Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENSEMBLE C'EST TOUT
I must say that Anna Gavalda is a good French writer, I have not liked all her book but this one is very special. It brings 4 characters with whom you get attached during the book. Their lives evolved in a very unusual way, showing their closeness evolving, a mixture of very different background for each character, saving each other in many different ways. Amusing at...
Published on 27 Sep 2009 by Mrs. C. Williams

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars a reader
Hunting and Gathering is the name of this book in English and I note that some critics of the English version say it is so much better in the original French. Anna Gavalda's work is always worth reading. This book however fails to rise with the rest of her work that I have read. It was made into a film and perhaps she had this in mind when writing this. Hard to equate...
Published 8 months ago by Consumer A


Most Helpful First | Newest First

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENSEMBLE C'EST TOUT, 27 Sep 2009
By 
Mrs. C. Williams "Catherine" (UK AND FRANCE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must say that Anna Gavalda is a good French writer, I have not liked all her book but this one is very special. It brings 4 characters with whom you get attached during the book. Their lives evolved in a very unusual way, showing their closeness evolving, a mixture of very different background for each character, saving each other in many different ways. Amusing at times, sad during other times. You get in the book as an observer, you almost want to be part of 'The family'. All along the book you also evolve with the characters, liking, disliking some of them, wanting to talk to them.
I cannot say much more as otherwise it would not bring your appetite to read this book, this is a discovery of love, sadness, anger between 4 people, making little by little their own family.
When you finish the book you do not want to end reading it, you want to go with the characters for more and more.
PLEASE NOT THAT IF YOU DO SPEAK FREMCH DO READ IT IN FRENCH, I have not read the English version which I am sure will give enough pleasure and sadness in reading it, but as we all know if one can it is always more satisfactory to read a book in its original language.
Have a good read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars a reader, 13 Aug 2013
By 
Consumer A "ReaderAAA" (England. UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hunting and Gathering is the name of this book in English and I note that some critics of the English version say it is so much better in the original French. Anna Gavalda's work is always worth reading. This book however fails to rise with the rest of her work that I have read. It was made into a film and perhaps she had this in mind when writing this. Hard to equate with the wonderfully written L'Echappée belle or Je l'aimais or the short stories in Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part. Such a talented writer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book in the original language, 8 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
nice item, fast delivery, I was very happy to get the french version so easily, love to read books in the original version
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More is Less, 22 July 2012
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A best seller in France and adapted as a film starring the gamine Audrey Tautou and titled in English "Hunting and Gathering", this is the tale of three very talented young people who, having been damaged by their dysfunctional, neglectful or thoughtlessly cruel parents, form an unlikely friendship through which they help each other to achieve fulfilment and happiness.

Camille is a gifted artist, reduced to anoxeria and working as an office cleaner at night. Franck is a boorish and promiscuous chef, whose loud mouth conceals a soft heart and a sense of guilt over abandoning his beloved grandmother Paulette to a soulless old people's home. The aristocratic, for me stereotyped, Philibert, is a walking history book, a stammering figure of fun with obsessive compulsive disorder, who wastes his skills selling postcards.

My judgement may have been jaded by the effort required to read this in the original French. It is certainly a good source of modern slang, colloquial speech, idioms and cultural references, although deciphering some of these was a hard and often fruitless labour. I needed a French speaker on hand to ease the path more than for any other French novel I have ever read.

However, I feel confident in saying that this potentially interesting plot was ruined for me by self-indulgently excessive length and lack of editing of too many banal conversations and incidents, by a mawkish tone and a very loose, clunky structure. Minor scenes are presented in great deal, major incidents glossed over or implied.

The narrative veers between passages of dense prose, such as Part 3 (rationale for these parts eluded me) Chapter 17 in which Camille explains the trauma of her childhood in a lengthy passage of "telling" rather than "showing" and some other chapters which are just a page long - a few slangy phrases in a sea of white space.

The tone is mostly mildly crude or schmaltzy with the occasional flight into pretentiousness. The characters often seem underdeveloped to me. There was missed scope for drama in, for instance, the behaviour of Camille's mother, Philibert's finding of a girlfriend or the role of the drug addict Vincent.

There are a few moving passages, such as Pauline's experience of ageing. Also, some moments of humour, as when Camille makes a coat for the concierge's dog out of Franck's shrunken designer jumper. But a good deal of tedium has to be navigated to dredge up these pearls.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This novel is a classic of modern literature!, 17 Mar 2006
Anna Gavalda is a writer of genius! And "Ensemble, c'est tout" is a brilliantly written novel and classic of our time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This novel is a classic of modern literature!, 14 Mar 2006
This review is from: Ensemble, c'est tout. (Paperback)
Anna Gavalda is a writer of genius! And "Ensemble, c'est tout" is a brilliantly written novel and classic of our time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0x10f56048)

This product

Ensemble, c'est tout.
Ensemble, c'est tout. by Anna Gavalda (Paperback - 31 Mar 2004)
20.29
In stock but may require up to 2 additional days to deliver
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews