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A Good Year

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  5,686 Ratings  ·  643 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
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Vintage (first published March 4th 2004)
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May 08, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Madhulika Liddle
Londoner Max Skinner, divorced, lonely, in debt but about to make a killing on the stock market, finds himself conned by his boss—and, in a fit of anger, resigns. He has also just received a letter from a notaire in a Provençal village, informing him that his Uncle Henry has died and left Max his house and the attached vineyard. Max is reluctant to even visit it; his memories of the many summer vacations spent as a child at Uncle Henry's have convinced him that the place is hardly likely to be m ...more
Mar 04, 2008 Bart rated it it was ok  ·  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
Jun 09, 2013 Angela marked it as to-read
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
Jun 15, 2012 Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Denton
Jul 21, 2008 Lauren Denton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Unlikeable English misogynist loses job, moves to sleepy town in Provence inexplicably brimming with hot women, claims winery inheritance. Quelle merde.
Nov 11, 2010 Liza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european
This was a nice, little light read about a vineyard and wine.
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
Apr 03, 2016 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt I was in Provence drinking wine walking through the grapes toward my chateaux to have lunch under the trees in the garden and enjoy my le cassoulet de Toulouse!!
Brandon Gryder
Mar 23, 2015 Brandon Gryder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, didn't want it to end. Breezy, fast read that makes me want to travel to Provence.
The movie topped the book,the book founded the base...
The reason I decided to read this book was because one of my favourite films, also called A Good Year, was based on it. But yes, there are quite a few major plot differences between the two, but I won't go into the specifics of that now. But know what ? These differences actually, intrigued me more than annoy... The way Mayle describes the beautiful French countryside is so blissful and inviting. It made me feel like I was stepping into the story – like I was in Provence and I could feel 'the gl ...more
Sep 18, 2015 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, travel
After getting back from Europe, I really wanted to read Mayle's "A Year in Provence," but it wasn't available for the Kindle, so I ended up picking up this fictional story of Max Skinner, who thinks he's got it made at a financial office in London, but who unexpectedly loses his job and finds himself out of work, out of a car, out of money and out of hope. In the nick of time comes a letter from the attorney handling his uncle's estate that he has inherited a vineyard in the south of France, and ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Dennis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
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,
Sep 21, 2009 MacK rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a light read and yet you get a lot of rich images and great characterization. Personally, this will be a favorite of mine to return to at times when I need something to lift my spirits. Comedy, romance, and even a bit of mystery are all set in the enriching backdrop of a French chateau. The writing itself is quick and witty; cloaked with blithesome sarcasm and stereotypical comments. There isn't one character that I disliked; in fact, they all work together in a truly enjoyable way. I en ...more
Jul 15, 2007 erin rated it did not like it  ·  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
May 13, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fiction, 2015
The only thing wrong I found with this story is that it ended. I really enjoyed my short stay in Provence and love the way Peter Mayle tells a story.

I could feel the warm Provence sunshine and smell the grapes, wine, delicious dishes locally prepared and enjoy the jaunt around the picturesque countryside. I really didn't want to leave any of this behind!

The story was a good one, the characters were fun and there were quite a few funny situations in the story as well.

If you need a 'take me away'
Marjie Smith
Jan 03, 2015 Marjie Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jr Bacdayan
Charming, quasi-refined, and very silly.
Jan 16, 2015 Summer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Every wine lover and Francophile's 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.
Moataz Ibrahim
I watched the movie and didn't feel like reading the book. The main story isn't that much of a thing, and it doesn't make you hooked. Maybe Russell Crowe was the one that improved on the performance.
Oana Kovacs
A nice and easy book, a good read for a lazy afternoon. However, A Year in Provence was definitely better.
Jan 30, 2016 Duncan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice easy read but like all Mayke a bit samey to all the other books he has written.
Eileen Gallagher
A cute light story and easy read.
Catherine Stacy
Apr 03, 2015 Catherine Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great fun!
Ruth Feiertag
Peter Mayle’s A Good Year (Vintage Books, 2005; 0375705627) provides a blueprint for how to revive one’s existence. One merely needs to give up one’s old life, inherit a vinyard in France, and give one’s self over to the pleasures of food, drink, countryside, and good company while solving a minor mystery or two. Mayle’s characters revel in the charms that Provence has to offer, and we enjoy every moment right along with them.

The protagonist, Max Skinner, leaves London when he inherits his unc
Jun 10, 2014 Zahera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 06, 2014 Vern rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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“The English murder their meat twice: once when they shoot it, again when they cook it. 'Drôle, n'est-ce pas'?” 1 likes
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