The Matchmaker of Périgord
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The Matchmaker of Périgord

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,002 ratings  ·  254 reviews
Barber Guillaume Ladoucette has always enjoyed great success in his tiny village in southwestern France, catering to the tonsorial needs of Amour-sur-Belle's thirty-three inhabitants. But times have changed. His customers have grown older—and balder. Suddenly there is no longer a call for Guillaume's particular services, and he is forced to make a drastic career change. Si...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Harper Perennial (first published 2007)
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Tori Hoeschler
For a book that is only 316 pages, this took me FOREVER to read. The two words I would use to describe the story are "sweet" and "tedious". Julia Stuart does a lovely job of capturing the charms and quirks of a small French village and its inhabitants. One almost feels as though they are watching a play with a cast of 33, each person acting out their strange persona and telling their own story all at the same time. In other words, the reader is getting a lot of details thrown at them at every st...more
Carey
Poor Guillaume Ladoucette. He has been an excellent barber for his small French town for twenty years. But now he has a problem. Well, two problems, really. The population of the town has not changed much over the years. It stands, in fact, at thirty-three. (That includes the pharmacist who has been missing since the mini-tornado of 1999.) The population's hair is aging. You know what happens to aging hair. That's right, it falls out. Some of Guillaume's customers are going bald!


To make matters...more
Michelleluster
This is a charming and quirky little book that diverts, entertains, and makes you hungry for food you never thought would tempt you. Please, read this!
Rachel
Please, someone, make a movie out of this book! I kept picturing it as a Chocolat/Amelie-esque movie as I read it . . . it would make such a great film.

This book was charming and funny and quirky and delightful. My only complaint would be that the little details, which sometimes add to the charm, were often tedious and repetitive. But I enjoyed this book so much and would definitely recommend it.
Lalah
I enjoyed this author's style. I found the structured repetition of certain interactions to be humorous in a giggle sort of way. I enjoyed watching the characters develop, even though it's clear from the beginning where the story will end. It's a fun read.
Denise
This is very light and fluffy, like a croissant. And sometimes there is a bite of chocolate in it as well. Quite favorably reviewed, which is what lead me to get it. I think the descriptions (making fun of!?) extreme French food are very fun.
Sara
This story follows the small town of Amour-sur-Belle, France, with the focus on Matchmaker Guillaume Ladoucette. This quirky tale starts as the town barber decides he needs to change his job and become a matchmaker as he has lost all of his clients to baldness. While Ladoucette has great skills as a barber, many townspeople question his skills as a matchmaker. Soon the reader starts learning about the town and the townspeople—even the adorable and totally nutty mother of Ladoucette.

For me the b...more
Rachel
When we had the book club discussion about Matchmaker, a lot of people complained about the almost-bludgeoning repetitiveness of the author's description, and the intense, almost obsessive focus that was given to painfully minute details. Though others complained, I felt that this endless repetition and obsessive focus on the minute was necessary as a way of showing the reader, bludgeoning them with it if need be, that these villagers' lives are completely and utterly joyless, repetitive, and mi...more
Allison Campbell
Julia Stuart has crafted an utterly charming, farcical comedy of rural France that could not fail to delight.

Guillaume Ladoucette (whose mother's feud with Madame Moreau involves assault-by-eel and overripe tomatoes) is the barber for the village of Amour-sur-Belle, a tiny hamlet of 33 aging residents, each with his or her own quirks and past secrets (many of which were revealed during the mini-tornado of 1999, when they all thought they'd die). When his client list dries up (due to a combinati...more
Teresa
I found this book to be "precious". The author has a great vocabulary and she seems intent on finding ways to work in every word that she has learned. The plot often felt contrived. I was bludgeoned with certain phrases such as the "supermarket leather sandals". Really? The description of the shoes was listed about every five pages. It was hard to believe that this book took place in modern day France.

Why did I keep reading it? It came highly recommended so I kept thinking I was going to find o...more
Patrick Carroll
Looking at previous reviews this book seems to polarise opinions, I really enjoyed it, perhaps reading it on holiday in France helped? However I read it again and still enjoyed it, where other readers felt bludgeoned by the prose and detailed descriptions I really enjoyed that attention to detail. I felt a relaxed atmosphere of rural France was conjured up very well, yes I know it isn't actually real! This was an indulgent piece of literature and I found it gently comedic, the plot didn't really...more
Beth
Apparently many other people liked this book more than me. It does have a certain charm which didn't let me stop reading it before the end although I thought about it several times, but overall it was about 30 pages of plot in a 300ish page book. And despite the fact that I really didn't love it, I find myself feeling guilty giving it only 2 stars because there was something about it that makes me feel slightly attached to it.
liz
Completely cute and engrossing. It's a novel about a tiny French village without being trendy about being a novel about a tiny French village. There are no endearingly awkward outsiders, not all the characters are especially likable, and it's not set in Provence (I don't think). It is sweet, and funny, and I recommend it highly.
Ellen
It's interesting to see how divided the reviews are. I agree with both the favorable and unfavorable reviews. The comedic tone is great. Most situations are outlandish and very funny. The details that make the caricatures of the villagers are so creative. I even liked the repetition .....to a point. Then, it got tedious, especially the reporting of food. Thank goodness, Mrs. Stuart gave us a happy ending. I'm curious if anyone sees a similarity to plays of Moliere. The rambunctious goings and co...more
Sam Osborne
A charming little book about a charming little village. With a number of story strands and recurring lines of description, this little book left me smiling and the sweet story that it culminates with.
Running off at tangents and returning to where it left off is a discourse I'm happy with. Others may not like it, but I was happy to sit for considerable lengths leisurely page turning and it was glorious.
I feel like I'd be happy actually reading it again in, say, six months, for the fact that the s...more
Patricia Houston
I thought this book was funny as hell. If the notion of a clandestine group posting a public notice of the time and place of its next meeting doesn't make you laugh then I just don't know what to say. There's a number of small episodes like that. Several reviewers have complained about repetitiveness. Episodes like the picnic competition have to recur or there's no point. This wasn't a perfect book. But it was full of heart and I highly recommend it. I also recommend you have a supply of cheeses...more
Kelly
May 11, 2010 Kelly marked it as to-read
This looks adorable!
Susie Kelly
When his clientele reach the age where they no longer have sufficient hair to worry about, barber Guillaume Ladoucette recognises that he needs to find a new source of income. With a population of 33, he somewhat optimistically sets himself up as a matchmaker in the village that is so ugly not even the British will live there.

When he opens his new business, "the sun was firing with such ferocity the pigeons had gone mad. Unable to remember how to fly, they tottered after Madame Ladoucette in a f...more
Kaitlin
This is a cute, silly book about a man who realizes his barbershop is going under because all his customers are bald or have left him for a different barber who is capable of more than three hairstyles. The former barber realizes he doesn't know anybody who's in love and decides to try his hand at matchmaking instead. Along the way he goes fishing and passive-aggressively competes with the baker, subjects himself to showering in the newly installed community shower, and pines for the one that go...more
Michelle
(3.5 stars) Guillaume is the barber in a small French village. He realizes that as his clientele ages, they have less and less hair, which will eventually deprive him of his livelihood. So he decides to completely change his business and opens a matchmaking service. What he truly longs for is his childhood sweetheart, Emilie, who he lost through a series of missteps. Guillame with his good friend Yves have a friendly rivalry in creating picnic baskets with the most adventurous gourmet item winni...more
Roberta
Cosa succede in un rissoso paesino francese se il barbiere apre un'agenzia matrimoniale?

Un vento ostinato soffia su Amour-sur-Belle, un paesino incastonato nella splendida campagna del Périgord, un paesino così scialbo che persino gli inglesi rifiutarono di andarci a vivere. Qui, il barbiere del villaggio, Guillaume Ladoucette, è costretto a chiudere bottega perché una significativa percentuale dei suoi cliente con l'avanzare dell'età è diventata calva, mentre il resto cerca disperatamente di ma...more
Christine
This one was a bit lighter in tone than the Tower of London one. I'm not sure which I preferred... maybe this one, which was unexpected based on their synopses. I'm writing this more than a month after reading though (which is probably a bad idea) and from that distance I liked them both about the same. That is to say, quite a lot.

This is very close to what I'm looking for when I want to read something light. Light reading doesn't have to be unintelligent - it just has to be fun. There is a sho...more
Ricki Jill Treleaven
The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart, wittily immerses you in French culture. If you enjoy reading Peter Mayle's books, I think you'd enjoy this one!

Barber Guillaume Ladoucette is a master barber and has always enjoyed great success in his tiny village in southwestern France's Amour-sur-Belle. But as his clientele have grown older and balder, many have sought the services of a Parisian-trained barber in a neighboring village. Now the residents of Amour-sur-Belle are sporting bizarre styles...more
Erin
Jul 17, 2009 Erin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: france
This is a little fairy tale of a story that (in tone and setting) reminds me a lot of Chocolat. It's set in a tiny French village and is full of all sorts of quirky, odd characters and bizarre societal norms that really made me chuckle.

The protagonist, Guillaume, is a barber who loses all his clients to the newer, hipper barber in the next town. Naturally, he then decides to become a matchmaker. In a village of like 40 people. He bumbles around trying to interest cranky, middle-aged villagers i...more
Anne
I don't think I can quite adequately express my utter loathing of this book. So cutesy, so twee, it was nauseating. I couldn't stand the constant repetitions. Yes, I get it, your dress was shorn at the knees. No, I do not care. Nor do I care about the dentist's instruments of torture, about the matchmaker constantly being surprised by people and having to curl his hairy toes into his sandals, about the lamentable steps. I hated being hit over the head with the same old sentences over and over ag...more
Miriam Wakerly
This was one of my book club choices and most of us enjoyed it hugely,for its quirky style: vivid visual images, observational humour and surreal eccentricity. As we resisted the temptation to over-analyse the story and bizarre characters, the general feeling was that with a book like this you just go with it, let it take you wherever it will. If you do, for sure it will make you laugh. Worth noting though that occasionally some words could shock and the mood could suddenly switch to poignant, a...more
Heather
Guillaume Ladoucette is a barber with no customers. Since the arrival in town of a new barber (whose specialty in male hair design is called "the pine cone"), Guillaume's business has been in a slump. Despite his tremendous ability to cut and style hair and his great capacity to sell hairpieces and faux sideburns, the only customers that still visit his shop are balding. With almost no customers to grace his shop, he decides to remake himself as the small province's matchmaker, with hilarious re...more
Marina_f
Есть книги, которые читаешь ради захватывающего сюжета или глубокой философии, а есть вот такие душевные, теплые книги, прочитав которые получаешь тонну удовольствия!

"Сват из Перигора" - простое, как дважды два, произведение, но тем не менее это первая за, наверное, год с лишним книга, которую мне однозначно захотелось купить, потому что такие истории - это именно то, что делает мир немного лучше и веселей.

Французская глубинка, маленькое село, где всего 33 жителя. И все эти 33 человека абсолютн...more
Dvora
On the cover there is an endorsement by Joanne Harris (of Chocolat fame) who says "Hilarious... love it to bits." Either Harris was pressured into saying that, or she was paid very well and never read the book. I found it one of the worst books I've read in a long time. The plot was stupid and the writing was poor. I suppose if the writing had been good, the plot may have been charming, but I'm not even sure about that. Stuart's shtick was the use of repetition ad naseum. And in fact, vomiting w...more
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Julia Stuart grew up in the West Midlands in England. She studied French and Spanish, and lived for a short period in France and Spain teaching English. After studying journalism at college, she worked on regional newspapers for six years. She then became a staff features writer for The Independent, where she worked for eight years, including a spell with The Independent on Sunday. In 2007, she re...more
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