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A Good Year

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  4,486 ratings  ·  530 reviews
The writer with a claim to being the world’s foremost literary escape artist is back, with an intoxicating novel about the business and pleasure of wine, set in his beloved Provence. Max Skinner has recently lost his job at a London financial firm and just as recently learned that he has inherited his late uncle’s vineyard in Provence. On arrival he finds the climate delic ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nancy
I picked up the book because I liked the movie so much. Well, other than the location and the names of the characters, there is very little similarity between the two, although both are equally enjoyable. The book is very witty - one funny statement from the book from vineyard caretaker Claude Roussel: "The English murder their meat twice: once when they shoot it, again when they cook it." It brought to mind the time we ate at an English friend's house and she broiled, then baked tenderloin file ...more
Alison
Unlikeable English misogynist loses job, moves to sleepy town in Provence inexplicably brimming with hot women, claims winery inheritance. Quelle merde.
Jenny Sparrow
После того, как я была в восторге от книги "Год в Провансе", я, конечно же, хотела почитать что-нибудь еще Питера Мейла. Выбор пал на роман "Хороший год", который повсеместно хвалили.

Англичанин, потерпевший крах на работе, приезжает в Прованс, в унаследованный от дядюшки дом, где с воодушевлением вливается в жизнь солнечного французского края. Т.е. в целом, сюжет в чем-то перекликается с "Годом в Провансе", и в этом-то, наверное, и заключалась подлянка. Потому что по сравнению с первым прочитанн
...more
Bart
Mar 04, 2008 Bart rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who haven't seen the movie
Here's something you don't often hear said by readers: The movie was much better than the book.

I'm afraid in this case it's absolutely true. And the movie - which received lukewarm reviews - wasn't just more entertaining; it was more complicated, more sophisticated, and dare I say, more literary than the book.

About the only thing the screenplay kept from the book were the characters' names and the French vineyard. Sure, there were a number of other bit players who remained the same - but the mai
...more
Gerald
Summer-reading wish fulfillment for metrosexuals. Urbane London male inherits rundown vineyard in the Bordeaux region of France. Fortunately, he speaks fluent French and doesn't act so English as to be spurned by the rurals. His predictable sexual adventures are not graphic at all, but the descriptions of his meals at the local bistro border on the pornographic. The wine, of course, is a topic of infinite variety. I am familiar with rhapsodic descriptions including tastes of chocolate, berry, an ...more
Lauren
I just loved this book. A perfect escape to the sun drenched region of Provence. Makes me want to move to the South of France and drink wine and ride in the car with the top down.
Liza
This was a nice, little light read about a vineyard and wine.
Angela
Jun 09, 2013 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-ebook
The lovely and talented Mr. Russell Crowe was responsible for getting me to read Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander, which began my ongoing infatuation with the Aubrey-Maturin series. When I learned that his next movie, A Good Year, is based upon the novel of the same name by Peter Mayle, I figured what the hell, I should give this book a shot as well.

I am told that this is one of Mr. Mayle's fluffier and more forgettable works. Me, I enjoyed it well enough, though that's about the summary I
...more
Dennis
Ah alors! A book that captivates my attention from beginning to end! For me this is a good find -- something that doesn't happen so often these days. This tale is fun and breezy, like disappearing into an impressionist painting set in Provence.

Max Skinner, practically broke, loses his finance job in London and the same day learns that he's rather fortuitously inherited his uncle's Saint-Pons vineyard in southern France. By next morning Max boards a British Airways flight and abandons the cold,
...more
MacK
I've been an expatriate, and because of that experience I've come to enjoy the ex-pat novel. The travelogue of the weary voyager, the modern day Odysseus, floating on a breeze, relishing every experience that passes by, not entirely focused on going home (whatever home is).

But while E.M. Forester captures this spirit perfectly, Mayle acknowledges a more complex feeling--the need, the irrefutable, undoubtable need for a link to one's past, in a way deeper than the language that Kipling uses, or t
...more
Summer
Every wine lover and Francophile's fantasy...to find out that you are the only heir to a long lost relative and you have inherited a chateau and vineyard in Provence. While reading this charming book, it was easy to dream and imagine the possibilities of a relaxed life in the south of France. The book is quite a bit different from the movie, though I liked them both.
Noetic
A gender-neutral chick-lit novel. Mayles writes beautifully about food and the pleasures of a beautiful woman or a great class of wine.

But it's a frothy story with no real conflict outside of a contrived disagreement between Max and Christie, as well as a tacked on tale of some conniving wine-peddlers that serves only to create some false suspense and allow Mayles to poke fun at the culture of wine snobbery (the Russell Crowe movie wisely leaves out this aspect). Like chick-lit, this one has we
...more
Debbie Robson
I haven't read Peter Mayle's Provence books but having seen the movie a few years ago, I knew this would be an enjoyable read. Mayle doesn't disappoint. Very cleverly he draws on his knowledge of the French, of winemaking and the landscape of Provence to write a very lively narrative. Mayle wisely doesn't try and write a serious novel instead he peoples his book with interesting, quirky characters.
Of course the main character Max Skinner is good looking. Of course there are three beautiful wome
...more
erin
Jul 15, 2007 erin rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who read one book a year, people who read bestsellers because they're bestsellers
What a stinker. Mayle abandons his appealing Provence anecdotes and relaxed style in favour of a Novel Writing 101 submission. We get flat, stereotypical characters who predictably pair off around a yawnfest of a "mystery" plot with a dull twist ending.

Mayle claims he was pressured to write it by his pal Ridley Scott. Scott then turned it into a movie (no doubt adding terrible acting and a sentimental score to the book's crimes against sensibility) which - the universe righting itself? - flopped
...more
Ana Rebelo
A palavra que me vem à cabeça para descrever este livro é aborrecido. A história é muito monótona, tem capítulos de quase quinze páginas em que, resumidamente, não se passa nada. Não encontro grande moral para concluir a história e achei o final bastante previsível. A única personagem que achei bastante bem preparada foi Charlie, amigo de Max, o protagonista, que deu alguma piada e trouxe algumas situações interessantes à história.
A escrita é rica em detalhes da casa e vinha herdadas por Max, qu
...more
Lorena Drapeau
this book was a little flat- kinda like the crepes they served at the cafe in the town where this was set. ;)

mayle is one of those authors who feel like they just have to come up with a whole bunch of similes to make them stand out. (ie: see above)

this was a quick and easy read however and i accomplished it in a day and a half. i learned a few new things about wine (which is good since i am working at a winery) so i suppose it wasn't a total loss. i won't, however, be picking up any more of his
...more
Vern
Let me first start off by saying that there is truth to the adage that the book is way better than the movie. I saw the movie version before I read the book and am glad I saved the book for last. The movie didn't really hold a candle to the book. No offense to Ridley Scott or Russell Crowe but the book is better.

I enjoyed the fast paced style of the book. I enjoy this style of writing and have read two other books by Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence and French Lessons) and enjoyed both of them eq
...more
Oana Kovacs
A nice and easy book, a good read for a lazy afternoon. However, A Year in Provence was definitely better.
J.T. IV
A Good Year, and a good book. Light and funny with a dry sense of humor, A Good Year takes you to the south of France and gives you a window into small town life there. From the unemployed and almost destitute Englishman that finds himself suddenly the heir to a small chateau, to the young California girl searching for her long lost father, the charming beauty who runs the local café, and the grouchy peasant farmer who works the vines with his dog, character fills the pages. Underlying everythin ...more
Zahera
I kind of only read this book because Ive enjoyed the movie. The difference between the two is pretty obvious from the very first pages.
Not all characters appear in the two plots because they're built differently.

I like Mayle's mild way of narration. Max's sexual adventures are not graphic nor emphasized but the atmosphere indicates that he's having a lot of fun in between the lines.

Perhaps it's the first time I feel this way about a book but I prefer the movie (not only because Marion is my
...more
queenie m.
This is a lighthearted read, but talk about inspiring? probably not.


This could be a good book, but there is a fine line between literature and story, and this book is no doubt, simply a story. Having said that, the story line (love line) of this book is very thin, as thin as if i was hanging on a thread.

Moreover, the supporting character, Charlie, has somehow outshone the main character, Max. Whereas, both female characters seems to have very limited personality of their own. I am regretted to s
...more
Susan
Max rises above a lousy job situation in London and comes to inherit his deceased
Uncle Henry's large house/small chateau and vineyards in Provence. The characters kept me
entertained, the plot twists kept me curious. Nice to know that good guys can finish
happily, sometimes.
Favorite quote while Max and his ex-brother-in-law Charlie discuss the wine connoisseur's
vocabulary:
"Do I detect faded tulips? Beethoven in a mellow mood? The complexity, the almost Gothic
structure... of vintage socks."
"I've
...more
Maeba
The movie was terrible, they made it even less exciting than the book. At least the book had a bit of a twist at the end.
David Bustamante
Looking for books set in Provence since I had a week-long vacation to Provence coming up. My wife and I listened to the Audible version on the drive back from Saint Remy de Provence to our home in Germany. Fortunately, the book was short enough that we could complete it during the 10 hour drive, Entertaining book but the plot was somewhat contrived. Out of the 5 Peter Mayle books about Provence that I have read, I recommend "A Year in Provence" and "Provence A-Z". If you like those two and want ...more
Kelly
I heard the movie was awful. The book had to be worse. Don't do it!
Marjie Smith
This is a fun, light-hearted summer read. When a young businessman from London loses his job and inherits a winery in France on the same day, he takes his best friend’s advice and goes to check out the winery where he summered as a boy. Little does he know that wines from his vineyard are being used to create fraud, preying on the nouveau riche who are more interested in expensive labels than authentic wine. Through the process, a romance develops and the new owner develops a firm partnership wi ...more
Penny Lane
The only book that is lazy and much better then it's attempted movie adapation.

Max Skinner has inherited his Uncle's vineyeard, adpated a strange American cousin, and has moved to France to start this new life. What I love about htis book is there's no point. It's like life in a bundle of a fictional wanted life.

There doesn't need to be a big backstabbing moment, there doesn't need to be some fantasy inspired trial of bravery. It's like ... love on the platter next to a good glass of wine. Pet
...more
Marie
Reviewers of this book talk a lot about how much they enjoyed the movie, how brilliant Russell Crowe was and how enchanting the story is. That's fair enough of course, I watched the movie as well but I wasn't swept off my feet by it. It was a good story, but a little too French for my taste. Now I hear you cry out: But it plays in France! Well yes, but there is French style and then there is the bad side of it. The movie was leaning towards that bad side. The book, however...

I picked it up and r
...more
Sophie Gonzales
The reason I decided to read this book was because one of my favourite films, also called A Good Year, was based on it. There are quite a few big plot differences between the two, but I won't go into the specifics of that now. Let's just say that if you've seen the film before you've read the book, or vice versa, these differences will probably intrigue more than annoy.

A Good Year is the perfect book to read if you've been dying to escape the never-ending conveyor belt of rainclouds hovering ove
...more
Ak.
I read this simply because I so adored the film. it seemed obvious to me that the book would be better because, well, this is planet Earth. But the rules of the universe didn't apply here. I was so sad to see that this was so ... elementary perhaps? (Not that I expected literary fiction, mind.) The strength of the film, and, well, duh, any film or book, lies in not only the characters' relationship with him/herself and others, but also, the characters' transformation. There was no change here. A ...more
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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...
A Year in Provence Toujours Provence Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence

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