©1998 Frances Mayes; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell, A Division of Random House Inc.
"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)
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.
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.
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
"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!
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.
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.
"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.
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.
As above. Totally ruined this book for me and only therefore listened to a few chapters.
In written form it is very enjoyable. In this audio format it is horrendous as a result of narrators style and accent.
Enjoyed this book, but the southern American accent and tones of the narrator were a little grating.
"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.
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