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As fans of A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence may have suspected, Mayle's skills as a writer translate well into fiction. His first novel is as adroit, funny and charming as his previous works, and again it is set in his favorite region of France. Newly divorced, disenchanted and bored with his job as a director of a prestigious British ad agency, Simon Shaw is delighted when beautiful Frenchwoman Nicole Bouvier suggests that he rescue from bankruptcy a half-finished hotel in the drolly named town of Brassiere-les-Deux-Eglises. Taking a huge risk, Simon resigns from his agency and becomes patron of the new establishment in the picturesque Luberon region. In counterpoint, Mayle crosscuts to the escapades of a lovable band of criminals who are conspiring to break into the vault of a bank in the neighboring village of Isle-sur-Sorges. As the threads of the plot begin to converge, Mayle displays his satiric eye for social foibles by skewering advertising execs in England and the U.S.; he is equally adept at evoking typical Provencal villagers. Wickedly sharp and sympathetic at the same time, his characterizations are accurate down to nuances of class differences, voice, accent and vocabulary. The novel is as smooth as a sip of pastis, and one hopes that Mayle will find his segue into fiction equally addictive. 100,000 first printing.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mayle's first novel is carefully abridged and wonderfully read by Tim Pigott-Smith. The tale is one of contrasts: the traditional values of Provence and the pressures of international business; the complexities and delights of haute cuisine and the simplicity of pastis; the diversity of values of people from Britain, France, New York, and Texas; and honest labor and a bank robbery in Provence. Some familiarity with the French language, though not required for following the action, will add considerably to the listener's enjoyment. Piggott-Smith's narration and his mastery of dialect, along with the high production quality of this audiobook, make this rendition an absolute delight for the general listener. Very highly recommended.
- Cliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I have re-read it dozens of times. It is difficult to write such a complex book with multiple story lines and have everything... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Mae Johns
The idea of this book is nice - "retire" to Provence. I've heard about Mayle for years but never read any of his books. It's a cute story with some little twists. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Kim
Good verbal descriptive prose. Makes the reader feel like they are inside the story. Kind of banal and questionable storyline.Published 1 month ago by Tess 2
i forgot how it was narrated... :)
i frequently buy this book to give as a gift.
in my thinking this is one of two great books of His. Read more
I love Peter Mayle's style, sense of humor and love of Provence.
This book is different from his other books as this one is fiction. Read more