Summary and book reviews of Encore Provence by Peter Mayle

Encore Provence

New Adventures in the South of France

by Peter Mayle

Encore Provence
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 1999, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2000, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A whole new feast of adventures, discoveries, hilarities, and culinary treats, liberally seasoned with a joyous mix of Gallic characters.

After trying--what folly!--to live in other places, Peter Mayle is back in his beloved Provence. He celebrates his homecoming by sharing with us a whole new feast of adventures, discoveries, hilarities, and culinary treats, liberally seasoned with a joyous mix of Gallic characters. The pauses for refreshment include an unforgettable meal in a converted gas station, a rendezvous with the very best bouillabaisse, and visits to eventful weekly markets.

But there is life after lunch, and we also discover a school for noses in Haute Provence, a gardener who grows black tomatoes, the secret of the oversexed butcher, a celebration of Alowine (Halloween) Provence-style, and the genetic effects of two thousand years of fois gras. There is a memorable tour of Marseille, a comprehensive lesson on olive oil, a search for the perfect cork-screw, and invaluable recommendations for splendid local cheeses, wines, honey, bread, country restaurants, and off-the-beaten-track places to stay.

Never has Peter Mayle written with more unabashed pleasure about his heaven on earth.

I think it was the sight of a man power-washing his underpants that really brought home the differences, cultural and otherwise, between the old world and the new.


It was a cold, still morning in early winter, and the pulsing thumpthump, thumpthump of a high-pressure hose echoed through the village. Getting closer to the sound, it was possible to see, over a garden wall, a laundry line totally devoted to gentlemen's underwear in a stimulating assortment of colors. The garments were under attack, jerking and flapping under the force of the water jet like hanging targets in a shooting gallery. Standing some distance away, out of ricochet range, was the aggressor, in cap and muffler and ankle-high zippered carpet slippers. He had adopted the classic stance of a soldier in combat, feet spread apart, shooting from the hip, a merciless hail of droplets raking back and forth. The underpants didn't stand a chance.

Only a few days before, my wife and I and the ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Mayle returns to Provence after an absence of four years and plunges into a new round of adventures (including a fascinating tour of Marseilles, a visit to a school devoted to the development of talented nostrils, and a search for the perfect corkscrew) and new reflections on the treasures that make even the most ordinary day in Provence memorable.

For discussion: Encore Provence
  1. Mayle writes "Memory is a notoriously biased and sentimental editor, selecting what it wants to keep and invariably making a few cosmetic changes to past events" [p 6]. Do you think this is true of your own memories of favorite times and places?
  2. How do Mayle's experiences in America sharpen his appreciation of Provence? Why does he cite...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

New York Time Book Review

Delightful, amusing, and appealing.

People Magazine

Mayle is the antidote to an over-wired age and its dot-commandoes....The ground may be a bit well-worn, but c'est la vie.

Kirkus Reviews

Mayle's continuing love affair with Provence takes him back to familiar themes but continues to yield fresh insights. . .

Kirkus Reviews

Mayle's continuing love affair with Provence takes him back to familiar themes but continues to yield fresh insights. . .

Publishers Weekly

[T]he British author's fans will be pleased that he decided to return to his adopted homeland, for his writing is as charming and witty as ever.

Publishers Weekly

[T]he British author's fans will be pleased that he decided to return to his adopted homeland, for his writing is as charming and witty as ever.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Encore Provence, try these:

  • Blood, Bones & Butter jacket

    Blood, Bones & Butter

    by Gabrielle Hamilton

    Published 2012

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Blood, Bones & Butter is an unflinching and lyrical work. Gabrielle Hamilton's story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion. By turns epic and intimate, it marks the debut of a tremendous literary talent.

  • Bruno, Chief of Police jacket

    Bruno, Chief of Police

    by Martin Walker

    Published 2010

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The first installment in a wonderful new series that follows the exploits of Benoît Courrèges, a policeman in a small French village where the rituals of the café still rule.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.