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Chocolat (Film Tie-in) Paperback – 4 Mar 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; Media tie-in edition (4 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552998931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552998932
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,232,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television.
In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Her hobbies are listed in Who's Who as 'mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion'. She also spends too much time on Twitter; plays flute and bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16; and works from a shed in her garden at her home in Yorkshire.


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Product Description

Amazon Review

Vianne Rocher and her six-year-old daughter Anouk arrive in the small village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes--"a blip on the fast road between Toulouse and Bourdeaux"--during the carnival. Three days later, Vianne opens a luxuriant chocolate shop crammed with the most tempting of confections and offering a mouth-watering variety of hot chocolate drinks. It's Lent, the shop is opposite the church, it's open on Sundays and Francis Reynaud, the austere parish priest, is livid.

One by one the locals succumb to Vianne's concoctions. Harris weaves their secrets and troubles, their loves and desires, into this, her third novel, with the lightest touch. Sad, polite Guillame and his dying dog. Thieving, beaten-up Joséphine Muscat. Schoolchildren who declare it "hypercool" when Vianne says they can help eat the window display--a gingerbread house complete with witch. And Armande, still vigorous in her 80s, who can see Anouk's "imaginary" rabbit Pantoufle, and recognises Vianne for who she really is. However, certain villagers--including Armande's snobby daughter and Joséphine's violent husband--side with Reynaud. So when Vianne announces a Grand Festival of Chocolate commencing Easter Sunday, it's all-out war. War between church and chocolate, between good and evil, between love and dogma.

Reminiscent of Herman Hesse's short story Augustus, Chocolat is an utterly delicious novel, coated in the gentlest of magic, which proves--indisputably and without preaching--that soft centres are best. --Lisa Gee

Review

An addictive read haunting,obsessive, and just a little nutty, like a freshly made praline. (Elisabeth Luard, author of Family Life)

A celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance. (Observer)

Samantha Bond is perfectly cast as Vianne: her voice is smooth and luxurious. But Gareth Armstrong steals the show as the priest who turns increasingly to his faith and in so doing loses touch with reality. (Observer) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rhinoa on 25 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
Vivianne Rocher and her daughter Anock arrive in the French villiage Lansquenet (I like that it never really tells you quite where they are from) and are clearly marked as outsiders. They don't go to church and they open a chocolate chop opposite the church during Lent. Father Rayraud from the church takes this as open warfare and begins to undermine them and try to get them to leave the villiage.

A cast of excellent main and secondary characters, this novel really drew me in. The different chocolates made my mouth water and I loved the Pagan side to the novel that was missed out of the film (which I also enjoyed but for different reasons). I liked that you never quite knew where Vivianne was from origianlly and learning the shocking truth behind her upbringing was again something left out of the film. The war between them and "The Black Man" was done well and I liked that it wasn't specifically anti-christianity. The point was there are good and bad people, religion doesn't make you either neccessarily.

The ending was quite mixed. The new blessing to Vivianne's life was wonderful, but I was sad that the wind still called to them to move on again. It would be lovely if Harris wrote a sequel. To anyone who enjoyed the film, please read the book. It is very different whilst still retaining the charm of the film. I will dedinately be reading more from this author, although I have heard this is by far her best novel to date.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Fi Fi on 8 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
I didn't expect much from this book, my mother told me to read it as she loved it and so i thought i would give it a go - and how glad i am that I did! This book has so much hidden depth which is not apparently obvious from the title. I have never seen paganism and catholicism brought together so cleverly. A beautiful look at how religions work and are not so different. I found the book to be very touching and insightfull. The characters are a very well thought up blend of people and portrays a good spectrum of people from most walks of life, all cleverly tied together in a small village. Harris brought everyone of them to life beautifuly and each had a different yet stricking character and they all somehow seem very familiar and I found i could relate most of them to people I have encountered. All in all this is a wonderful feel good book I would recomend it to everyone as a clever look at religion and sociology! (I will appologise hear for my spelling which im sure is atrocious)!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
This book falls outside most genres, and I am surprised it has been turned into a film. Not because it is a bad book, or even because it is non-genre (although that often confuses film makers) but because its strength is the use of language and description of people, moods and food. This is wonderful on the written page but never easily tranfers to film.
The beauty of the book is its timeless appraoch to people, religion, feelings, and the textures of life that are often not written about. The book covers a lot of ground, dealing with different types of people (each with their own voice) with their loves and interests and fears and jealousies. It has a bit of memories, but mainly it is based in the small village, and the richness of texture comes from the characters who populate it.
It is a book that could appeal to all, certainly anyone who has an interest in what people are like, and how small communities only need a minor event to change their outlook and (small) world-view
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Net on 27 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
Having seen the film first I started reading this mainly out of nostalgia as I love the film so much. The book has a very different (darker) feel to it but is still enormously enjoyable. JH is such a wonderfully evocative writer and is able to create such enchanting characters. I only wish the book ended on a more settled note rather than with the slightly unsatisfying `anything might happen' conclusion. However, I accept my view has probably been tainted by the Hollywood sweetened ending of the film. Wonderful story by a great writer; but be prepared for a marked difference to the film.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
I committed the ultimate sin, I saw the movie first!! I know you're probably gasping at how bad that is of me but I have to say the movie was briliant enough for me to go out and buy the book and I'm glad I did. The book has many differences to the movie and I can see where the moviemakers changed things around and why and I'm glad to say that it still works as otherwise I would never have bought the book. The book is amazing, I fell in love with the characters and even though I'd seen the movie first I was able to imagine something different to what I'd seen. The book is a rich vibrant book with a great story full of wonderful characters, buy it, read it, treasure it. I tell you that it's well worth reading it will fill you with a lot of joy and make you want to go out to France and just sit in a store just like the one in the book and drink hot chocolate.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J.E.T on 7 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
In this novel Harris captures a certain magic that compels you to read on and discover the secrets within. Set in a small French village, Chocolat tells the tale of Vianne Rocher- a pagan, single mother who sets up a chocolate shop in a mainly god-fearing town on the eve of the Christian celebration of Lent. As the novel unfolds and the townsfolk one-by-one give in to the allure of Vianne's famous chocolates and drinks we hear their life stories and really get a clear image of their character and hidden selves. Showing the struggle between religion and ingulging your desires this is a truly captivating read.

The characters all seem to have a true-to-life element about them and are completely believable. The only dissapointing part of this book for me was the end which was a little too abrupt for my liking. It is well worth a read, but save it for when you have a large space of time free as it will completely enthrall you in all it's twists and turns.
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