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4.3 out of 5 stars80
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 30 August 2004
I think it's going to be incredibly difficult for Mayle to better Hotel Pastis, but this is definitely a book along similar lines. I've been inspired to comment because at present I can only see bad reviews on this page, which simply don't do justice to this great read.
I think this is Mayle's fourth fiction, following Hotel Pastis, Anything Considered and Chasing Cézanne, and I was very glad to see he's still writing in 2004. If you've read them all, it is easy to see the similarities between the characters in each story. There's always the hard-done-by English ex-pat, the love interest, usually a housekeeper or similar, a life-long friend and a handful of other rogues along for the journey. This story is no different, only that the base this time is a vinyard, rather than a hotel, an apartment or flat in Monte Carlo. The tale is primed, as usual, with the twists and turns we've come to expect from Mayle, uncovering criminal activity that somehow bumbles into them, and the ensuing chase that always proves to be amusing.
All in all, this is definitely worth buying if your're looking for a light, sweet, and thoroughly amusing tale that loves to twist and keep you on your toes. It might do a little for your french too!
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on 22 June 2007
This story takes Max from an empty, self destructive life in London to the south of France and a lifestyle worth fighting for. We meet loads of interesting people on the way and discover loads about the wine trade.

I found A Good Year a great page turner. A simple, easy to follow plot, wonderful characters / caricatures, perfect length and best of all the marvellous sunshine.

I recommend this book to be read on a garden bench with a glass of crisp chilled white wine.
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on 22 May 2005
A book that will put you in a good mood. Well written and very entertaining. Gives you a feeling of vacation and peace that makes you want to continue on reading and disappear in his world close to Avignon.
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on 23 October 2007
If you adore Provence or country life in France, you will definitely enjoy this novel (like I did!) Actually, Mayle's description gives you a clear view in Luberon and transports you on a fantastic journey to the great region. I miss Luberon villages so much...
The story is simple and a bit slow, I'd say, and it is a pity that a flavor of mystery were abruptly wiped out somehow. What do you think of the "villlans", Mr. Mayle...? I still liked the story, but it was a bit irritating.
One more thing. I giggled at Mayle's description of Engilshmen, Fernch people and American girls. It is always intriguing to know how a certain group of people is considered by others, especially from different cultures!
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on 6 February 2012
I saw the film before I read the book and whilst there are differences between the two, I found them both to be charming in their own way. Who doesn't dream of a perfect life in Provence where the only stress in life is whether to choose between a coffee, a glass of wine or pastis? This kind of book is never going to be a masterpiece, but so what? It's easy to read, enjoyable, light-hearted and ultimately feel-good, which is exactly how I like to feel after reading a book or watching a film. I'm only giving it three stars, as I feel four and five stars should be reserved for work that deserves it, but it is a perfect three stars as I got exactly what I wanted from it, a feel-good feeling.

Out of 10 - 7.5
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on 30 June 2006
Anyone who likes France, wine and/or a good story will enjoy this book. It's not heavyweight, thought provoking material, just a very very entertaining read. Looking forward to the film with Russell Crowe !
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on 25 September 2012
As I've said before, I really fancy retiring to the South of France. The lifestyle, the land and house with pool, oh and course the weather, I guess this has been my daydream for several years. To put flesh on these bones, I've enjoyed reading about other peoples experiences, good and bad.

Although Peter Mayles a bit of a "celeb" and writes accordingly, I nevertheless very much enjoyed his experiences in Provence, starting with 'A Good Year' which I first came across in the film adaptation and found very enjoyable, in fact I've watched it twice. Whatever your motivation it's really worth a read and come to think of it the films well worth a look, although I should point out that the script is adapted, so it tends to be quite a different experience. Personally, I enjoyed both.
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on 16 August 2013
Peter Mayle isn't a great writer, but he does write well, his work flows nicely and has a good rhythm to it, I think. A Good Year is a light, frivolous read that's easy, whimsical and sometimes funny, a book in which nothing dangerous/serious/scary is going to happen. It doesn't have convoluted plots and sub-plots. One of the reviewers suggests it's an ideal book to read on the sun lounger or some such, on a summer's day and with a glass of wine. Spot on. It's pure escapism and a 'feel good' read. If you want stronger stuff, don't buy this book. I loved it and have read it several times. I marginally prefer the film of the book, which has some changes that fit the film mode of entertainment better.
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on 7 January 2007
I found this a most charming 'listen'. Through Tim Pigott-Smith's wonderful voice, my drive disappeared as my mind wandered to french vineyards, sumptuous glasses of wine, homely places & a little scandal thrown in. A fairly simple but engaging tale which whirled away the challenges of the M1.
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on 3 November 2008
This book certainly follows the pattern of a year in Provence with an up-close and in-depth look at the rural culture of a town in provence. The book, however, starts off in London where the life of the hero, Max has just fallen apart. His friend, Charlie, helps him travel to the warmer, more exotic environs of southern Provence where the weather is warmer and the people somewhat strange and mysterious. He takes up residence in the house of his uncle which sits on a vineyard that produces a wine of horrific qualities. The story takes off from there into a tangled but fascinating whirlwind of romance, crime, boutique wineries, local culinary customs and some rather unique, local personalities. Mayle peppers the story with witticisms that add extra life to the story...a good read.
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