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Chocolat [Kindle Edition]

Joanne Harris
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial.

As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Chocolat begins with Vianne Rocher and her six-year-old daughter Anouk arriving in the small village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes--"a blip on the fast road between Toulouse and Bordeaux"--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 eighties, 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 magics, which proves--indisputably and without preaching--that soft centres are best. --Lisa Gee


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)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 750 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS7MW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,853 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Photo © Kyte photography

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff, very different feel to the film 25 Sept. 2007
By rhinoa
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lose yourself in this 27 Oct. 2007
By Net
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolat - The meaning of life? 8 Mar. 2006
By Fi Fi
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chocolat 20 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this novel feels almost as indulgent as the chocolates which tempt the reader on every page. The story begins on Shrove Tuesday, when Vianne Rocher enters a tiny village, her six year old daughter Anouk in tow. Vianne has spent her life constantly on the move, her mother dragging her from country to country and now she wishes to put down some roots and create a different way of life for her own daughter. "If ever a place were in need of a little magic..." she thinks and opens a chocolate shop in the little square, directly opposite the Church. The local priest, Francis Reynaud, is self righteous, opinionated and resentful of the shop he sees as frivolous and sinful. It represents everything he dislikes and he immediately begins to plot Vianne's downfall.

This then is the story of battle lines drawn between the vibrant, bright and unapologetic Vianne, who flaunts her ideas and brings change to the people she meets and the brooding Reynaud. There are other characters of course, and they are important to the plot and engaging in their way, but it is the relationship between Vianne and Reynaud which are the bones on which the flesh of the story appears. Everything Vianne does is seen as a challenge and an affront to the priest, who tries to stop the changes which are overtaking his domain. This is a magical book, an easy read, but with interesting themes and characters and a simply wonderful ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
woud have loved it unabridged
Published 7 days ago by Else Neumann
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic
Love this book. One of my favourites.
Published 1 month ago by S. Findlay
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read.
Lovely story on all levels.
Published 2 months ago by promigeo
4.0 out of 5 stars A French village turns from hatred to love
This fascinating tale of rejection and inclusion offers religious as well as romantic themes. The narrative is handled skilfully.
Published 3 months ago by Mr. M. Donovan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love this book
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Diane Hudson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good as New
This was such a bargain, will have no hesitation when purchasing again.
Published 3 months ago by Margaret Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely tasty read.
The wind blew in the direction of the tiny french village of Lansquenent-Sous-Tannes on the 11th February, Shrove Tuesday. The village carnival was in full swing ready for lent. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Stacey
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Still reading it, but can't make much sense of it
Published 4 months ago by joan sierant
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book I have read it many times but I love to read it during lent...
this is a new copy not a new book I have read it many times but I love to read it during lent as that's when it is set a wonderful book as is the sequel The Lollipop shoes.
Published 4 months ago by C A Rogers
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Book club read
Published 4 months ago by Pam McGee
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