Start reading French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew (Vintage Departures) [Kindle Edition]

Peter Mayle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $10.92
You Save: $4.08 (27%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Whispersync for Voice

Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook. Learn more or scan your Kindle library to find matching professional narration for the Kindle books you already own.

Add the professional narration of French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew (Vintage Departures) for a reduced price of $11.99 after you buy this Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $10.92  
Hardcover, Deckle Edge --  
Paperback $11.49  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged --  
Unknown Binding --  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $16.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

Peter Mayle, francophile phenomenon and author of A Year in Provence, brings another delightful (and delicious) account of the good life, this time exploring the gustatory pleasures to be found throughout France.

The French celebrate food and drink more than any other people, and Mayle shows us just how contagious their enthusiasm can be. We visit the Foire aux Escargots. We attend a truly French marathon, where the beverage of choice is Chteau Lafite-Rothschild rather than Gatorade. We search out the most pungent cheese in France, and eavesdrop on a heated debate on the perfect way to prepare an omelet. We even attend a Catholic mass in the village of Richerenches, a sacred event at which thanks are given for the aromatic, mysterious, and breathtakingly expensive black truffle. With Mayle as our inimitably charming guide, we come away with a satisfied smile (if a little hungry) and the compelling desire to book a flight to France at once.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Peter Mayle, author of the bestselling A Year in Provence has done it again--but differently. Traveling this time beyond his adopted Provence throughout France, the food and travel writer has produced French Lessons, a celebration of many of that country's gastronomic joys. Whether pursuing La Foire de Fromages, the annual cheese fair at Livarot; a Burgundian marathon offering runners Médoc refreshment; or a village truffle mass that concludes with a heady dégustation of the newly blessed tuber, Mayle takes his readers in hand and shows all. Wide-eyed yet knowing, ever affable but with a touch of mischief, he's an ideal companion, the best possible narrator of his lively food adventures.

Mayle's gastronomic baptism occurs when, as a 19-year-old, he dines for the first time in France. "At the first mouthful of French bread and French butter," he writes, "my taste buds, dormant until then, went into spasm." The paroxysm leads to serious food-and-wine perambulations--and, finally, to chapters including "The Thigh-Taster of Vitel" (a frog-eating fete); "Slow Food" (snail love in Martigny les Bains) and "The Guided Stomach" (an investigation of the Michelin Guide restaurant inspection), among others. Readers are also present for a debate on the secret of the perfect omelet; a search for the best possible chicken in Bourg-en-Bresse; and a visit to a St. Tropez restaurant notable for its scantily clad habitués. Those familiar with Mayle's work, and those yet to discover it, are in for a treat. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

In this latest book, part travelogue, part guide to cuisine, Mayle leaves his beloved Provence behind and sets out to experience gastronomic pleasures available at food festivals and celebrations throughout France. The always curious and friendly Mayle befriends colorful locals at such events as a frog's-leg festival in Vitel, where "thigh tasting" is regarded as a reverent act. The best advice when eating escargots, he finds, is that one should eat them "through the nose, not through the eyes." By far the most fascinating and bizarre event is a Catholic mass in the village of Richerenches whose main purpose is giving thanks for the adored, rare and costly black truffle. Mayle's wry, colorful and playful prose effectively conveys just how seriously the French take their food. Simon Jones, who also gave a wonderful reading of Mayle's A Dog's Life, is a highly entertaining performer with a voice and energy reminiscent of John Cleese. Paired with Mayle's witty and unpretentious style, his reading makes listening to this book delicious and satisfying. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • File Size: 522 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375705619
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (December 16, 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBJF6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,780 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mayle Eats His Way Across France July 7, 2001
Format:Hardcover
It's an assignment that would make even the most jaded writer pick up his pen: Travel around France and report back about the oddest, most unusual ways that it celebrates its cuisine. Frog legs, snails, truffles, poultry, and, of course, its wine. Sheer heaven!
Peter Mayle accepted the challenge and here's the perfect book for curling up on the porch alongside a glass of cool refreshment. "French Lessons" charts a year in Mayle's life as he travels across France, describing with a combination of droll wit and wine-soaked facts (many times, he couldn't read his notes the day after some festival) how a country blessed with not only a variety of climates and cuisines, but also a people willing to spend large amounts of money on their enjoyment thereof.
I am a longtime fan of Mayle's writing, back when he was writing about pastis and other subjects for "European Travel & Life" magazine, but I hope not an uncritical one. I was disappointed in his account of his return to France in "Encore Provence," and "Hotel Pastis" did not engage me at all. Sometimes, I wonder if, with skills learned in the advertising trade, where he was an executive, he doesn't succeed in giving the French a gloss it doesn't otherwise deserve. Certainly, when discussing chickens from Bresse, the only poultry to have its own label (called appellation contrôlée), he touches only in passing, how most chickens we eat are raised (if we may call it that) in horrible conditions. Not for nothing is it called factory farming.
But "French Lessons" went down like a lightly garlic-flavored escargot. This is a book which celebrates eating and drinking well, and is a balm to the soul as well as incentive for the appetite.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Mayle March 12, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Last year I was lucky enough to take a month long holiday in the south of France. Naturally, "French Lessons" is one of the books I chose to take with me.
"French Lessons" is vintage Peter Mayle. While I enjoy Mayle's fiction as a light and fun change of pace, I really think he is at the top of his form when writing non-fiction. "French Lessons," like the classic, "A Year in Provence," is simply charming. There is just no other way to describe it. The book charms and beguiles you; you lose yourself in it and time just flies. No one seems better able to describe the "real" France than Peter Mayle. And it shows. Most definitely.
Just as with Mayle's previous non-fiction books, I found I could relate to just about everything he wrote in "French Lessons." I had had similar experiences in Provence, in Paris, in the Loire, in Burgundy. One can learn about more than food in this book; Mayle also details the social customs of the areas and the idiosyncrasies of the people. I learned there are people who attend Mass to give thanks for the truffle, a festival where snails are eaten by the dozen and washed down with Gewurztraminer, and an actual "cheese hall of fame" in the town of Livarot. The person honored with the award from this particular hall of fame is expected to eat as much livarot cheese as possible. In another such festival, frogs' legs are the celebrated foodstuff. The annual celebration of the bleu footed poulet in Bourg-en-Bresse and the Marathon du Medoc made for especially hilarious reading.
Mayle takes us from region to region and from town to town...all in the name of great food. We visit festivals, restaurants, chateaux and so many town squares, I lost count.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars e (excellent) mayle! May 21, 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is another wonderful book by Mr. Mayle. It is interesting, informative and very funny. I think some critics give Mr. Mayle the short end of the stick, as it is sometimes felt that his books are just "fluff". What's wrong with being entertaining, though? And if anyone bothers to take a careful look, Mr. Mayle is a very, very good writer. His sentences are polished gems, and I would put him right up there with the best novelists in terms of sheer writing ability.
If you like France and you like food, you will like this book. Mr. Mayle travels around going to various festivals that celebrate the eating of snails, or frogs legs, or cheese, etc. There are a couple of absolutely hilarious chapers, one dealing with the "beautiful people" being undressed for lunch in a seaside restaurant in St. Tropez, and the other dealing with going to a health spa, French style. (You have the choice between eating off of the low calorie menu or the gourmet menu. Caloric content is not given on the gourmet menu. After all, this is France!)
Scoop this book up as quickly as you can and enjoy every bite. Bon Appetit!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing: Is Mayle Running Out of Ideas? May 27, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I have read every Mayle book and thus eagerly bought French Lessons with the hope that the downward trend of Mayle's efforts would be turned around. It was not, and it is getting worse. Mayle has been coasting on the extraordinary A Year in Provence for many years. He seems to have lost a good deal of his wit and cleverness in French Lessons. One gets the impression that he was pressed for another volume (which would certainly be a best seller irrespective of its merits due to Mayle's prior successes), had neither inspiration nor energy to maintain his prior efforts, and figured he might as well arrange for and then write about a few potentially enjoyable--and tax-deductible--excursions in France. He may have had fun, but the reader really doesn't receive his or her proper share of it. For a much better book of this genre, try Pasquale's Nose, Extra Virgin, or Driving Over Lemons.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Francophiles & Foodies
Been reading Peter Mayle's books for years. Love each & every one of them. French Lessons is another hit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary J. Matlock
5.0 out of 5 stars Improve your knowledge of current France and French ways
Mayle is terrific. He has both fiction and non-fiction about the south of France, where he and his wife moved after his career in British advertising. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable
I had purchased this book several years ago, read it and lent it out. It didn't come back and I didn't know who to ask, so, after a couple more years, I ordered a new one; I liked... Read more
Published 3 months ago by DaMama
4.0 out of 5 stars Love at first word bite
Worth every caloric detail of French life Peter Mayle brings to your table. A vacation for the traveller in all of us who like to wander purposefully from restaurant to winery to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by PJ Leary
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice light read about French food festivals
Neither heat, nor cold, nor muddy fields keeps Peter Mayle away from a good food related festival. The author searched out for the unique and uniquely French food festivals to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Travellin' Suz
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book on cd ... taking me all over beautiful France ~
Fabulous book ... I've read it three times. Could possibly be my favorite Peter Mayle ! Also, since I'm an artist, I am especially happy to have this book on cd - I listen to it... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ann E. Schlegel
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable look at the French and their culinary traditions.
Chapter by chapter, Peter Mayle vividly portrays the French and their often times rather bizarre culinary traditions. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Maureen
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoy Peter Mayle's non-fiction books
I enjoyed this unabridged audio book by Peter Mayle. Simon Jones is an excellent narrator. This is one of those mouth-watering food books whose description makes you want to run... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Meryl Osse
2.0 out of 5 stars tiresome writing
His style is becoming a constant whine of comparison between french and british food, whils't is was merely an anedote is his Provencal book it has become tiresome. Read more
Published 8 months ago by John G.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book to read before a trip to France
I am a fan of all the Peter Mayle books. However, this audio recording is particularly entertaining due to the great narration. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tasset
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Customers Who Highlighted This Item Also Highlighted


Look for Similar Items by Category