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Download Provence A-Z: A Francophile's Essential Handbook Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Provence A-Z: A Francophiles Essential Handbook Audiobook, by Peter Mayle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (323 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Mayle Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2006 ISBN: 9781415932544
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An indispensable, richly informative, and always entertaining sourcebook on Provence by the writer who has made the region his own.

Though organized from A to Z, this is hardly a conventional work of reference. It is rather a selection of those aspects of Provence that Peter Mayle in almost twenty years there has found to be the most interesting, curious, delicious, or downright fun.

He writes about subjects as diverse as architecture, expatriates, scorpions, the Provençal character, legends, lavender, linguistic oddities, the origins of “La Marseillaise,” wild boars and Frenchwinds. And, of course, he writes about food and drink.

Provence A—Z is a delight for Peter Mayle’s ever-growing audience and these unabridged selections are the perfect complement to any guidebook on Provence, or, for that matter, France. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Mayle's affection for lavender fields and languid lunched continues unabated-and so does his influence. USA Today
  • After nearly two decades of writing about the character and the characters of Provence, Mayle's love for this rich and colorful region is undiminished. The Christian Science Monitor
  • Mayle's magpie dictionary yields amusing facts . . . and useful information. . . . You'll soon succumb to his road-tested charm. The New York Times Book Review
  • Whether he's smacking his lips in gustatory contentment or mock exasperation, Mayle's affection runneth over. . . . If there is anything charmless or depressing in all of Provence, its secret is safe with him. The Boston Globe

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb Holden | 2/3/2014

    " I started to listen to the audio and decided I really needed to see the French words in print so I am also getting a print copy to follow along. Not worth the time to read unless you are going to Provence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muriel Hammond-teusink | 1/27/2014

    " Great book! Almost an encyclopedia about Provence! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phil | 1/19/2014

    " Too much trivia - a series of essentially short encyclopedia entries about everything Provence. Maybe good bathroom reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 1/5/2014

    " Whether you have been to Provence,are going to Provence, always have wanted to go to Provence, or all of the previous mentioned, this book is for you. Mayle leads the reader through an alphabetical assortment of Provencal characters, foods, and traditions with great humor and personal insights. I love Mayle's writings about this area because he has the knack of inserting French phrases amidst the English, and even though I don't know French well the meaning of the word or phrase makes perfect sense. I noticed that the audio edition has him reading the book; I would imagine his interpretations would make the content even more enjoyable. I may never get to explore Provence, but I think Mayle's books have been the next-best thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victor Rodriguez | 12/28/2013

    " Read this and thought... 'When are we leaving?' A true image of a region, I saw it all from my couch in this book. Great writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianne | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting little tidbits about Provence....Mayle's writing re: Provence continues to make me fantasize about living there! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 12/26/2013

    " another very entertaining book by the famous author of books on life in contemporary Provence. Always a laugh and a smile listening to or reading these amusing 'asides' of human whimsy and behaviour abroad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 12/26/2013

    " Another Mayle book - this is more of the same but still good stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey Stephens | 12/11/2013

    " A thoroughly delightful read. As witty (or more) as all his other books. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cheryl | 11/14/2013

    " It's basically an encyclopedic rehashing of his Provence novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marla Glenn | 11/9/2013

    " This is a wonderful read during a New England snowstorm. Sets the mind to wandering toward snails, olive oils and wine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 11/7/2013

    " Another entertaining Peter Mayle book about the south of France. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 9/29/2013

    " This is fun if you've enjoyed Mayle's other books on Provence. He has picked out a few Provencal objects or topics for each letter of the alphabet and given a little description or discussion of each one. It's interesting because he has picked out things that other writers don't tell about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teeswater Dot-Ca | 9/26/2013

    " Still reading and a bit of a wade... Enough of the 'perhaps this or perhaps that'... good read though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Avary | 9/25/2013

    " Read this during our trip to France (Burgundy and Provence) so it was quite interesting. I learned things about the area while we were there -- and found additional details/clarification of things our guides had talked about. A fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shannon | 9/18/2013

    " After living in Provence for a short time even I could see that this book hit some of the aspects of Provencal life on the head. It could have had a little more personality, however. To be fair, though, I like books dripping with sarcasm and wit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrienne | 5/12/2013

    " Currently reading this book, an alphabetical assortment of the littler-known charms and tales of the daily milieu of Provence. Really, i am trying to brush up on my witticisms for my trip to Southern France, Spain and Italy next summer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/6/2013

    " loved it! snippets of life in provence, alphabeticized! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louis | 3/15/2013

    " A lighthearted alphabetical look at the things that make Provence so special.Makes for a great companion book to Peter Mayle's Provence series. Recommended for anyone who has read the Provence books , any Francophile or anyone who wants to visit this region. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 2/25/2013

    " So much fun to read about Provence, always, if you like France and French food/culture this book is delight. Caution: it's not wise to read this book on an empty stomach. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance | 12/19/2012

    " Its appeal was also its downfall: The little stories were often just a bit too little. I should have stuck with the abridgement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 11/9/2012

    " Great, eclectic selection of topics about Provence, ranging from Masses in honor of the truffle to a man-made bamboo forest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathryn | 8/21/2012

    " His other books were better than this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 10/14/2011

    " This audio book was the perfect accompaniment to several projects I was working on. Without a story-line, it was easy to start and stop and brought back many pleasant memories of our trip to Provence. I'm ready to go again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 9/25/2011

    " If you have read most of mayle's other memoirs of Provence then you will have seen many of these essays in slightly different form. Still enjoyable but not really new work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 7/23/2011

    " Everything you ever wanted to know about Provence in alphabetical order. Written in Peter Mayle's usual style of humor mixed with good information. It's fun to read about places we have visited and customs we have experienced. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric | 5/28/2011

    " A few good ideas about a vacation in Provence but most of the information is superflous unless you were really (and I mean really) interested in spending a lot of time in Provence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cecilia Morelli | 4/28/2011

    " Read it a few pages at a time. I always love hearing about Provence from Mr. Mayle "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathryn | 12/26/2010

    " His other books were better than this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Avary | 9/19/2010

    " Read this during our trip to France (Burgundy and Provence) so it was quite interesting. I learned things about the area while we were there -- and found additional details/clarification of things our guides had talked about. A fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 4/10/2010

    " This audio book was the perfect accompaniment to several projects I was working on. Without a story-line, it was easy to start and stop and brought back many pleasant memories of our trip to Provence. I'm ready to go again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louis | 2/21/2010

    " A lighthearted alphabetical look at the things that make Provence so special.Makes for a great companion book to Peter Mayle's Provence series. Recommended for anyone who has read the Provence books , any Francophile or anyone who wants to visit this region. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 1/19/2010

    " Another Mayle book - this is more of the same but still good stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 1/8/2010

    " Another entertaining Peter Mayle book about the south of France. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianne | 12/28/2009

    " Interesting little tidbits about Provence....Mayle's writing re: Provence continues to make me fantasize about living there! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 12/4/2009

    " another very entertaining book by the famous author of books on life in contemporary Provence. Always a laugh and a smile listening to or reading these amusing 'asides' of human whimsy and behaviour abroad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb | 11/10/2009

    " I started to listen to the audio and decided I really needed to see the French words in print so I am also getting a print copy to follow along. Not worth the time to read unless you are going to Provence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie (Readerbuzz) | 7/24/2009

    " Its appeal was also its downfall: The little stories were often just a bit too little. I should have stuck with the abridgement.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shannon | 6/8/2008

    " After living in Provence for a short time even I could see that this book hit some of the aspects of Provencal life on the head. It could have had a little more personality, however. To be fair, though, I like books dripping with sarcasm and wit. "

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About the Author
Author Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle is a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and include Toujours Provence, Hotel Pastis, A Dog’s Life, and Chasing Cézanne. A Year in Provence won the British Book Awards “Best Travel Book of the Year.” A recipient of the Legion of Honor from the French government for his cultural contributions, he lives in Provence, France, with his wife.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.