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4.2 out of 5 stars
66
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 14 May 2013
I am the author of this book and am sad that some buyers are disappointed by the lack of colour pictures. May I make it clear that this book is not a traditional glossy, purely descriptive garden book. It is a book to be read rather than merely looked at. The only pictures are deliberately incidental and B & W. That is a carefully thought out decision and the book has been beautifully put together by the publishers. So If you are hoping for a traditional coffee-table garden book then please do not buy it! If on the other hand you want a good read...
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on 15 May 2013
I was given this book as a present by a friend to whom I am always waxing lyrical about how beautifully Monty Don writes.
And it does not disappoint.
Monty said recently that sometimes words are more powerful than pictures, can I put in a plea to those disappointed at the lack of these, that they just take a deep breath and start at page one?

I admit that I have been a fan of his writing since I picked up a copy of The Prickotty Bush, from a table in a bookshop sometime around 1990, not knowing who he was. It's not a happy memoir, but his writing fascinated me and I've followed him ever since. I ran up a large fine at the local library when I took The Jewel Garden on holiday and forgot to return it! (I even joined Twitter to 'follow' him!)

The Road to Tholonet is not a gardening book. It's not a tour of French Gardens. It's not a travel guide. It's a very personal part-memoir, part-gardening, part-art, part-history, part ramblings and musings on "life, the universe and everything".
I found it fascinating, and strangely, I found myself calming down reading it. All I need to do now is to persuade my family that a holiday in Aix-en-Provence is exactly what they need - because, having finished the book, I feel it's exactly what I need.
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on 26 April 2013
I am the editor for this book from Monty Don, so I am declaring my interest right from the outset. I wanted though to briefly counter the 'review' and rating that has appeared the day after publication on amazon, by a reader who admits that they have not read the book. I am sorry that the purchaser is disappointed, but this book is a book to be read. Some of the greatest and most memorable gardening books of all time had few if any diagrams or photos or advice on gardening contained within them. I am thinking here of some of Christopher Lloyd's books, or Michael Pollan. Instead they, as this book, were brilliantly written journeys into lives where gardening, plants, gardens were an obsession and a passion. Monty Don's book here is a book to read and immerse oneself in, and through it one learns about gardening and gardens in France, and also shares with him his own love and passion for that country and its people. Once again I am sorry that a reader is disappointed, but I hope my review will both encourage others to read the book and enjoy it, and perhaps help others to decide whether its a book they wish to purchase or not.
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on 3 December 2014
One Monty Don's best books in a while. Not really a companion to the series, but if you've bothered to look into the book before purchasing, you already know that.
I much prefer those of Monty's books that are written in a more personal style - my favourite is The Ivington Diaries. His more instructional books are good, but he has a real talent for engaging writing when he lets it all flow. I really enjoyed the more intimate aspects of this book. The parts where he flits between his previous visits to France and the present, and shares some fascinating stories. The confirmation of suspicions that I already held about him and his back ground was great as was his obvious love for, but amusing views on, the French which are strangely similar to my own...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, totally recommended it if you like amusing and articulate books on gardens, France, general travel, or any combination of the three.
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on 15 September 2014
What a glorious journey the reader is given in this book! Sometimes descriptive, sometimes reminiscing and sometimes musing and philosophical; this is a book to treasure, re-read and think about. Not only does Monty Don write beautifully, he is a generous author, sharing his thoughts and impressions with the reader in a way that takes us there. The only aspect of the book that I did not enjoy was the end - I wanted the journey to continue.
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on 2 June 2013
The Road to Le Tholonet: A French Garden Journey is beautifully written. It is literary travel writing at its best. A joy to read, interwoven with insights about gardens and many things. The grainy black and white photos are perfectly in tune with the ambience of the writing. The Road to Le Tholonet is a delightful book, honest, slightly unconventional and unique, rather like Mr Don himself.
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on 30 April 2013
If you love good writing and/or gardening this is a book for you. I admit I am a fan of Monty but would not buy a book just because his name was on it. This is fabulous, he really evokes a sense of place and time. The fact there are few photographs takes nothing away at all and really makes you concentrate on the writing. Might I suggest the reviewer who was disappointed by the lack of photographs, if they have not already sent the book back, give it a try, I think you will be surprised.
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on 13 September 2013
This is a wonderful book - So evocative and refreshing to read. It is a joy to see these gardens through Monty Don's eyes because he is really a writer AND a gardener. He lets the reader participate in his own views and meandering thoughts. As he is never unpleasantly judgmental, it is a pleasure to follow his descriptions and reflections. If you are interested in gardens and if you like memoirs that offer unobtrusive grains of wisdom and interesting information and that have the capacity to set you dreaming and thinking, you will love this book.
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on 26 February 2015
It's filled with warm sun and the scent of fabulous gardens. This is not a picture book but rather a lovely mix of reminiscence and horticultural history set trundling around France at a relaxed pace. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy.
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on 15 May 2013
I'm working through the book & have just finished the chapter on Versailles.
As a technical person whose trying to stimulate the left side of my brain, I find the book.......I was going to say interesting, but that wouldn't do it justice. It's complex, there are layers upon layers of information, about Louis 14th's France, about French agricultural & horticultural cultures, about peasant living, about French artists.
All this is intertwined with Monty's personal experiences in France as a child & then later as a man.
The book is written how I would imagine Longmeadow to be, individual components technically correct, and overall an artistic gem.
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