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Under the Tuscan Sun | [Frances Mayes]

Under the Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes - widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer - opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In sensuous and evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Also available: Bella Tuscany.

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Publisher's Summary

Frances Mayes - widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer - opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In sensuous and evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. An accomplished cook and food writer, Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which are included in this audio. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. A celebration of the extraordinary quality of life in Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Sun is a feast for all the senses.

©1998 Frances Mayes; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell, A Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"An intense celebration of what [Mayes] calls 'the voluptuousness of Italian life'...appealing and very vivid." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Irresistible...a sensuous book for a sensuous countryside." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.9 (106 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (25)
Overall
3.1 (37 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
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3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (8)
Story
2.6 (39 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Alicia Newberg, OR, USA 09-19-03
    Alicia Newberg, OR, USA 09-19-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Overall
    "Under the Tuscan Sun"

    I think I would have enjoyed reading the book. The narrator's (authors) voice is just plain irritating and makes it difficult to want to continue listening.

    28 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Lindsey 02-16-03 Listener Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    114
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Under the Tuscan Sun"

    This book invites you to book passage immediately for Tuscany. With lush, lyrical prose, the author creates an image of a Tuscan village and her beloved ramshackle house, Bramasole, that is almost too compelling to resist. For those familiar with Peter Mayle's books on Provence, you will undoubtedly appreciate the more poetic and introspective text that Frances Mayes has created.

    Alas, the narration is not a match for the text. The author/narrator appears almost unfamiliar with the text, reading it rather than living it as I had expected. Overall, though, this audiobook is a treat for the ears and also the mind's eye.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Windle SF, CA, USA 09-05-05
    John Windle SF, CA, USA 09-05-05 Member Since 2005

    John Windle

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    "Oh that voice"

    You may or may not enjoy self-satisfied accounts of how wonderfully two rich and entitled Americans overcame all obstacles (largely by spending huge amounts of money) to create a dream home in Tuscany and start a craze for ruining other countries' countrysides. But the author's voice (yes, she reads it herself, surprise surprise) is so gratingly awful, so harsh on the ears, that I could hardly bear to listen to her whine on in her hideous Southern/Calfornian accent about how hard it was for her and her husband to triumph over lazy or corrupt Italians, incompetent or destructive workmen of various European backgrounds, and banks that took days to process their financial transactions. Frankly it made me sick. Enjoy...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Shingle Springs, CA, USA 09-27-09
    Eric Shingle Springs, CA, USA 09-27-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    88
    5
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    "Good story, worse reader"

    I could not get passed how terrible this story was read. I would recommend actually reading this book rather than try to listen to a monotone voice with Southern accent.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Analee 06-05-10
    Analee 06-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    89
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    "Sadly disappointed"

    This is a horrible thing to say...

    I watched the movie and had an image of Frances Mayes in my head. I loved the movie, I fantasized that it could be my life, I had a romanticized view of her. Then I started to listen to the book and her voice totally ruined it. I imagined a soft, non-accented voice and the voice talking to me was completely not that voice.

    Like I said, it's a horrible thing to say, but I decided to buy the paper version of the book and just read it instead

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charline Indianapolis, IN, United States 06-27-04
    Charline Indianapolis, IN, United States 06-27-04 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    47
    6
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    "You liked the movie, the book is nothing like it."

    The book is a diary more than anything. It does make you want to go out and cook Italian and visit the small towns if Tuscany, if you can get through the irritating voice of the author.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teantae Columbia, MD, USA 06-15-05
    Teantae Columbia, MD, USA 06-15-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    6
    1
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    "Needs A Different Narrator"

    I tried two times and just couldn't handle it anymore. Thankfully I also have this in paperback and will read rather than suffer through the painful narration. It's not always a good thing for the author to read their work; this is one of times.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Rockford, IL, USA 01-28-05
    David Rockford, IL, USA 01-28-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Give this book before marrying someone"

    "Under the Tuscan Sun" is perhaps the most boring book of all time. If you really want to listen to an overindulged, overeducated ex-Southern Belle's surface snapshots of "my trip to Italy" taken between her bubblebaths and quaffs of Chianti, then this is your ticket. I learned ONE piece of useful information, that there are scorpions in Tuscany. Otherwise, the only use for this book is as a way to screen potential spouses...if they like the book, dump them quick!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefanie 03-17-04
    Stefanie 03-17-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Reader is terrible"

    I could not finish this book because the reader was absolutely awful. She had no emotion or voice inflection to break up the monotony of each sentence.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clapper Waxhaw, NC, United States 09-02-06
    Clapper Waxhaw, NC, United States 09-02-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    "Under the Tuscan Sun"

    The narrator's voice (while authentic) was very irritating to the point that I could not even finish the book. I found the narration to be nasal and whiney. I'm sure the book was a good read, but feel that the book on tape would have been much more enjoyable had it been narrated by someone else.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 24 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Vyonne
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    5/23/07
    Overall
    "not fair"

    I loved it, it was fresh enjoyable, and if you know wine country you can almost taste the atmosphere, nearly listend to the book in one go on a Sunday. I totally disagree with the other person, whom did not give the book a chance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kieren
    Hextable, Kent, United Kingdom
    1/12/06
    Overall
    "Under the Tuscan Sun"

    This book is one of my favourites. I love the way Frances Mayes writes. She has very lyrical, poetic way with words. So I was quite excited of adding this book to my Audio list.

    I lasted less than one paragraph. Believe me I really really tried to like it. The reason I disliked it so much was her voice, it really grates. Her heavy southern American drawl really grates. It is not the sort of voice that goes with such a well wrtten book.

    A real shame.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mike
    Douglas, United Kingdom
    10/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "annoying"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different narrator with a more pleasing accent would have helped. Allowing the author to narrate totally ruined this book for me. I had previously read this book and was looking forward to listening but found the accent style of the narrator extremely irritating.


    What didn’t you like about Frances Mayes’s performance?

    As above. Totally ruined this book for me and only therefore listened to a few chapters.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    In written form it is very enjoyable. In this audio format it is horrendous as a result of narrators style and accent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • j stockton
    stoke-on-trent, United Kingdom
    9/23/12
    Overall
    "narration"

    Enjoyed this book, but the southern American accent and tones of the narrator were a little grating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sardinia01
    UK
    3/1/12
    Overall
    "under the tuscan sky a feel good book"

    If you love Italy and the Italians, the description of wonderful food and a great way of life, you will love this book. It is a wonderful feel good book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

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