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Chocolat (Chocolat #1)

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3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  86,050 Ratings  ·  3,116 Reviews
Greeted as "an amazement of riches ... few readers will be able to resist" by The New York Times, Chocolat is an enchanting novel about a small French town turned upside down by the arrival of a bewitching chocolate confectioner, Vianne Rocher, and her spirited young daughter.
Paperback, 306 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published October 9th 1998)
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Jilly It's not that much about romance. It's much more about tolerance between people, finding happiness in life, about death, loosing someone close to you…moreIt's not that much about romance. It's much more about tolerance between people, finding happiness in life, about death, loosing someone close to you and letting go... It's also about catholic vs pegan religion and how it affects your life. There is only one remotly erotic scene which is very decent and nonexplicit if you're concerned about that. (less)
Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
22nd out of 963 books — 5,608 voters
The Princess Bride by William GoldmanThe Notebook by Nicholas SparksThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienStardust by Neil Gaiman
The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK
18th out of 874 books — 9,346 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Robyn Groth
Jun 09, 2013 Robyn Groth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
There is a lot more going on in this novel than a simple "Catholics bad. Pagans good." theme that seems to offend readers so much that they miss everything else. Some subjects found in this story:

letting go - of children as they grow up and of loved ones who die

moving on - from bad relationships and harmful habits

nature/nurture

facing your fears

loving friends/family/strangers for who they are

the assumptions people make about each other

the right to die

heeding your own advice

tolerance/eradicating t
...more
Candi
"Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, two hundred souls at most, no more than a blip on the fast road between Toulouse and Bordeaux. Blink once, and it's gone. One main street, a double row of dun-colored half-timbered houses leaning secretively together, a few laterals running parallel like the tines of a bent fork. A church, aggressively whitewashed, in a square of little shops. Farms scattered across the watchful land."

Magical and scrumptious, Chocolat is a thrilling delight for the senses. When Vianne R
...more
Will Byrnes
Jan 10, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
When Vianne Roche blows into Lansquenet-Sous-Tannes, a sleepy French town, on the tail of carnival she brings with her a touch of witchcraft and huge gobs of humanity. Accompanied by her daughter, Anouk, her imaginary pet rabbit, and a wealth of knowledge not only of how to make the finest confections, but how to see into people’s souls, she is destined to stir things up. The darkness to her light is the local priest, Francis Reynaud, who makes it his business to try to rid the town of this impu ...more
Dem
Aug 03, 2015 Dem rated it did not like it
Having read and loved Five Quarters of the Orange Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris by Joanne Harris, I was really looking forward to reading Chocolat. Unfortunalty this particular book just didnt suit me.

I didn't enjoy the plot of the novel and the found the characters underdeveloped and no sense of time and place. I rarly rate a novel 1 star but I found nothing in this stroy to to keep me entertained and I felt like I was reading each chapter over and over. I did finish the book as I was waiting for something to happen that w
...more
Jennifer
Dec 02, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicklit, 2002, fiction
Like so many people I read the book after I saw the movie. I can see why people would be upset with the book after seeing the movie - the book is a different story in many ways. I think the tone of the book threw me off more than anything.

I have to say I really enjoyed both the book and the movie. I think it is rare to read a book and have it be almost verbatim what you experience in the movie (The Princess Bride is the only exception I can think of off the top of my head) so if I like a movie
...more
Madeline
Apr 17, 2008 Madeline rated it really liked it
Chocolate, crazy-fun old ladies, Bible thumpers learning to lighten up, French people, witchcraft, and sexy gypsies.

Come on, say no to any of those things. I dare you.
Cherie
Aug 30, 2014 Cherie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book very much. A little bit of magic, good people, bad people, gypsies, little songs in French, an imaginary friend, love, loss, mystery and more chocolate drink than I could have imagined. The names of the candies made my mouth water. The story made me laugh at things a little girl can say it made me cry over an old man and his old dog. It made me think about what it means to hear someone say that they had lived a good life and how they wanted that life to end on their o ...more
Melee
Feb 24, 2011 Melee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me start this review by saying I have never seen the film version of Chocolat. Therefore, I started reading this with no preconceived notions. (Well, no more than usual, anyway.)

I liked Chocolat but there were several glaring annoyances that ruined it for me.
I did not appreciate the "chocolate lovers vs. churchgoers" plot. Casting a priest in the role of the villain irritated me. (I echo the others who say this is overdone.) Even so, I think the priest could have been redeemed. If only he ha
...more
Devlin Scott
Jan 01, 2013 Devlin Scott rated it it was amazing
I dare anyone to read this novel and not hunger for something sweet.

This is a wonderful tale of family and magic and hope. It is not your typical romance and well worth the time. You may find yourself wishing for a confection or two...before you've finished reading.


Devlin
Luana
Feb 06, 2016 Luana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo ammetto, comprare questo libro maliziosamente intitolato 'Chocolat' è stato più un peccato di gola, che un vero e proprio slancio letterario. Non sono quindi rimasta sorpresa - semmai inondata dall'acquolina - quando, sfogliando le pagine ed inghiottendo le righe di Joanne Harris ho sentito soffiare un vento di magia che è possibile annusare nella dolce fragranza di cioccolato. Sono invece rimasta stupita dalla capacità letteraria di questa scrittrice di origini un po' inglesi e un po' france ...more
Carly
Apr 13, 2009 Carly rated it did not like it
I began reading this book before the film came out because I wanted to see the film, and I usually like to read the book first since the book is better. At the beginning of my reading, it was clear why this book was turned into a movie: it had a very clear, plot-driven narrative. As I continued reading, I felt that this book was the first book I'd read that made me understand what a professor of mine meant when he explained Hemingway's Iceberg Theory: that 90% of what a writer is saying is under ...more
Becky
May 26, 2011 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I did not like this book. I didn't think the author developed the characters well enough that I could even tell them apart by half-way through. There was not enough for me to develop emphathy for anyone in the book except the guy with the little, old dog.

I also have a problem with an author being so blatant about the axe they have to grind with any particular group. I thought the book was anti-religious and anti-Catholic, specifically. I am not of the thought or feeling that anyone has to be rel
...more
Edith Fischer
I liked the style, alternating chapters narrated by the heroine,chocolate shop owner Vianne Rocher, and her nemesis, the village priest. The book creates charming images of creativity and sensitivity on the part of Vianne, contrasted with dark images of guilt and rigidity on the part of the priest. Free spirits versus conforming traditionalists. Love and friendship versus control and manipulation. Color and joie de vivre versus blackness and regret. Hints of deeper mystery in the past.
Marina
Aug 12, 2015 Marina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star, own, favorite
Chocolat was exactly the kind of novel I needed at the moment. I discarded books left and right, I was in the mood for something literary and after re-watching the movie - I settled on this one. I decided to savor it as one would a piece of chocolate, slowly, letting it melt into my mouth so that I could absorb the flavor better.

The book is similar to the movie and yet very different - surprisingly I like both in their own way. It was a beautiful novel, full of magic, luscious descriptions of ch
...more
Taylor
Apr 16, 2009 Taylor rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Joanne Harris made me long to move to Europe. More fantasizing about small town, rural life. And the descriptions of the chocolate left me dreaming about rose creams, amaretto, pain au chocolat...why is it that these books that leave me hungry and dissatisfied are some of my favorites? Really.

This book is full of luscious sentences, beautiful descriptions, and alluring personalities. It's different from the movie - but both have the same spirit of magical glamor. And both make me need to go get
...more
PurplyCookie
"I believe that being happy is the only important thing. Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or torturous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive."

If you've watched the movie from a few years back and you've only decided just now to pick up the book where the movie was based on, prepare to be surprised (although in what way exactly, I leave it to you). I can hardly believe that a novel so richly packed with meaning could be so relatively short. Harris' prose here is at its finest, as we follow
...more
Tina
Jul 04, 2016 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This is a bilingual review.

In all honesty, the only reason I ever bought this book was because Johnny Depp is in the movie, and I have this thing where I collect books that have him on the cover. Although I don’t really remember the movie that well, the faded memory is an overall nice, magical and chocolaty one. I’ve been meaning to read the book for years, though for some reason I expected that the book would not be to my liking and that it would somehow spoil the whole Chocolat experience for
...more
Kelly
Mar 16, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Chocolat was good for the sort of fluffy, non-literary sort of book that it is. Vianne, who is a witch of sorts, arrives with her young daughter in a small French town and opens a chocolate shop. Her sensual, outsider ways began to change the lives of the townspeople and invokes the ire of the local priest. This is an enjoyable, light read, but one thing that confused me was when the novel was taking place. I remember reading a part about someone watching videos, but the idea of a priest being u ...more
Eirini
May 02, 2016 Eirini rated it liked it
3.5 αστεράκια Ένα βιβλίο που δεν το συνιστώ με τίποτα σε όσους κάνουν δίαιτα γιατί μέσα απο τις σελίδες του είναι σαν να σου ψιθυρίζει "φάε σοκολάτα,φάε σοκολάτα" και είναι αδύνατον να αντισταθείς.
H Bιαν Ροσέ,μια γυναίκα που περιπλανιέται απο τόπο σε τόπο,αποφασίζει να μείνει για ένα διάστημα μαζί με την κόρη της στο μικρο χωριό Λανσκνέ και να ανοίξει μια σοκολατερί.Εκεί έρχεται αντιμέτωπη με τον συντηρητικό ιερέα του χωριού που την θεωρεί κακή επίδραση για το ποίμνιό του και αρχίζει ένας ιδιότυ
...more
Nikki
Jun 23, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing
I must have read Chocolat quite a few times by now. It's an entrancing book: I didn't used to want to admit I'd read it, with its sensuality and femininity and the barely-there magic, but I now admit to it gladly -- I've read almost all of Joanne Harris' output, and I love the way she writes. There's something moreish about it, no matter what she's writing about. A lot of her stories have a similar sort of narrative arc; I wouldn't read too many of them back to back. But it's a comforting warm w ...more
Uci
Aug 17, 2011 Uci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seperti cokelat berkualitas yang meleleh perlahan di mulut, Joanne Harris merangkai kisahnya tanpa terburu-buru, mengajak pembaca menjelajahi kota Lansquenet yang sunyi dan muram, mengenal satu per satu warganya dengan masalah mereka masing-masing, membayangkan jenis-jenis cokelat menggiurkan yang dimasak Vianne Rocher setiap hari, mengembuskan aroma lezat sekaligus angin perubahan ke kota yang serba kaku itu.

Seperti kertas cantik pembungkus cokelat yang disusun berlapis-lapis, kisah Vianne Roch
...more
Kristen Gurri
Mar 25, 2008 Kristen Gurri rated it really liked it
Really really good book. Not what I thought it would be. Usually I cringe to read a book that became a movie. But this book makes me want to either move to a small village in France or start making fancy candy. I also liked the narration shifts and alternating perspectives. It put a little edge and anticipation to the story.
Hannah Lynn
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 ...more
Kiwi
I fell in love with the movie when I watched it some years ago so I bought Joanne Harris’ book but it has been languishing on my shelves since then. Now that I finally read it, I found the book is just as delicious. Although there are some small deviations in the story line, i.e. revealing the secrets of Monsignor Reynaud and Vianne’s past, the book succeeds in magically enchanting the senses: smell (“wood smoke curling in the air”), touch (“cool hands on forehead…curls tickling my face”), visio ...more
Joana
** 4 magical and delicious stars **



V'là l'bon vent, v'là l'joli vent
V'lá l'bon vent, ma mie m'appelle.


I've been meaning to read this book for years now, well, since after I watched the film adaptation for the 1st time. And yes, I lost count how many times I watched it... and I can't blame all on Johnny Depp,ahaha.

Anyway, it was indeed time to read it, because usually, the book is always a whole lot better than the movie. And in many accounts that happened here, except the romantic part of i
...more
Madison
Oct 28, 2008 Madison rated it really liked it
Bitter orange cracknel, apricot marzipan rolls, cerisette russe, white rum truffles, manon blac. crêpes, pain au chocolat, various types of couverture, and countless chocolate beverages, all fill the air of Vianne Rocher’s chocolate shop, La Celeste Praline. Vianne and her young daughter, Anouk, move to Lansquenet hoping to find themselves a permanent home. However, instead they find a criticizing community in which anything not considered normal is outcast. Chocolat, by Joanne Harris, occurs du ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
21/7/2016
This book is so beautifully written and so full of compelling and complex characters. On reread, I suspect a good part of the reason why the movie version is set in the 1950s is that it's easier to buy a nobleman having that much power over his small town community than it is to accept a priest having that much power over his small town community in the late 1990s.

It may also have something to do with the domestic violence that takes place in one subplot of the book and the prejudice t
...more
Anna
Apr 11, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 πιο συγκεκριμένα.Διαφορές αρκετές σε σύγκριση με την ταινία.Μ'άρεσε η αφήγηση σε μορφή ημερολογίου εναλλάσσοντας ανάμεσα στους δύο ακραίους χαρακτήρες του βιβλίου. Επίσης η αναφορές στο παρελθόν της Βιάν με έκαναν να προσπαθήσω να καταλάβω καλύτερα τα φερσίματα και τα χούγια της.Κορυφαία μορφήγια μένα η Αρμάντ(όπως και στην ταινία).Αγάπησα,γέλασα,γεύτηκα και έκλαψα μέσα στις σελίδες της "Καυτής Σοκολάτας" και ανυπομονώ να διαβάσω τη συνέχεια!
Patty Gerouli
Apr 29, 2016 Patty Gerouli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Μόλις έκανα ένα ιδιαίτερο ταξίδι. Και στις 374 σελίδες του με πήρε και με σήκωσε ένα φιλικό, γλυκό, ευωδιαστό ρεύμα αέρος μέσα στο οποίο μπορούσα να κολυμπάω να στροβιλίζομαι, να χορεύω, να περπατώ, να κάνω τούμπες και άλματα μέσα σε αρώματα και μυρωδιές φαγητών και γλυκών, και πέταλα ανθέων παρακολουθώντας τον άνεμο να χτίζει με το χώμα πόλεις ολόκληρες και όπως τις έχτισε κόκκο κόκκο με το ίδιο τρόπο να τις διαλύει και να τις εξαφανίζει.

Η Βιάν Ροσέ με την κόρη της Ανούκ, τη Ζοζεφίνα και την Α
...more
Sarah
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book as it was listed on Goodreads as a Romance and I don't usually go in for Romance novels. However, I had heard so many good things about it and I really enjoyed Harris' style of writing in Five Quarters of the Orange. I haven't watched the movie either.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Vianne, the main character, is not only the owner of a chocolate shop in a small French village, but also a witch. I thought that Harris did a tremendous job
...more
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Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre pr ...more
More about Joanne Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Chocolat (3 books)
  • The Girl with No Shadow (Chocolat, #2)
  • Peaches for Father Francis (Chocolat, #3)

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“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” 535 likes
“I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I'm going to be immoderate--and volatile--I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant.” 153 likes
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