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Encore Provence (1999)

by Peter Mayle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Provence (3)

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1,205712,474 (3.74)16
After trying to live in other places, Peter Mayle is back in Provence. He celebrates his homecoming by sharing with us a new feast of adventures, discoveries, hilarities, and culinary treats. 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, a celebration of Alowine (Halloween) Provence-style, and the genetic effects of two thousand years of foie gras. There is a memorable tour of Marseilles, a comprehensive lesson on olive oil, a search for the perfect corkscrew, and invaluable recommendations for splendid local cheeses, wines, 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.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Mayle’s descriptions of food and people resonate with joy of living and sardonic humor. Wonderful reading! ( )
  JoniMFisher | Oct 5, 2021 |
Given that encore means "again" and toujours means "forever" I understandably mistook this book to be the second in the series, rather than the third, and so I read them out of order.

I think no one will be terribly surprised that this is a watered-down version of A Year in Provence. It is less a memoir and more a collection of essays. I was hoping for more sketches of village characters and anecdotes about gardening, food, and local color. There are some of those, but mostly this reads like a travel magazine assignment or a series of blog posts.

I was put off by an oddly sexist outburst in the middle of an otherwise inoffensive chapter on corkscrews and knives in which Mayle starts effectively thinking out loud on the page about whatever in the world a laaaaaady need with a knife?

What would she do with an accessory knife? Emergency manicures? Opening love letters? Puncturing a gentleman's reputation?

(I could almost hear him saying, in a sort of Cary Grant voice, while typing, "A lady with a knife? Pfft! Preposterous!" Of course, in this fantasy a female costar -- preferably playing the role of his editor -- smacks him up the backside of the head.) For the record, Mr. Mayle, women use knives for the same things men do, which in this day and age is restricted mainly to opening packages.

Outside of that silly, out-of-character bit of anachronistic misogyny, the book is pleasant enough. It's especially good reading before you go to bed -- not because it's necessarily soporific, but because it is soothing. ( )
  sterlingfink | Sep 5, 2019 |
A victim of his own success, Mayle was imprudent enough to write A Year in Provence without changing names of neighbours and villages, bringing him what eventually became an unmanageable number of unannounced guests. After fleeing to the US for 4 years, they returned to France, choosing a new home and village but staying firmly in Provence.

Encore Provence is the collection of essays from the years following his self-imposed exile and this time he was smart enough to change the names to protect the innocent (or privacy-inclined).

I enjoyed the first two books, but I think I liked this one a bit better. I found more of the essays enjoyable and informative: rather than merely making me wish I lived in a gorgeous, centuries old - but recently updated - farmhouse in Provence, these essays also taught me a few things and gave me food for thought.

Now I really want to go truffle hunting. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 13, 2016 |
Mayle is a wonderful storyteller. He makes the warmth of the region come alive.southern France is different from its northern brother and Mayle articulates it eith humor. A definite. Recommend ( )
  Harrod | Aug 21, 2012 |
A selection of anecdotes about life as an expat in Provence. Some of the themes are familiar from his earlier books, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment. A perfect lazy holiday read – light and entertaining. ( )
  cazfrancis | Jul 17, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Mayleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Case, DavidReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fröba, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juhász Viktor,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaljuste, MariKujundajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marten, RuthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mateu i Besançon, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pol, LidyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puhang, EhteTõLkijasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenthal, JeanTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Song, WeihangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Uustalu, LindaToimetajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiberg, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Jennie with love, comme toujours
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After trying to live in other places, Peter Mayle is back in Provence. He celebrates his homecoming by sharing with us a new feast of adventures, discoveries, hilarities, and culinary treats. 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, a celebration of Alowine (Halloween) Provence-style, and the genetic effects of two thousand years of foie gras. There is a memorable tour of Marseilles, a comprehensive lesson on olive oil, a search for the perfect corkscrew, and invaluable recommendations for splendid local cheeses, wines, 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.

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Average: (3.74)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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