Tuesday, July 3, 2007

From the Shelves 3

Bonjour mes amies! Aujourd'hui, le livre que j'avis choise est Une Annee dans Provence, ou A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle pour les gens qui parle seulement Anglais. J'adore cet livre parceque cet livre est tres amusent mais aussi parceque.....ok, my rudimentary French has failed me. (Scared some of you didn't I?) I adore a A Year in Provence because it is amusing, but also because of the rich language and Mayle's ease with which he creates such memorable characters. Interestingly enough it is his observations as a British ex-pat living in France that I enjoy the most, as opposed to his fiction.
The book is done in twelve chapters, one for each month of his first year in Provence. Peppered with French words and luscious descriptions of food, some of which you would never dare eat yourself even if you had the chance, this book is as relaxing to read as the Provencal lifestyle he describes. He shows off his neighbors and other locals in a humorous light, but never in a condescending manner. His disdain is reserved for his fellow countrymen who come to visit the region and have no respect for it or appreciation of the differences that they find. Basically you get the idea that he wants to scream "if you want everything just the way it was in England then bloody well stay there!" I can relate.
You need not be a Francophile to appreciate the book, although you may wind up as one after reading it. You also need never have visited France to enjoy the book either, but it will make you want to go. (But don't try and find Mayle's house that he describes in the book. He's since sold it and another unsuspecting couple wishes to live there undisturbed by bookworms.) If you have ever lived somewhere and felt out of place or taken aback by how different the place is compared to home you will get A Year in Provence, and if you haven't, you will love the book too.


rainbowCipher said...

yea, i was a bit afraid there for minute that i was going to have to pull out the 'ole web translator (god, i'm a geek). i was impressed though, impressed indeed.

syrion said...

Les étudiantes qui choisit la Français et se souvient la vocabulaire (après cinq ou dix ans) sont très rare. C'est une belle langue, mais la grammaire est Baroque et étrange. La littérature française est spectaculaire, bien que.

Stacked Librarian said...

Merci. La Francaise est une belle langue, n'est pas? Douze ans pour moi! Douze! Je sent vieux. Je suis triste maintenent! Et mon chien pleure. Pauvre chien!

syrion said...

Un chien ne peut pas pleurer!

Stacked Librarian said...

D'accord, mon chien crie. J'avais oblie le mot.

Mockingbird said...

Fine - we go to see RATATOUILLE (and no, I didn't have to look up how to spell that) and you begin spouting French. Isn't that taking things a bit too far? Perspective and proportion - two things the French have trouble with. Just because we still use French on American passports doesn't mean anything (or does it?? Let the conspiracy theorists cavort!)

"I don't mean to be rude, but . . . we're French!"

Just kidding. I've been fortunate enough to travel to France twice, although there's still so much (so VERY much) I want to see in that country. And I found the French kind and patient with occasional "y'alls."