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3.8 out of 5 stars
16
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2001
When I sat down to read this book on my train journey to London, I realised that this was no ordinary story. For starters, it involves a man and his dog travelling through time. But don't get too cynical before you read it; i can assure you there are no time machines in this book, oh no. The whole thing is very tasteful and gradual process, with love, loyalty, death and the meaning of life held close to the very heart of the book. The hero, Diego De Godoy, Notary Emperor to Charles 1st, falls in love with an Aztec women named Ignacia while travelling with the conquistadors to conquer Spain. While there, he and his dog accidentally drink the elixier of life, a kind of chocolate drink. Chocolate also plays an important role throughout the book, as you may guess by the title, and although the leading character remans defiantly heterosexual and there is a bit too muh death, depression and generall Why??? factor, this is overall a wonderful light read with charming cameo appearances from famous historical characters such as Sigmund Freud. It contains a few illicit sex scenes which some of the intended audience would cringe at, but overall i believe this book will make you laugh, cry, want to read more like it and never put it down. It is a lovely read for a journey and is easy in one sitting. I have also heard the the writer's unrelated second book will be out to buy next year, based on the theme of the colour blue. I hope that you enjoy reading this book, as I certainly did.
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on 5 April 2017
Runcie is a great writer and in this novel explores characters that are unique in a strange fantasy
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on 1 August 2017
QUICK DELIVERY AND GOOD ITEM
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VINE VOICEon 11 February 2003
This book lures you in with the promise of chocolate and a fantastic sumptious red and gold cover. The premise is a man blessed with an extended life after partaking of a chocolate elixir. We follow him and his faithful hound as he searches for the woman he loved, and for meaning in his life. At what price longevity and what use can you make of it? As he moves through the times, he encounters various famous people; Montezuma, Dr. Freud, Mr. Fry and manages to single-handedly invent all the chocolate delights we know today.
It is not a big book, or a long read, but it is an absorbing story, which is well told
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on 11 March 2003
When a book has so much influence on a girl that she starts copying the recepies, she NEEDS to let people know!!
This is a remarkable story about a Portugese adventurer that travels to Mexico in the 14th century. There he meets the woman of his life: she makes chocolate. He has to go back to Portugal to his fianceé, but he and his Mexican lover drink a potion she prepared. Although he has no idea what the potion does, he is determined to return to Mexico and find the woman he loves. A remarkable and remarkably believable story unwinds through time, love and desire for chocolate. Believe me, I'm not the kind to read these sci-fi-ish books, but this hit me like a bar of Cadbury's! Enjoy the book- then enjoy making the chocolate recepies yourself. Keep a bottle of clearasil at hand!
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on 22 April 2001
This book looks luscious - stunning red and gold cover - and is pretty rich - a panoramic journey through time, different countries, different lives; a philosophical understanding of the pointlessness of immortality underscores the many relationships that the Spanish hero lives through. Runcie has a lot of fun with some of the famous names like the Marquis de Sade and Mr Fry of chocolate and blessed memory (though mercifully not at the same time). This book is warm, perceptive, sometimes funny, always real, and has one of the best dogs in fiction.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 November 2013
This book started off well but I felt didn't continue quite so well. However it's an original idea with interesting characters and settings.
A young Spaniard is taking part in the conquest of the Americas and falls in love with a local girl. She knows mysteries of the exotic chocolate drink and other spices, and when battle breaks out around them she makes an esoteric drink which they both sip, and the small Spanish greyhound Pedro licks the bowl. Somehow this causes time travel after the couple are parted. The man and dog travel through time and lands following the path of chocolate as it is brought to new people or in new forms such as firm sweets. Some well-known characters appear, even the Marquis de Sade.
Eventually of course we want to know if the Spaniard and his lady will ever meet again and how long a dog can stay with his master. This is an enjoyable read which is full of detail - and chocolate - and is not intended to be taken too seriously.
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on 14 November 2008
This is an entertaining and unusual novel that has surely my favourite opening paragraph ever. That said, the start is certainly better than the middle/end - maybe a clever editor would have helped. But any book with such a faithful portrayal of the gentle and noble character of the greyhound gets a thumbs up from me.
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on 3 April 2001
This is a very entertaining read - it has been marketed as literary but it is really very commercial, with a rollercoaster plot, light touches of wit, and lashings of romance. At times I almost felt the plot was moving too fast - entire wars / love affairs were covered in the space of a few pages, like something of Indianna JOnes, and the emotions are so extreme the author runs out of ways to describe them. On the other hand, you can't put the book down, and there are some wonderful twists and turns. The book is so cinematic, it has to be made into a movie. I only dropped one star because I couldn't help feeling it owed a small debt to Joanne Harris's 'Chocolat' & I was waiting for some copycat chocolate novels to come out - but 'Chocolat' is impossible to beat, my favourite book ever.
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on 30 March 2014
This is a story spanning several centuries - all about a man who discovers chocolate and love and how he develops the chocolate and re-finds his love. Try Runcie's other book 'The Colour of Heaven' which is also good.
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