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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you ever visit rural France, read this first. If you are not visiting France - read it anyway!
Ah Clochemerle. Possibly my favourite book of all time. I've re-read it about 6 or 7 times now most recently just finishing it yesterday and it never fails to amuse and impress me. Bearing in mind it was written in 1936 it is a bit "racy" and when you consider it was translated in the same year for British publication, I hate to think what the guardians of our morals...
Published on 5 Jun. 2009 by Big Jim

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clochemerle? Still very much the case!
Excellent and oh, still how true! I 01st read Clochemerle when I was about 20, never dreaming I was to spend the major part of my adult life in France. Now for having lived for so long in Provincial France, and not too far away from Lyons and the Beaujolais region, I can better visualize the streets of Clochemerle; the summer heat; the Lime trees and Horse chestnut trees...
Published on 18 Feb. 2012 by Ripper38


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you ever visit rural France, read this first. If you are not visiting France - read it anyway!, 5 Jun. 2009
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
Ah Clochemerle. Possibly my favourite book of all time. I've re-read it about 6 or 7 times now most recently just finishing it yesterday and it never fails to amuse and impress me. Bearing in mind it was written in 1936 it is a bit "racy" and when you consider it was translated in the same year for British publication, I hate to think what the guardians of our morals thought in those days. It still stands up well to the test of time and it's just a shame the two follow up novels - inferior but still fun - are so hard to get hold off. Just while I'm mentioning translation, the translator in this case goes under the crazy name of Jocelyn Godefroi and he makes an excellent job of it. Everyone who takes it upon themselves to publish a novel in translation from French should look to this one and marvel at what a great job he(she?) does.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars farce in the french countryside, 23 Nov. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written tale, full of french passion, fight and flare..A small old fashioned country town consumed by a desire for their fruity wine and women but divided over a modern edifice..Recommended..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Clochemerle, 19 Sept. 2014
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Clochemerle (Kindle Edition)
I was more than happy to find a kindle edition of this book as I haven’t read it for years, but I could still remember that this was a good read. Coming back to this years later I find that it is still well worth reading, and am thus glad that I nominated it for my local book group.

The story opens in late 1922 on the outskirts of the town Clochemerle, a small picturesque town in the Beaujolais area of France. The mayor discusses with his assistant a plan that he has to build a public urinal for the town, an idea that seems perfectly harmless. Thus we leap into 1923 with the unveiling of this urinal, but although a relatively smooth ceremony is carried through, how long before someone puts a spanner in the works?

As we read through this we find out more about Clochemerle and its more celebrated residents, along with the jealousies, gossip, and sexual shenanigans that go on. Gabriel Chevallier weaves a very funny, satirical and highly entertaining tale about what goes on in Clochemerle. With one woman complaining that the urinal, situated near the church is lowering the morals of the town people start to become divided into a for or against feeling towards the toilet. As the heat sets in in the summer of 1923 and the inhabitants imbibe more than usual of their local produce things are bound to come to a head. With fighting in the church, rioting and even the Government sending in troops will Clochemerle ever be the same again?

With lovely illustrations and a story that will make you laugh out loud you can’t really go wrong with this. Although written by a Frenchman in places this does feel quite Wodehousian, which is probably why it has always been quite popular over here. There was a TV series made of this for the BBC in the early Seventies which I have been led to believe is now available on DVD, so although I haven’t yet looked for it, it should also be available on this site.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonjour Ivresse, 25 July 2014
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
The massively successful product of a novelist famed for a Great War shocker ("Peur") Clochemerle is a beautifully observed account of a Beaujolais village at the community-level with some interesting observations on the sex lives of married couples. The events that cause the scandal are lovingly placed in the setting. In its observation I am reminded of the Croft and Perry TV series (like Dad's Army) where a distinct type is skewered exactly but always with the humanity to recognise their strengths as well as weaknesses. The 1972 BBC series was more Talbot Rothwell than Gabriel Chevallier with its Seventies Smut antenna working overtime; the text is much more nuanced however the casting of the series very much hit the target. I very much prefer the novel with its strong grip on village France. As Trenet wrote

Un petit village, un vieux clocher
Un paysage si bien caché
Et dans un nuage le cher visage
De mon passé
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clochemerle? Still very much the case!, 18 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
Excellent and oh, still how true! I 01st read Clochemerle when I was about 20, never dreaming I was to spend the major part of my adult life in France. Now for having lived for so long in Provincial France, and not too far away from Lyons and the Beaujolais region, I can better visualize the streets of Clochemerle; the summer heat; the Lime trees and Horse chestnut trees that line the streets and town square; the people and the village "intrigues" and all I have to say is human nature never changes!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome chance to read this again, 27 Feb. 2013
By 
Michelle Scutt "Ariadne" (Azores, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
I think that the version I read years ago must have been severely abridged, what a fantastic portrayal of small town rural France and French politics between the wars. I had no idea that it was so explicit, in the nicest possible way of course.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I did - it has lost none of it's ..., 26 April 2015
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This review is from: Clochemerle (Kindle Edition)
I first read this book nearly fifty years ago and bought it in Kindle format to see if I found it as enjoyable in my seventies as I did in my twenties. I'm glad I did - it has lost none of it's charm and humour for me in the decades since I first read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, 17 April 2015
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This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
Found it hard not to see the actors I have seen in the TV series and film, didn't find it as amusing as I had when I first read it many many years ago. Liked having list of characters and map of the area to refer to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars delightful, 3 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Clochemerle (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyable book with clear and descriptive characterisation. Entertaining storyline which has the added effect of proving politics has not changed in the last century.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will make you smile, 26 Mar. 2009
By 
John McAllister (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Clochemerle (Paperback)
I remember the TV version and have been trying for years to get it on DVD - no joy. I decided to buy the book and it is a gem. Such a dry, witty style. It had me laughing out loud. Don't hesitate - buy it and enjoy it.
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