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A Good Year Paperback – June 14, 2005
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Max Skinner loses his job in a financial firm in London, in the same day he inherits a vineyard in France, that belonged to an uncle. Since Max has spent much of his childhood there, he has a connection with that house, that land, and at this point, "A Good Year" becomes a book about going back to the place where you belong to.
It will take some time to Max realize that, but meanwhile he will meet a couple of people who will change his life. If Mayle's narrative is never profound, or his characters never rise above the stereotypical, his book is interesting exactly because of these factors. "A Good Year" doesn't aspire to be a great book about serious issues. It is a light, funny and charming novel to be read between two heavy, serious and demanding books.
Mayle's prose is painted in Provence's paints, with local color and charm. His characters are probably based on people he met, and although not very believable they are still pleasant. Evocative, the prose is direct and fast, what keep those pages turning very quickly.
If Mayle's objective was to bring his readers part of Provence and what is living there -- his mission was accomplished with charm. A better portray of the region one can only have visiting the real thing -- and it would be very nice to have Mayle as the guide.
Descending upon the tiny village of Saint Pons for the summer are: Max Skinner, our hero who has been tossed out of his financial job in London, but immediately inherits a house with vineyard, Le Griffon, in Provence; Christie, a Californian cousin with a possible claim to the beautiful property; and Charlie, brother-in-law and money lender to Max. They join the locals: Monsieur Rousseau, caretaker to the vineyard; Fanny, a temptingly beautiful restaurant owner; Nathalie Auzet, the fashionable local notary; and Madame Passepartout, the matronly housekeeper and village gossip.
The storyline bounces from meal to meal, as nothing happens unless accompanied by sausages, paté, tarte aux pommes, pastis, marc and plenty of red wine. Meals at the village café, at the restaurant, at Le Griffon, and most magnificently at the Rousseau home are described in succulent detail. Evidently, someone is getting wealthy from mysteriously grown grapevines at the far, dusty edge of the property, and therein lies the plot. An ex-advertising executive, Mayle pokes good fun at the culture of wine marketing.
Further coloring the screenplay are the budding romances and the ultimate question of will Max make Le Griffon his home and livelihood. Hardly suspenseful, but what summer vacation is?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this because I loved the movie so much, consequently I was very disappointed. The movie script is far superior.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this book. Peter Mayle is a great writer. A true pleasure to read while I was sick sat on the couch.Published 27 days ago by Ellen Cadzow
Enjoyed the story. More eating and drinking wine in Provence. Light, beach readingPublished 1 month ago by Tom C
Loved this book and seller was very prompt. Story quite different than the movie so fun to read and experience a different perspective.Published 1 month ago by Gina Stern
Never judge a book by its movie, although I loved the film as well. Some similarities, but the book ending is more romantic.Published 1 month ago by R. C. Benchoff