Provence (Hardcover)
Ahhhhh. I just finished Encore Provence and I have to say it was well worth the wait! I have read each of Peter Mayle's other Provence books three times and I was quite eager to dive into his latest. I am a Francofile, having lived in Paris for six months in 1994-1995. I had the pleasure of visiting Provence for only a short time, but I fell in love with the area. Peter Mayle has a riveting writing style and I feel as if I am on his adventures with him. His use of French words in italics is an excellent device. I understand it can be a bit off-putting to non French speakers, but for me, it is a wonderful, short walk down memory lane. More than any other author I've read, with the exception of Papa Hemingway, Mayle has the ability to draw me into his books. Halfway through Encore Provence, I was on my way to the local liquor store to stock up on several nice bottles of Cotes du Rhone! I hope M. Mayle continues to write about the south of France for years to come. If not, I can always reread his trilogy each year. Bravo!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST AS DELIGHTFUL, January 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Encore Provence (Hardcover)
I really can't understand why people didn't like this book as much as Mayle's previous works. I think it's absolutely delightful. Mayle works his special brand of magic and captures the essence of Provence perfectly. Some reviewers have suggested that Mayle write about other locales instead, but to me that would be like John Grisham writing a book that didn't contain a main character from the legal profession. Provence is Peter Mayle country and he describes it with genius. I can't wait until his NEXT book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another fun, vicarious tour, November 12, 1999
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This review is from: Encore Provence (Hardcover)
Is one of Peter Mayle's Provence books better than another? Who cares? And who remembers when you're in the middle of any one of them. They're all worth the while if you're looking for a lilting ride through another person's favorite countryside. I'd read another if there were a fourth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A barbarian enlightened, October 14, 1999
This review is from: Encore Provence (Hardcover)
Having just finished the audio book obtained from the library, I rushed home to see if I could find (online) the cheese, wine and olive oil Mayle writes about. I wasn't surprised I couldn't afford any of them, but I now have a desire to try them all.
I have disliked everything French since the good Sisters at Holy Spirit attempted to teach me the language. Mayle has gotten me to rethink my long held opinions.
I'll have to scrape enough money together to buy the hardcover book. It's one I want in MY library to enjoy when I need to escape myself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HERE'S MAYLE WITH DEFT PEN AND QUICK WIT, January 17, 2001
This review is from: Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France (Paperback)
Rejoice, armchair travelers - Provence's most engaging booster is at it again! With deft pen and quick wit intact Peter Mayle offers another paean to his promised land, Encore Provence, in which, among other Provencal perks, he delineates the salubrious effects of a 3-hour lunch, and the gastronomical satisfaction found at a village boulangerie.
After a four year hiatus in America, Mr. Mayle has returned to the lavender fields and picturesque dwellings of his chosen paradise on earth - southern France. As he describes his second residency with great good humor and affection, Encore Provence becomes a billet-doux to the places and people of that region.
No longer the wide-eyed, exuberant Francophile we found in A Year In Provence(1995)and Toujours Provence (1991), he is now a more sophisticated, experienced resident - on to recalcitrant workmen who say neither yes or no, but only "c'est possible," and now convinced that "hurried eating has ruined more digestive systems than foie gras."
That enlightened mecca where wine's first sip is greeted with a "shudder of appreciation" has welcomed him home. He warmly returns its embrace, as he delightedly attests through anecdotal narrative and assiduously drawn, smile-provoking portraits of idiosyncratic Gallic friends.
For starters, we learn of a handsome village butcher who favors housewives with more than choice cuts. Such generosity results in his untimely demise, but "everyone turned out the day they buried the butcher. They all had their reasons." We are inducted into the mysteries of buying a new car, cheerfully informed of the essentials of a proper village, and taken on a cook's tour of Marseille, where it is suspected "that not only fish are changing hands at the daily market on the Quai des Belges."
Lucien Ferrero, we discover, has "a nose in a million," having "personally created more than two thousand perfumes," and we accompany the author as he zealously pursues the elusive perfect corkscrew.
When asked by future visitors when the best time is to come to Provence, Mr. Mayle sidesteps that persistent query with "after lunch."
"Only then," he explains, "can you take full advantage of the long and unencumbered afternoon that lies ahead. The bill is paid, the last mouthful of rose' swallowed, the empty bottle upended in the ice bucket as a farewell salute to the waiter."
The author finds that one of his most daunting tasks is trying to convince guests of the necessity of a siesta, for they've arrived in Provence "with their work ethics intact and their Anglo-Saxon distrust of self-indulgence poised to resist undisciplined, slightly decadent Mediterranean habits."
For those wishing to be convinced - the line forms behind me.
As always, Mr. Mayle is a witty, convivial, boon companion. Save for one chapter in which he lambastes a former New York Times food critic for her criticism of the area (perhaps a gentle braising would have sufficed rather than a full roast), Encore Provence is pure pleasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definately worth reading, December 29, 1999
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This review is from: Encore Provence (Hardcover)
As someone moving to Provence in the spring, I have been devouring material on the area to aquaint myself with the customs, festivals and pace of life there. Mayle's books have been enticing journeys there. Encore Provence proved more helpful to me (relative to AYIP) as he actually lists the places to go for Oil, truffles and the like. A very enjoyable read
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but repetitive of past books, May 13, 2000
By 
M. Desoer (Bay Area, California) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Encore Provence (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of Peter Mayle's earlier works, particularly the other "Provence" books. As with the others, this one was a fun, pleasant read, but I kept having the feeling that, during some portions, it was "deja vu all over again." For example, there is an entire section on truffles and truffle hunting, as in at least one of the earlier books. While there are some new vignettes with regard to this special fungus, a lot of it seemed repetitve. I almost felt that I would have gotten the same enjoyment by rereading one of the earlier books.
Despite this criticism, there are some new stories, and the book was enjoyable, like its predecessors. I just can't give it a higher rating because of the lack of originality.
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Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France by Christian Jacq (Paperback - April 25, 2000)
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