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Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence
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Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence (Provence)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  3,329 ratings  ·  245 reviews
With his national bestsellers A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, Peter Mayle gave new meaning to the phrase "great escape." Now he has written a delightful novel of romance, adventure, and tongue-in-cheek suspense, set in the beguiling French region he has staked out as his own.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 8th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1993)
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The Shining by Stephen KingA Room with a View by E.M. ForsterThe Hotel New Hampshire by John IrvingThe Witches by Roald DahlAt Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie
Hotels, Motels, Inns, B'n'Bs and Guest houses
29th out of 109 books — 62 voters
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The Riviera
2nd out of 56 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

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Hotel Pastis is a Peter Mayle novel, nothing more, nothing less. You're in for a bounder of a tale about Provence involving some English executive (who, in this case, is named Simon) who has had enough of the business world and falls in love with the south of France. Usually for the author, the most colorful characters are the French villagers the main character encounters, but Mayle turns this on his head, introducing us to a hardnosed American ad exec named Zielger (who, in my mind's eye, was ...more
Picked this up for a $1 and read it on the plane - quick and fun. You can tell the author was an ad man (like the main character) as he provides a little too much detail about the main character and not enough about some of the other major characters - such as the girlfriend and the butler - (yes, there's a butler). The crime mystery takes up all of about 35 pages of the 380+ total - but its a fun addition (not the main story) and I have to admit that I did not guess the ending. I do have to war ...more
Barbara Rice
My favorite of Mayle's novels. The main character is clearly based on Mayle's old life in advertising. The descriptions of food, the sun, the lavender all make me start speaking with a French accent and pretending this is only a temporary setback in my real life, and soon I will be back again in The South of France as a gorgeous blonde drinking wine at a cafe.
R.S. Carter
Not my normal read. It was okay, but not much of a plot. Just a whole bunch of my being jealous at the extravagant lifestyles of the rich and famous. Oh those poor dears. What horrific lives those poor, mistreated Madison Ave ad execs lead in the hills of Provence upon semiretirement. It's just brutal, I tell you. Here, let me chuck this tiny violin in your direction.
Very entertaining. Lots and lots of eating fine French food and drinking fine French wine (I was pregnant while reading this book and missing wine...). A rich British advertising executive gets fed up with his job and decides to restore an old ruined building and open a hotel in the south of France. He is aided in his project by his personal assistant Ernest and an attractive French woman named Nicole, whom he meets at an auto shop the first time he is down by his new property. Meanwhile, a gang ...more
Another Mayle hit! Maybe I'm a little biased being French, with family in Provence, but Mayle's work always puts a smile on my face. I've seen his characters, and enjoyed the same quirks in the dialect and attitude of Provence. I wish Hotel Pastis was a real place, and that I could go there right now!
Sarah French
I didn't love this book. I didn't hate it either. I was a bit indifferent overall. I liked the story, but it wasn't a very deep story at all. Some of the characters and tiny little side stories just seemed like they were added after the fact, and had nothing to do with the story as a whole. I did like Ernest though, he was pretty fun. Overall, an ok book, just not much of a thought provoker.
Craig Dube
Another book club suggestion, Hotel Pastis is the story of a rich, English, advertising Executive named Simon Shaw who works too hard and has too little fun. Things change for Simon when he takes a small vacation in the French countryside and meets a local woman named Nicole Bouvier. Although their initial encounter is brief, there is some obvious attraction between them both and over the next month they begin dating, at which point Nicole tells Simon her new plan for him is to build a new hotel ...more
My idea of the perfect beach read. A little wealth, some fun-in-the sun, a bit of how does one find the perfect career, mixed in with a plot to pull off the perfect bank robbery.

Picked this book up at a Library book sale.
I enjoyed "A Year in Provence" so much..I thought this novel from Mr. Mayle would be another gem. For! The setting, the food wonderful but the characters and plot were flat. Do not waste your time with this one.
Love understanding all the French slang and curse words. Nice to imagine the Luberon and the WARMTH of summer in the depths of this winter of my discontent and FLU.
Mihai Savu

Peter Mayle este un autor britanic contemporan, cunoscut în special pentru romanele sale legate de însorita regiune Provence din Franța. I-am citit mai întâi volumul "Viață de câine" și m-am îndrăgostit de stilul dezinvolt și de umorul său special. "Viață de câine" este o poveste relatată cu vocea unui câine abandonat care își caută un cămin. Trece prin multe peripeții, dar este foarte isteț și reușește să-i cucerească pe noii săi stăpâni cu privirea miloa
I am a HUGE Peter Mayle fan. I love his "A Year in Provence" series, and I have also read (and love) "French Lessons." "Hotel Pastis" is not autobiographical like his other books, but instead a novel. Although I enjoyed the book, I missed Mayle's story telling abilities that he utilizes so well in his other books. This book wasn't as funny as his other ones, although it did make me chuckle once in awhile. I found the pace of the book to be incredibly slow for the first 300 pages, and I found the ...more
Mayle's Hotel Pastis is the perfect treat when one is wanting something light, but not unintelligent or poorly written. Let's think of it as the thinking reader's bon-bon. Light and sparkling as a glass of Dom Perignon ( not a little of which is quaffed in the novel), Mayle spins an engaging story of middle age, top of his game ad exe who is tired of the racquet. Simon chucks it all and with the help of his natty aide de camp, Ernest and his savvy new girlfriend Nicole, he restores an old police ...more
Coming of off the success of his travelogue, A Year in Provence, this is Mayle's first attempt at a novel. It tells the story of Simon--a weary British advertising executive who is bullied by his butler into taking a much-needed vacation and ends up marooned by accident in a small village in Provence--Bassiere-les-Deux-Eglises. There he meets the beautiful Nicole Bouvier and, upon his return to the rat race, slowly begins concocting a plan to move permanently to Provence and open a small hotel.

Dora Okeyo
Quick and fun.
That's what Hotel Pastis is all about-first I liked the fact that Simon Shaw takes a break and decides that France is the place and goes to Luberon,some small village-given how fast paced his life is and how hard he works to please clients-the move was good. That was a good part in the story and as for the thieves-well, it I didn't like it that much, but how they sit down to plot their heist was fun to read-the French was also good-it makes you appreciate the culture and the people
Mar 12, 2013 Dianne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Simon Shaw is a highly successful ad executive in London, whose current marriage has dissolved in a cloud of resentment and recriminations. He is tired of his ex's constant grasping for more money and the shallowness of colleagues at his advertising agency; in fact he's tired of the whole spinning money-making machine (though not so much the money) and is ready for a change when he meets a savvy, French woman with an interesting idea.

Simon begins the process of disentangling himself from life in
In the vein of his other novel of the French countryside, Peter Mayle's Hotel Pastis offers a fun and lighthearted tale set against the backdrop of provincial France... with a bit of Paris and London thrown in. Simon, an overworked (and very well paid) executive, is looking for something in life a little different than that which he has known -- something to take him away from the superficiality of the marketing world and back to a more peaceful existence. When he meets a lovely young woman look ...more
I read this book for one of my book clubs and was not impressed. The story centers around a British advertising executive tired of his job and going through a messy divorce. He decides to head off to Provence to vacation where he meets a beautiful French woman who somehow convinces him to quit his job and buy a halfway built building in a small Provencal town and turn it into a hotel. He brings along his trusty stereotypical butler. Most of the book is about them building the hotel and getting i ...more
Brinn Colenda
Another outstanding book! I read this book sitting on a beach in Honduras and laughed and laughed, much to the annoyance of my wife and sons. This was my introduction to Peter Mayle who is probably the funniest intellectual I have ever read.

This is a mystery that unfolds in the south of France. The protagonist is an English advertising executive whose life is collapsing. He is tired of living in cold dreary England, tired of dealing with his ex-wife, tired of advertising, just plain tired. He bu
The best of Mayle's fiction.

Perhaps it's because he sticks with a chief protagonist who is from the advertising world and the robbery-thriller doesn't dominate the book completely, but this book has a ring of truth about it. One still reads the book for Provence setting primarily.

I'm not as big a fan of Mayle's action-adventure books with detective/spy heroes. Those read like a movie treatment, dumbed-down to attract film-goers.
This lightweight novel, where turning an ancient building into a swank hotel goes down as smoothly as a Cotes du Rhone wine, was the perfect book to read on my flight over to France. Unfortunately, although we drove through some towns that resembled the town in the book, we never came close to staying at a place as nice as The Hotel Pastis! A nice vicarious vacation read.
A wonderful light, fun read. If you are ready to take a break from the 700 page epics and you want a warm, lighthearted story, then this is the book to read. Peter Mayle is a magician with his words and story line. He doesn't get bogged down with the minutia of unimportant details but takes the reader on an almost whimsical escape from dreary London to sunny France. I plan on ready his first book "A Year in Provence".
I visited Provence during the lavender season and have always wanted to go back. This book provided with some escape time to envision days spent there, though a good part of the book was set in London. The book is part travel log and part fiction with a plot, and in this case, I would say more plot. Some of the story, well a good part of it, is contrived, and as is the case with fiction to be the case. However, much of this book seemed contrived. Still, I appreciated the humor, the descriptions ...more
2 separate stories that come together in the end.
First an advertising exec gives up his life and buys a hotel in Provence.
Second a thief ring robs security deposits in bank.
Thieves kidnap friend of hotel staff.
Lots of French words.
Rob Caroti
Jul 26, 2011 Rob Caroti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody
Hotel Pastis was a very pleasant read with the story starting in London and soon moving over to beautiful Provence. I found it enjoyable but a bit meandering at first, with no real action until the last 100 pages; but once it began it was quite a ride. With high-powered Ad-men, a Texas billionaire, common thieves and dangerous mobsters, Hotel Pastis ended with a flourish.

I felt there were a few loose-ends but I suppose they weren't all that important. If you've already read, I'd love to discuss
This one took a while to read both because I've had a lot going on in my life the past couple weeks and haven't as much time to read, and because it was kind of a "slow" read. There are a lot of French phrases in the book that aren't translated, which makes the reading difficult if you don't happen to know French. In the past, I have loved everything I've had my hands on by Peter Mayle. This was an interesting story, definitely amusing in parts, but the ending was a bit anti-climactic. I'm left ...more
Greg Jones
I've read this book a couple of times. It's relaxing and a really easy read. Not very interesting, nor particularly well written. But, I really nice view of a region in France and a nice escape built into an entertaining, lite story.
Dale Conrod
This is the book I take with me whenever I go away. The characters seem like old friends and after countless readings I still enjoy the stories within the story. I keep hoping Mr Mayle will write a sequel.
I don't think I understand Peter Mayle's fiction, but the yellow cover is very nice in person and the book has a pleasing heft and tactile quality which contributed to a very pleasant reading experience.
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Peter Mayle (born June 14, 1939 in Brighton) is a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. He spent fifteen years in advertising before leaving the business in 1975 to write educational books, including a series on sex education for children and young people. In 1989, A Year in Provence was published and became an international bestseller. His books have be ...more
More about Peter Mayle...

Other Books in the Series

Provence (7 books)
  • A Year in Provence
  • Toujours Provence
  • Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
  • Provence A-Z
  • Provence from the Air
  • A Chef In Provence
A Year in Provence Toujours Provence Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew A Good Year

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