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Chocolat (Chocolat #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  93,171 Ratings  ·  3,441 Reviews
When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial. The priest says she’ll be out of business by Easter.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 16th 1999 by Random House of Canada Ltd (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)
Emily Gibbons 39 Chapters and it wraps up pretty nicely for the most of the people. The story kind of leaves it open for another book for the main character. But…more39 Chapters and it wraps up pretty nicely for the most of the people. The story kind of leaves it open for another book for the main character. But you get the overall sense all will be well.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Robyn Groth
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


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
"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
Will Byrnes
Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Devlin Scott
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jul 11, 2011 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
Apr 13, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
"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
Apr 29, 2011 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
Aug 10, 2015 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
Apr 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rick Slane
A Lenten Easter treat. I like the way the author puts words together.
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
«Немає такого поняття,як хороший або поганий християнин. Є погані і хороші люди».
Вперше зустрічаю книжку, яка б так детально слугувала сценарієм для однойменного фільму. Дійсно у книзі є лише одна деталь,яка була дещо змінена у фільмі, але загалом, читаючи, ти розумієш,що бачиш перед очима не лише акторів, а і їх діалоги та вчинки,бо все це тобі свого часу вже показали.
Чудовий фільм, чудова книжка. Немає настрою для серйозного читання? Сприймайте як легку історію з шоколадно-горіховим шлейфом. Х
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
Feb 27, 2013 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
mohamadadali abtahi
خواندن كتاب " شكلات"اولين تجربه خواندن رمان بعد ديدن فيلمش بود. اين داستان تكان دهنده اي است. خانم شكلات فروشي در يكي از روستاهاي جنوبي فرانسه كه تحت امر كشيش چه اي اداره مي شود، بساط شكلات فروشي و مهرباني با مردم پهن مي كند. از روز اول، كشيش بي دليل، شكلات را خلاف ارزشهاي ديني معرفي مي كند ومجبور مي شود وارد دعوا شود و معلوم است كه پيروز ماجرا شكلات فروش است. كتاب را كه مي خواندم به انديشه خودمان بودم كه چقدر بي دليل ارزشهايي درست كرديم و دراجرا مانديم و مردم را از دين دور كرديم. فيلم شكلات هم ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My kind of book
A charming heroine
Criticism of strict religion practice ….. In this case the catholic church with its corruption, hypocrisy, lies, and prejudices.
Inspiring descriptions of food, Chocolate and many other desserts.
Anti wife beating.
Some magic …. Or magic realism
Oh yes, the good guys win at the end.
Vianne Rocher is a single mother of Anouk, and arrives to a rural conservative French village and opens a chocolate shop. She befriends a few of the villagers and some more oppose her and
Mar 07, 2010 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
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realist
Τι υπέροχο βιβλίο, μετανιώνω που δεν το είχα διαβάσει νωρίτερα. Πανέμορφες περιγραφές, νιώθω ότι ακούω τα χρώματα, ότι γεύομαι τους ήχους μα πάνω απ’ όλα ότι αγγίζω τα πάντα στο βιβλίο. Τα παρτέρια, τα σπίτια στην πλατεία του Σεν Ζερόμ, τους τσιγγάνους στις όχθες του Ταν, κ πάνω απ’ όλα την ατελείωτη σοκολάτα! Σκέτη σύνδεση αισθήσεων, ένα παιχνίδι συναισθησίας… ίσως τελικά δεν είναι τυχαίες οι τόσες αναφορές στον Ρεμπω (ο οποίος πειραματίστηκε με την συναισθησία για να δημιουργησει την τέχνη του ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Chocolat (Chocolat, #1), Joanne Harris
عنوان: شکلات؛ نویسنده: جوآن (ژوان) هریس؛ مترجم: طاهره صدیقیان؛ تهران، کتابسرای تندیس، 1380، در 406 ص؛ شابک: 9645757207؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
عنوان: شکلات؛ نویسنده: جوآن (ژوان) هریس؛ مترجم: گیسو ناصری؛ تهران، واژگان، 1381، در 368 ص؛ شابک: 9646664016؛ چاپ دیگر در یال 1381 نشر گیلونه؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
Kristen Gurri
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie many years ago and this is one of those rare instances where I think that the movie was far better than the book. The constant repetitions of the same themes became rather tiresome. I also didn’t see any real plot. It was more a like a lengthy character study and I ended up not really caring for most of the characters anyway. I have to say that since I love food and also enjoy reading detailed descriptions about it, those parts were truly enjoyable. I also enjoyed the atmospheric ...more
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what did you prefer- the book or the film? 75 393 May 15, 2017 03:24AM  
2017 Reading Chal...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Chocolat 12 165 Apr 26, 2017 08:52PM  
Around the World ...: Discussion for Chocolat 5 109 Feb 12, 2017 05:41PM  
Play Book Tag: Chocolat, by Joanne Harris-- 3 stars 5 20 Mar 10, 2016 01:33AM  
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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.” 564 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.” 161 likes
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