I bought this book after watching the movie - I am a fan of Peter Mayle and have read all his previous works of fiction. I hadn't even heard of this one, though. When I watched the movie I knew right away it was based on a Peter Mayle book, and that somehow I had missed one. I was sure the movie had left out significant character development, characteristic of Mayle's writing. And throughout the movie I kept feeling like we weren't getting to know the characters -- the plot moved quickly without much explanation for their actions. I bought the book and downloaded the audio shortly after. I like to alternate between audio and paper, depending on what I'm doing.
I guess the movie didn't cut out much after all. The characters in this story aren't developed in the typical Mayle style. It was still a nice, light read - just not what I expect from Peter Mayle.
I am a French speaker and have lived in Provence - I love hearing descriptions and names of familiar places. These, too, were fewer and farther between than in the author's previous novels.
Finally, the accent of the narrator was BEYOND irritating. His consistent mispronunciation of the French vowel combination "ai" as a long /i/ sound instead of a short /e/ sound finally drove me to turn off the audio and read my paperback.
Oh well - I guess there's a reason I hadn't heard about this one sooner. I'm baffled that of all his excellent novels, Hollywood chose this one to make into a film.
Say something about yourself!
I picked up this book after enjoying the movie. The story differs from the movie but is still good. Solid 3.5 stars. If you have ever traveled in and enjoy rural France, you realize that Provence is much different from Paris or even the cote de jour. The book very accurately reflects the rural French people, the plumbing and the French attitude toward the English and Americans. There is true warmth and charm in the people who live in the French countryside and that charm is reflected in Peter Mayles writing. John Lee does a great job in the narration. I enjoyed the story but to be honest, this is one of the rare occasions where I actually enjoyed the movie more. Still a good read. Worth the credit.
Another narrator !!
All of Peter Mayle's novels ~~ wish Audible would acquire rights to Hotel Pastis (sp. ?)
Stephen Weber, Eric Conger, James Daniels, Jonathan Davis, Paul Michael ~~ almost any other with the exception of Dick Hill who is so awful I refuse to purchase any audio read by him ~~ but that complaint is not relevant to this review.
I have read all of Peter Mayle's wonderful books and especially enjoyed them, so it was exciting to see this one listed among Audible's collection ~~ did not have a credit available, but purchased it anyway as the story should have made a delightful listening experience ~~ a poor judgment call to waste the money !!!!
No, I don't think so.
I have not.
The performance was OK, about on par with the story.
No, I looked forward to more about travel. I didn't hate it, but it never grabbed me you might say. I listened while painting the interior of my house and it served it's purpose - meaning I didn't really have to listen much to get the gist.
This story might be good for a drive or a listen while you're painting the house. It doesn't sag or go off in monotonous tangents. It's just forgettable.
Yes, a nice inside view of the French countryside.
Yes, for light enjoyment.
Crisp easy listening
Possibly, the characters could be carried over in more depth.
Relaxing and fun.
The plan to trap the wine merchant.
I felt like I was listening to the character in the story.
I read anything with Peter Mayle on the cover. Fiction or non, he tells a great story.
When the main character meets his cousin.
The scene where the author describes the dinner with the next door neighbors
I listened to this over my Christmas break, it took about 2 days. Then I watched the movie. The audible book was better.
The story carries you to France and gives you afeeling of what it is like to live there. A glimpse of the people, the food, and wine of one of my favorite places in the world. Mayle has a great feeling for France, and expresses it well in his books. The narrator held my interest, and also did a good job of expressing the tone of the book.
Well written story. Good narration. Probably better as a short story. Nothing heavy here. Best read on a cold rainy day when there is nothing else to do.