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Chocolat by Joanne Harris
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Chocolat (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Joanne Harris

Series: Chocolat (1)

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6,024170691 (3.8)415
Member:updo
Title:Chocolat
Authors:Joanne Harris
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2000), Edition: Other Printing, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:relationships, occult, France

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Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1999)

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» See also 415 mentions

English (150)  Dutch (9)  Lithuanian (2)  Finnish (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
A delicious whimsical read not to be read while on any kind of diet. Seriously. It's torture. While in the middle of this novel, I couldn't fight the urge to whip up a batch of brownies, as that was the only chocolate product in my house I could indulge in. It only took me so long to read such short a novel because I got caught up watching, or rather re-watching Downton Abbey. The withdrawal is killing me! Anywho, I probably would've finished it in three days. I was addicted to it, like I am to imagining tasting Vianne's many delights in her shop.

It wasn't just the chocolaterie or Lansquenet. It wasn't just the people in it. It was also imagining the gypsy lives of Vianne and Anouke and her mother before her, and maybe even her mother before her. Traveling always. Though I imagine, as Vianne said, it's a tough thing. Never to have memories or be settled. Never have a place you can call home. I wouldn't be able to do that. At least, I would make sure I always had a home to come back to when I traveled. I could go all over the world and would still have my little suburban home and garden.

We have a vibrant cast to fill in our picturesque little town. Cynical old ladies and narrow priests and gypsies and a girl with an imaginary rabbit. The town is the type of place to visit on my bucket list. I long to take in everything.

It's beautifully written, as the magical realism genre seems to be (from what I've read of it so far)...It's vibrant and rich and insightful, the words are rather visual and so very sensory and descriptive...perhaps a bit too beautiful, but I do not oppose to overly beautiful. I did see the movie first, and I did enjoy it, but now that I've read it, I picture almost the same movie, but more in the style of Amelie or Pushing Daisies. Imagine that, plus chocolate, plus Johnny Depp. Swoon-worthy, isn't it? The film was very good though, but looking back, I feel like it's missing the whimsy and magical quality which makes this book so so very good. So very good as to call it a favourite for life. Oh yes. This is the book I will always take to bed with me, or in a luxurious bubblebath-my kindle tucked in a ziploc as I tap the screen, eating up Joanne's prose like chocolate creamy bon bons. (Good golly, I'm hungry. FOR CHOOOOOCOLATEEE!) This is a wonderland of a book. A carnival ride. A gorgeous ride of colours, sights...tastes...MMM...
Can you tell I love chocolate? Count my nine cavities I got from girlhood.

I'm very anxious to read the two sequels, especially the third because I find Reynaud a fascinating character. I'm excited to read anything else by Joanne Harris. I sincerely hope she never stops writing. A new favourite author, despite I've only so far read one of her books. You'll fall in love with her too. and this book. and then you can blame her for your cavities as well.

Can you resist? (A salad for dinner seems pretty bland to me right now.) ( )
  ShyPageSniffer | Sep 30, 2016 |
I don't think I'd have normally picked this up. I never watched the movie, and I assumed the book would be a sappy romance plot with chocolate thrown into the mix as a shtick. Assumptions often make you miss out, she says now to herself.

I quite enjoyed the book, the characters, and the nearly edible descriptions of scenes given throughout. I think my focus fell most on Reynaud. Mainly because his anger veiled with piety piqued my curiosity early on in the book. I loved Anouk's name, spirit, and the wisps of tracks left behind by the loyal Pantoufle. Guillaume both cheered and broke my heart. Armande might just be my spirit character for when I'm 80 and I found myself very proud of the character Josephine at the end of things.

All-in-all, a very satisfying look into a small village and those the wind carries.

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.”

( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
I saw the film before I read the book - the book was different. Deeper. I enjoyed it a lot, though it was a slower read than I thought. It was very descriptive. And it didn't help that I had chocolate cravings all throughout reading it! ( )
  EllAreBee | Sep 19, 2016 |
I read this book many, many years ago - it was the first Joanne Harris book I read, and one of the few books I read when I was a teenager that I actually finished.

I found it really engrossing and absolutely loved it. I loved the way that Harris developed her characters and added such subtlety and depth. The mayor of the town sounds like a bit of a villain, in the blurb, but it's really not like that at all. I enjoyed reading the different chapters from different character's perspectives. I liked the richness of this novel, the texture of it and how atmospheric it was.

The only thing I didn't really like was the fact that it was sometimes slower in places. That said, the setting is a tiny, tiny little village in France, so I'm not sure how I would've written it, given the opportunity.

Overall, I loved it, I formed an attachment to the characters and was so impressed with how much Harris was able to convey while leaving so much unsaid.

4.5 stars. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
I grew up loving the movie and when I read the book 5 years ago, I was disappointed because I kept comparing it to the movie. I'm glad I waited a few years to re-read it because I LOVED it the second time around! It made much more sense to me and I get why the movie changed several aspects of the story line. There is something so charming about small town living and this book explores that in a big way. Vianne and her daughter Anouk go wherever the wind takes them. They are outsiders, essentially gypsies, unable to stay in any place very long. When they arrive in the small charming French town, Lansquenet, they decide to stay and open a chocolate shop. The resident priest couldn't be more outraged. How dare this woman barge into their town and open a chocolate shop during lent, she will tempt and corrupt the townspeople! Vianne slowly starts to win over some of the towns more open minded residents but it remains a struggle for her to please everyone. The gypsies, the thief, the dog lover, and the crass old woman, have become her friends but some of the Bible brigade and the priest will take time. A wonderful book and fantastic movie. I had no idea that this was a series so I shall have to check out the other books as well! ( )
  ecataldi | Aug 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harris, Joanneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Roman over de smaak van liefde
Dedication
In memory of my great-grandmother Marie Andre Sorin (1892-1968)
First words
We came on the wind of the carnival.
Quotations
There is a kind of alchemy in the tranformation of base chocolate into this wise fool's gold, a layman's magic which even my mother might have relished. As I work I clear my mind, breathing deeply. The windows are open, and the through draught would be cold if it were not for the heat of the stoves, the copper pans, the rising vapour from the melting couverture. The mingled scents of chocolate, vanilla, heated copper and cinnamon are intoxicating, powerfully suggestive; the raw and earthy tang of the Americas, the hot and resinous perfume of the rainforest. This is how I travel now, as the Aztecs did in their sacred rituals. The court of Montezuma. Cortez and Columbus. The food of the gods, bubbling and frothing in ceremonial goblets. The bitter elixir of life.
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Book description
When beautiful, unmarried Vianne Rocher sweeps into the pinched little French town of Lansquenet on the heels of the carnival and opens a gem of a chocolate shop across the square from the church, she begins to wreak havoc with the town's Lenton vows. Her uncanny ability to preceive her customers' private discontents and alleviate them with just the right confection coaxes the villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness, but enrages Pere Reynaud, the local priest. Certain only a witch could stir such sinful indulgence and devise such clever cures, Reynaud pits himself against Vianne and vows to block the chocolate festival she plans for Easter Sunday, and to run her out of town forever. Witch or not (she'll never tell), Vianne soon sparks a dramatic confrontation between those who prefer the cold comforts of the church and those who revel in their newly discovered taste for pleasure. (0-131-00018-X)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0552998486, Paperback)

trade edition paperback, vg++

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:48 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaund denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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