FRENCH LESSONS: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew

Peter Mayle, Author, Simon Jones, Read by , read by Simon Jones. Random $26.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-375-41885-3

In this latest book, part travelogue, part guide to cuisine, Mayle leaves his beloved Provence behind and sets out to experience gastronomic pleasures available at food festivals and celebrations throughout France. The always curious and friendly Mayle befriends colorful locals at such events as a frog's-leg festival in Vitel, where "thigh tasting" is regarded as a reverent act. The best advice when eating escargots, he finds, is that one should eat them "through the nose, not through the eyes." By far the most fascinating and bizarre event is a Catholic mass in the village of Richerenches whose main purpose is giving thanks for the adored, rare and costly black truffle. Mayle's wry, colorful and playful prose effectively conveys just how seriously the French take their food. Simon Jones, who also gave a wonderful reading of Mayle's A Dog's Life, is a highly entertaining performer with a voice and energy reminiscent of John Cleese. Paired with Mayle's witty and unpretentious style, his reading makes listening to this book delicious and satisfying. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover. (May 8)

Reviewed on: 08/06/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-375-70561-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 123 pages - 978-1-4000-7772-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-375-41886-0
Hardcover - 317 pages - 978-0-375-43119-7
Hardcover - 240 pages
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4159-6433-0
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