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A Piano in the Pyrenees: The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains | [Tony Hawks]

A Piano in the Pyrenees: The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains

Inspired by breathtaking views, and dreaming of finding love and romance in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here he imagines he will finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world. However, Tony's account of stumbling into the world of overseas home ownership is perhaps best heard as a useful manual of how not to go about buying a house abroad.
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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by breathtaking views, and dreaming of finding love and romance in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here he imagines he will finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world. However, Tony's account of stumbling into the world of overseas home ownership is perhaps best heard as a useful manual of how not to go about buying a house abroad. The man who once travelled around Ireland with a fridge is hopelessly ill prepared for this latest adventure - though the consequences are hilarious.

©2006 Tony Hawks; (P)2007 Isis Publishing Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"Hugely entertaining." (The Mirror)
"Funny and irreverent as ever." (Wanderlust)
"A warmly comic adventure." (Daily Mail)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (37 )
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3.3 (7 )
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Story
4.1 (7 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rick New Zealand 03-27-11
    Rick New Zealand 03-27-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Not as funny as previous books"

    I listened to this book over a fairly long period and that may affect the flow of the book, but on balance i was expecting the book to be more like the previous titles, which were primarily humorous travel books about people and places. Having said that, I still liked the slice of french village life and the observations which were well told. It's a gentle read, and not a rip snorter.

    Probably star Juliette Binoche in the film versions ; -).

    Perhaps I have a different view of this book as Kiwi guys tend to regard themselves good at D-I-Y and therefore some of the frustrations of the author in his house / pool building enterprises and van experience left me frustrated with the author's lack of skills /expectations; rather than the situations!

    Have to write my own book so Tony can review it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Penny
    Gajoubert, France
    12/30/07
    Overall
    "Truly a true story!"

    I found this book fascinating, as Tony Hawkes' experience almost exactly mirrors my own, although I live in the Limousin area of France. Maybe the French aren't quite as friendly here, but the builders and buying processes are exactly the same!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    East Sheen, United Kingdom
    2/3/10
    Overall
    "Great listen, great narration"

    Bought this for a drive through France. It made the journey fly by. Great narration which was both funny and moving. Highly recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Caroline
    Aylesbury, United Kingdom
    1/5/09
    Overall
    "Health Warning: Don't Listen & Drive!"

    Listened to this on the long drive down through France from Calais to Biarritz - it was perfect entertainment, but it was almost too entertaining, and I nearly crashed twice due to laughing so hard I could barely see... Best enjoyed while not behind the wheel! But Tony Hawks certainly captured every ounce of comdey to be had from Brits in France, so when you need cheering up, download this and sit back and enjoy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Susie S
    Cornwall, United Kingdom
    9/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOL !"

    I'm still not sure whether LOL stands for 'Laughed Out Loud' or 'Lots Of Love' - however in this case both would apply!
    I listened to this while travelling through France with my husband where we spent part of the time in a self catering holiday appartment. Having known from earlier holidays that French TV does little to entertain Brits with a mere smattering of French, it was great to have Tony hugely entertaining us, especially when we were spending time in France too and could relate to quite a few of his observations ourselves.
    He comes across as someone everyone would like to have as their best friend, brother or son and some lovely friends of his, old and new, are beautifully portrayed in this tale too.
    En route, we stayed in a family-run gite and a guy who who looked every inch a builder - but very much 'part of the furniture' - wandered into the kitchen, we both looked at eachother and said - Look they've got a 'Ron' !
    The closing line is just perfect - which I won't repeat here to spoil other listeners' enjoyment. Now we want to know what happened next and if they all lived happily ever after ..... bring on the sequel please.
    I am now looking forward to listening to another Tony Hawks tale - Round Ireland with a Fridge - which came before A Piano in the Pyrenees.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Luton, United Kingdom
    5/23/11
    Overall
    "Fantastic Read! Highly entertaining."

    I was planning to buy a science factual book, but inadvertently came across this. I have always liked Tony Hawks on Just A Minute and bought this on a whim. What can I say? He reads it so well and there are some real laugh aloud moments (not great when you walking down the street!) I found myself having to ration my listening, so the book didn't finish too soon. I felt I was there with him through all the ups and downs and enjoyed his characterisation of all the people in the village. I am now going to buy Round Ireland With a Fridge, even though I have already read it in print. "Monsieur Tony, when are you going to read some of your other books for us?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Nuneaton, United Kingdom
    5/15/09
    Overall
    "Pyrenees venture"

    Those who are looking for profound insights into French culture may feel a little let down, but this is a very honest review of Tony's experiences in France. It's well written and read with some side-splitting moments that ought not to be read while eating or drinking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gail
    New Milton, Hants, United Kingdom
    5/10/09
    Overall
    "Very funny, gentle humour."

    I don't laugh out loud easily, but this talking book caused me to do so a lot. His humourous observations are kind, not cruel and his reading style enhances this. His vocal impressions of his French neighbours intersperse the monologue well. It makes you want to visit this French village. I particularly liked the chair lift 'episode' towards the end. There are enough characters in the book, but not so many that you get confused. I hope Tony records a new book soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Arlene
    Westerham, United Kingdom
    1/10/09
    Overall
    "A Piano in the Pyrenees (Unabridged)"

    I really enjoyed this. Hawks' down to earth style and insights into the difficulties of buying a property abroad and trying to fit into a new community were both captivating and hilarious.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Pocklington, York, United Kingdom
    11/15/08
    Overall
    "Laugh out Loud"

    I listened to this on holiday this year and my poor husband said I was an embarrassment for laughing out loud whilst reading it.
    Very funny book


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hugh Campbell
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Clean Entertainment"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Piano in the Pyrenees to be better than the print version?

    Definitely - Particularly with Tony Hawks narration


    What other book might you compare A Piano in the Pyrenees to, and why?

    Round Ireland With a Fridge by the same Author


    What about Tony Hawks’s performance did you like?

    He talks like he is your mate


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book is funny from start to finish


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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