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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    36

Performance

  • 2.8 out of 5.0
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    29
  • 4 Stars
    17
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    18
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    40

Story

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    17
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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.

46 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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...

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Writer's voice so annoying.

From now on, I shall listen to the free audio sample before I get a book. Someone should have told the author that she has a very annoying reading voice, and that she should get an actor to read her book. I really tried to listen/be committed. But, five chapters in-- and I just can't do it. It sounds like a good book. But her voice is just so grating and "acted". I don't care how much money I spent on the book -- I can't keep going with it. It is too annoying.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

So hard to listen to

What disappointed you about Under the Tuscan Sun?

The narrator. I was so excited to start this story and the narrator's voice and delivery was unbearable

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mike
  • 10-17-13

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • j stockton
  • 09-23-12

narration

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Vyonne
  • 05-23-07

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kieren
  • 01-12-06

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sardinia01
  • 03-01-12

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Wojtek P.
  • 03-05-17

A bit dull testimony of Americans' move to Tuscany

A bit dull testimony of Americans' move to Tuscany... Frankly a huge disappointment. I thought there would be some more to the story then record of what it took them to move to Tuscany.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nina Anton
  • 03-12-16

Accent

I got this book as it was recommended for being in the same vein as A Year In Provence.

I wish I had read as opposed to listened to this book, I think I would have enjoyed it more, I found it hard to put my self in Tuscany while listening to a southern American drawl. (No offence to anyone with this accent!)

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  • Michelle
  • 04-12-16

terrible voice impossible to listen to. disapointd

Would you try another book written by Frances Mayes or narrated by Frances Mayes?

If it was read by someone else or not like a robot... Maybe

Has Under the Tuscan Sun put you off other books in this genre?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

It was terrible. Robotic and not even decipherable or coherent at times

What character would you cut from Under the Tuscan Sun?

The narrator

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dirk
  • 03-21-14

Tried to listen again

I just can't get into this book as the narrators voice is way to hard to listen too. This is the second time I thought I'd give it a go and still can't listen. I have been told to book was amazing but as I have no time to read I listen to books through this medium and I am so disappointed that I won't get a chance to listen to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful