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Encore Provence: Abridged [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Peter Mayle , Jon Nettles
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Sep 1999
More of the pleasures of a year in Provence, this text presents portraits of the pleasures of life in the Luberon.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette: 2 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks; Abridged edition edition (29 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141800321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141800325
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 10.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,008,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Poor Peter Mayle and his wife tried to live other places, but after four years away from Provence--they'd settled into a house outside East Hampton, Long Island--they realised they were hopelessly homesick. They missed the smell of thyme in the fields and the Sunday morning markets. They missed the slower pace. Mostly, they missed the small moments that make up the texture of daily life in Provence--eating, of course; a conversation on a street corner; an impromptu game of boules.

Happily, the Mayles knew when it was time to go home. Encore Provence resonates not only with the acute perspective of someone who is supremely glad to be back on French turf, but also with the wit and relief of a refugee who has a solid American yardstick by which to measure the good life. The Mayles had tried valiantly to adapt to American culture: they learned about California wines, they shopped by mail, they took vitamins, they tried to watch television, they attempted to watch their cholesterol; there was even a period when they tried to be good citizens and drink eight glasses of water a day.

Can the author of A Year in Provence andToujours Provence possibly have anything more to say about the sunny south of France? Yes, especially when he's chronicling his newfound dual roles as an expert in all things American ("we are in some way considered responsible for the spread of American tribal customs," he writes, "everything from le fast-food to les casquettes de baseball, which have begun to appear on previously bare French heads") and as a defender of all things Provencal.

Mayle sounds most defensive in a chapter devoted to former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, who penned a Times piece chronicling a bad vacation in Provence and then wrote off the entire region, concluding that she'd "been dreaming of a Provence that never existed." For Mayle, that Provence is clearly alive and well, if--as he aptly demonstrates in a lighthanded chapter entitled, "Eight Ways to Spend a Summer's Afternoon" (pretending to read, planning your own chateau)--you're in the right state of mind to savour it. --Kimberly Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"[Peter Mayle] is something of a wonder. . .chronicling the scene around him in irresistible prose, the joys of a bountiful climate, brilliant sun, and a splendid cuisine." --"Time" "Grab a Pastis and settle in for a scintillating rendezvous. Mayle's insights have never been more thoughtful." --"San Francisco Chronicle" "Delightful, amusing, and appealing." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Mayle's prose is, as ever, as pure and welcoming as a glass of the house wine at a Provencal cafe." --"The Philadelphia Inquirer" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I laughed at the shotgun murder 21 Nov 2002
Twelve years ago, Peter Mayle gifted us with "A Year In Provence", an account of this expatriate Brit's plunge into Gallic life, revolving around the pleasures and pitfalls of establishing a residence in rural France in an old country house that was somewhat of a "fixer-upper". Several Provence-related books later, and after a period of time living on Long Island, Peter and his wife return to the land they (and we) love. The result is "Encore Provence". The latest book doesn't hold together as well as "Year", the elements of the latter forming a more cohesive whole. However, "Encore" is certainly much better than some of his other books written in the interim.
In "Encore", Peter briefly revisits several topics covered in the original, as well as several more which were apparently overlooked. The range is quixotic: the cultivation of olive trees, an explanation of the three grades of virgin olive oil, the smelly art of selecting fragrances for designing perfumes, foie gras as the key to longevity, discovering the perfect corkscrew, touring Marseille, the almost-underworld of the village truffle market, how to execute the Provençal full shrug, the obligatory elements of the Provençal village, and, umm ..... the shotgun murder of an amorous meat cutter. And, of course, many hedonistic references to the local food and wine. All are treated in the utterly charming and dryly humorous Mayle-style that makes his books so delightful.
Bravo and merci beaucoup, Mr. Mayle! You've provided another enjoyable spice to my life.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Rejoice, armchair travelers - Provence's most engaging booster is at it again! With deft pen and quick wit intact Peter Mayle offers another paean to his promised land, Encore Provence, in which, among other Provencal perks, he delineates the salubrious effects of a 3-hour lunch, and the gastronomical satisfaction found at a village boulangerie. After a four year hiatus in America, Mr. Mayle has returned to the lavender fields and picturesque dwellings of his chosen paradise on earth - southern France. As he describes his second residency with great good humor and affection, Encore Provence becomes a billet-doux to the places and people of that region. No longer the wide-eyed, exuberant Francophile we found in A Year In Provence(1995) and Toujours Provence (1991), he is now a more sophisticated, experienced resident - on to recalcitrant workmen who say neither yes or no, but only "c'est possible," and now convinced that "hurried eating has ruined more digestive systems than foie gras."
That enlightened mecca where wine's first sip is greeted with a "shudder of appreciation" has welcomed him home. He warmly returns its embrace, as he delightedly attests through anecdotal narrative and assiduously drawn, smile-provoking portraits of idiosyncratic Gallic friends.
For starters, we learn of a handsome village butcher who favors housewives with more than choice cuts. Such generosity results in his untimely demise, but "everyone turned out the day they buried the butcher. They all had their reasons.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One book too far 28 Jun 2002
Having recently read and enjoyed "A Year in Provence" and "Toujours Provence", i was excited to see that a third book had been written.
Unfortunately i cannot agree with the other reviewers on this page as i found this book very disappointing.
Firstly, i was shocked to hear that the author had for many years abandoned his idyllic Provencal lifestyle for the hustle and bustle of the USA. Indeed, much of this book seems to have been written in New England as an afterthought.
Secondly, he rarely (if ever), adds anything new to the story, seeming to go over old ground in nearly all the chapters. Maybe i'm being unkind but ultimately the book seems to be composed mainly of discards from the previous two books. This appears to be an attempt to sell another book off the back of the success of the first two.
Regretfully, Mayle adds nothing more to what was originally a great story and i would unfortunately advise those of you who enjoyed the first two books to avoid this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mayle is back! 24 Aug 2000
After a ten year hiatus Peter Mayle is back and writing about life in his beloved Provence. His first two books cuased such a stir in the UK and inspired a massive tourism surge to Provence that Mayle both revered and hated.
This latest book, which to my mind is probably the best of the three, seems to tread carefully as though fully aware of what his words might bring to his adopted home.
Mayle creates an idyllic picture of life abroad, clearly thoroughly enjoys all his research into fine foods and wines (who wouldn't!). His pleasure and contentment seep from the pages making this book very easy and very delightful to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift 21 Feb 2009
Encore Provence
I gave this book together with "A Year in Provence" to my husband for Christmas. Once he had started to read he couldn't put either book down. I have since bought "Toujours Provence" which he has found equally amusing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter takes you away to the wonderful world that is Peter's Provence...
absolutely fabulous, Peter takes you away to the wonderful world that is Peter's Provence again!
Published 9 days ago by steve martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
most enjoyable, as always
Published 17 days ago by wey
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Even better than the other titles
Published 29 days ago by Jana de Vere Drage Watts
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable 3 hour read, good for summer days and holiday down time.
More of the same from Peter Mayle, an enjoyable and gentle ramble through the peculiarities of rural France.Worth taking on Holiday or sunny afternoons with a nice drink. Read more
Published 3 months ago by M cat
4.0 out of 5 stars Encore Provence
A very good and enjoyable book to read,not as good as either Hotel Pastis or confessions of a French baker but still a good read.
Published 4 months ago by michael evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Light pleasant read
All the Mayle charactristics-almost believable,amiable anecdotes.Bonus is always a few more pukka french phrases learned. Read more
Published 5 months ago by g.balfour
3.0 out of 5 stars A Story Too Far
The third in the series and in my eyes the weakest but still a decent read with all its different stories.
Published 5 months ago by John Marriott
1.0 out of 5 stars Encore Provence
Not read this book as I purchased it as a present for a friend who likes reading Peter Mayle books.
Published 5 months ago by Wendy Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars Encore Provence
I chose this book as I had thoroughly enjoyed Toujour Provence.
I was not disappointed it too was a very good read.
Published 10 months ago by burra sahib
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Read
Peter Mayle has produced a great follow-on to A Year in Provence. Very interesting and a good insight into life in Provence, told with great humour.
Published 12 months ago by Trish
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