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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles: A Novel Paperback – December 31, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Joséphine Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In Pancol’s riveting novel, an enormous best-seller in France, Josephine Cortes abruptly realizes she needs to get a grip on her unraveling life when her husband leaves her to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress. Left to raise two daughters—one sweet and loving, the other haughty and disdainful of her frumpy mother—on the barely-there salary of a researcher who specializes in the twelfth century, Jo hesitantly ponders her life and purpose. Despite the shock of the disintegration of her 16-year marriage, she still falls back on her lifelong habit of being the whipping girl for everyone else, from her coldly perfectionist mother, Henriette, to her selfish, sophisticated sister, Iris. She even agrees to a wild scheme to pen a twelfth-century romance that will funnel the money to her shrunken coffers but carry Iris’ name on the cover. The story really takes off when the novel becomes a surprise hit, which opens up entirely new complications for everyone involved. Delicious morsels involving every family member compel attention in a title that will appeal to fans of Marian Keyes and Olivia Goldsmith. --Julie Trevelyan

Review

"A satisfying read."
The Washington Post

“Bonjour, book lovers. Get ready for best-selling French author Katherine Pancol’s American debut. It’s a charmer about fortysomething sisters Iris and Josephine, who have taken very different paths in life but come together when each finds herself in need of a little reinvention. Read it and ouip.”
Daily Candy

"Lucky you! You're about to succumb to France's most irresistible writer! At the end of this delicious, tender, funny, heartwarming novel, you'll feel as if Iris and Joséphine are part of your family."
Tatiana de Rosnay, New York Times bestselling author of Sarah's Key

“Thought Parisian women are perfect? Think again. A delicious treat about separation, sisterhood, and turning tables.”
Inès de la Fressange, New York Times bestselling author of Parisian Chic

“There is a gorgeous and invigorating zip and sparkle to the writing. You read it with a big smile.”
Elizabeth Buchan, New York Times bestselling author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman

“No wonder Katherine Pancol’s books are all bestsellers, reading her feels like coming home. Her characters become like friends and family members, and you long to know how they get on. The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles has all the quirks, tensions, and belly laughs that family, friendship, and sisterhood can entail. It is touching, entertaining, and vibrant.”
Cécile David-Weill, author of The Suitors

“This multilayered well-paced tale will delight you with its entertaining cast of characters and madcap adventures from Paris to the wilds of Africa.”
Katharine Davis, author of Capturing Paris

"Pancol deftly manages the constellation of characters in a cleareyed, warmly funny tale."
Kirkus

“Pancol’s runaway French bestseller is a satisfying Cinderella story. . . . delicious.”
Publishers Weekly

"Riveting . . . Delicious morsels involving every family member compel attention in a title that will appeal to fans of Marian Keyes and Olivia Goldsmith."
Booklist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (December 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143121553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143121558
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rob Slaven TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As usual, I received this book through the kindness of some giveaway or other. In this case it appears to have been an actual GoodReads giveaway. That certainly doesn't happen much any more!

So to begin, I realize that this book is probably in a genre more generally considered appropriate to the female gender and because of that, as a dude I'm a bit of an interloper. Despite that slight misalignment, I found this book pretty delightful. It's complexity of character made me realize just how bad I am at keeping names straight. After 40 pages I came up short and found I had no clue who all these people were so I went back through those pages and made a nice tidy relationship diagram of who slept with whom and who was previously dating whom and which characters were, in fact, screwing like rabbits in the back storeroom. Of all these there are many examples.

On the positive side, after sorting out all the 'whos' in diagrammatic format, this story had quite a bit to say. The intrigues were entertaining as well as demonstrating a clear and refreshing evolution of character and story. I found myself very invested in the characters and fervently rooting for some justice at the end and for things to turn out just so. I took a couple days getting started but by half way I was staying up late and reading before work to get through it. It does get ahold of you.

On the neutral side, some of the subplots came across a bit weakly. I was tied up in most of them but others just left me rather quizzical. There are certainly high points and "meh" points. Also, in this translation some of the dialog just doesn't come across as very Parisian.
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French author Katherine Pancol has written an absolutely delicious comedy-of-manners, "The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles". Set mainly in Paris - and a bit in Kenya - the story is about the changes and challenges in life we're all forced to go through. HOW we handle those life challenges is at the essence of Pancol's novel. She is a noted author in France, and I think "Yellow Eyes" is her first novel translated to English.

Pancol's story centers around 40ish year old sisters, Iris and Josephine. Having lost their father as children, they were raised by their mother, Henriette, who is truly the-mother-from-hell. (Henriette is really the only caricature in the book; all the others are nuanced and fleshed-out creations.) The two sisters take different paths in life; Iris is the glamorous wife of an international lawyer and lives a life of luxury. Josephine, the studious and quiet one, has settled with a dreamer for a husband and two daughters and works as a researcher in 12th century French history. The last point is important because the storyline revolves as much around that period in history as it does around the crocodiles in Kenya. Iris and Josephine's lives change when Iris persuades Josephine to write a novel set in 12th century France - think Eleanor of Acquitaine - that Iris will claim authorship of while giving Josephine the monetary proceeds. Iris needs fame and Josephine needs money after her husband goes off to raise crocodiles in Kenya with his girlfriend and she is left with raising her daughters by herself.

While all this sounds complicated, Katherine Pancol is a master of setting up a complicated plot peopled with many characters, who she juggles with ease. As I wrote before, the many characters - with the exception of Henriette - have their own identities.
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Format: Paperback
"The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles" is a book about the choices people make when they suddenly find themselves in the midst of a life that is not what they expected. The thing I like best about this novel is the fact that the subplots are as strong as the main storyline. Josephine, the protagonist, is trying to keep her head above water after ejecting her adulterous husband. The plan Iris concocts to recapture a moment of fame in her youth changes both their lives. But it is not only Josephine and Iris who are making choices that will take their lives in unexpected directions. Iris's husband, Philippe, is questioning his own values and priorities after sacrificing his life to build a successful law practice. Josephine's husband, Antoine, goes in search of his fortune with the manicurist from down the street. Josephine and Iris were raised by a stepfather who hoped for so much more out of his marriage to their mother. He has accepted the bargain he made until it threatens his relationship with his mistress. Some of these characters find the strength and creativity to re-invent themselves and others sink under the weight of the challenge. The question of how to move on when life is not what you expect is familiar territory in fiction, but this author has taken an approach to the question that is uniquely her own. She allows her characters to make their own choices, good and bad, and the outcome is not always what the reader might expect.

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from the publisher.
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