Anything Considered

( 5 )

Overview

Peter Mayle sets his latest irresistible tale in the thyme- and lavender-scented south of France. Bennett, a suave if slightly threadbare English ex-patriot who is fast approaching the end of his credit, advertises his "services" in The International Herald Tribune. In no time, he is being paid handsomely to impersonate the mysterious and very wealthy Julian Poe.

"A lark that's perfect for summer reading."  --Baltimore Sun.

Peter Mayle sets his latest ...

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Anything Considered: A Novel

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Overview

Peter Mayle sets his latest irresistible tale in the thyme- and lavender-scented south of France. Bennett, a suave if slightly threadbare English ex-patriot who is fast approaching the end of his credit, advertises his "services" in The International Herald Tribune. In no time, he is being paid handsomely to impersonate the mysterious and very wealthy Julian Poe.

"A lark that's perfect for summer reading."  --Baltimore Sun.

Peter Mayle sets his latest irresistible tale in the thyme- and lavender-scented south of France. Bennett, a suave if slightly threadbare English ex-patriot who is fast approaching the end of his credit, advertises his "services" in The International Herald Tribune. In no time, he is being paid handsomely to impersonate the mysterious and very wealthy Julian Poe. "A lark that's perfect for summer reading."--Baltimore Sun. 320 pp. Print ads. Author tour. 100,000 print. (General Fiction)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mayle's third fictional trek through the French countryside, involving an English expat and a secret formula for the cultivation of truffles, was a four-week PW bestseller. Apr.
Library Journal
Actor Tim Curry, noted for his campy roles ever since The Rocky Horror Picture Show, articulates his way through this breezy story of romance, suspense, and truffle espionage. Author Mayle's fans expect light comedy set amid the rural and gastronomic delights of Provence, and this very light thriller meets those expectations. The hero, Bennett, is an expatriate Brit, out of pocket, who places an ad in the Herald Tribune to the effect that he is available for any financial proposition except matrimony. He is hired by Julian Poe, an ultrarich scoundrel who assigns our hero the painful task of masquerading as Poe in Morocco, spending money, and living in luxury. Thanks to a mix-up with suitcases, Bennett becomes involved with a secret truffle formula, various international factions, and a beautiful Israeli ex-soldier. None of it makes the slightest scrap of sense, but Curry's reading bubbles along spiffily. Suitable light listening for any collection.Michael Barrett, San Antonio P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
A sinister plot to corner the truffles market provides the backdrop for another delightful trek through the French countryside in this third novel from the ever-popular Mayle (Hotel Pastis, 1993; A Dog's Life, 1995, not reviewed).

An easygoing expatriate Brit with a career in film production behind him, Luciano Bennett couldn't be happier with his new, ambition-free life as a house-sitter in the tiny French village of Saint-Martin. Dreading a return to London once his meager savings run out, Bennett places an ad in the International Herald Tribune tendering his services. The ad is answered by the mysterious, extremely wealthy Julian Poe, who offers Bennett a luxurious, all- expenses-paid life in his Monaco bachelor pad in exchange for performing an occasional errand. Hardly believing his luck, Bennett throws himself wholeheartedly into a rich man's life—driving Poe's Mercedes around town and dining at the best restaurants on Poe's tab. What Bennett doesn't realize is that Poe plans to use him as the drop man for a secret formula for artificially cultivating truffles—a formula that will enable Poe to wrest control of the lucrative truffles market from the French. When Sicilian gangsters intercept the delivery of the formula, the enraged Poe threatens to kill Bennett if he doesn't recover it. A Keystone Kopsstyle chase across France ensues, involving half a dozen international gangsters, the French police, and a very unusual order of monks. Fortunately, Poe has arranged for lovely Anna Hersh, a former Israeli Army sergeant, to act as Bennett's accomplice, thus enabling Bennett to enjoy a number of deliciously romantic repasts in cafes throughout southern France before his final triumph over the bad guys. It is this gustatory travelogue, rather than the unabashedly silly caper, that will keep Mayles's loyal readers satisfied.

Stylish and amusing as ever.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679762683
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 303
  • Sales rank: 400,053
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Mayle
Peter Mayle spent fifteen years in the advertising business, first as a copywriter and then as a reluctant executive, before escaping Madison Avenue in 1975 to write educational books for children.  In 1990, Mr. Mayle published A Year in Provence, which became an international bestseller.  He is also the author of Toujours Provence, Hotel Pastis, A Dog's Life, Encore Provence and Chasing Cezanne.  In addition to writing books which have been translated into more than twenty languages, Mayle has contributed to the Sunday Times, Financial Times, Independent, GQ and Esquire.  He and his wife and two dogs live in the South of France.
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Read an Excerpt

The young wild boar, basted until it shone, had been spit-roasted in the kitchen fireplace and was now lying on a wooden platter in the center of the table, a large baked potato in its mouth. Father Gilbert carved, and served chunks of the dark, gamy flesh onto plates of battered pewter, the sleeves of his habit rolled up above his elbows, his face glowing in the candlelight. Glasses were filled, and the fat, round loaves of country bread were sliced thick. The only indications of the twentieth century were the two visitors, in their modern clothes. Everything else, everyone else, could have come from the Middle Ages.

The conversation was mostly of country matters -- the prospects for this year's vintage, the vagaries of the weather, the threat of mildew on the vines, the productivity of the monastery vegetable garden. There were no arguments, no raised voices to disturb the air of contentment that hung over the table. Anna was intrigued. Where had they come from, these men who seemed happy to live in a medieval time warp?

"We are all fugitives from the world of business," said Father Gilbert. "I myself used to work for the Banque Nationale de Paris. Others have come from Elf Aquitaine, IBM, the Bourse, Aerospatiale. We hated corporate life. We loved wine. Fifteen years ago, we pooled our resources and bought the monastery, which had been empty since before the war, and we became monks." He winked at Anna. "Rather informal monks, as you can see."

She was looking puzzled. "Can I ask you a question? Didn't any of you have wives?"

Father Gilbert leaned back in his chair and considered the shadows cast by the candlelight on the vaulted ceiling. "That was another bond we discovered," he said. "The delights of female companionship are not for us. Remind me -- how is that described in your country?"

"Gay?" said Anna.

"Ah, yes. A most inappropriate use of a charming word." He shook his head. "Gay. How ridiculous. I suppose, then, that one could say we are living in a state of perpetual gaiety. That will be a considerable comfort to us all, I'm sure." He laughed and raised his glass to Anna. "Here's to gay days, and many of them."The young wild boar, basted until it shone, had been spit-roasted in the kitchen fireplace and was now lying on a wooden platter in the center of the table, a large baked potato in its mouth. Father Gilbert carved, and served chunks of the dark, gamy flesh onto plates of battered pewter, the sleeves of his habit rolled up above his elbows, his face glowing in the candlelight. Glasses were filled, and the fat, round loaves of country bread were sliced thick. The only indications of the twentieth century were the two visitors, in their modern clothes. Everything else, everyone else, could have come from the Middle Ages.

The conversation was mostly of country matters -- the prospects for this year's vintage, the vagaries of the weather, the threat of mildew on the vines, the productivity of the monastery vegetable garden. There were no arguments, no raised voices to disturb the air of contentment that hung over the table. Anna was intrigued. Where had they come from, these men who seemed happy to live in a medieval time warp?

"We are all fugitives from the world of business," said Father Gilbert. "I myself used to work for the Banque Nationale de Paris. Others have come from Elf Aquitaine, IBM, the Bourse, Aerospatiale. We hated corporate life. We loved wine. Fifteen years ago, we pooled our resources and bought the monastery, which had been empty since before the war, and we became monks." He winked at Anna. "Rather informal monks, as you can see."

She was looking puzzled. "Can I ask you a question? Didn't any of you have wives?"

Father Gilbert leaned back in his chair and considered the shadows cast by the candlelight on the vaulted ceiling. "That was another bond we discovered," he said. "The delights of female companionship are not for us. Remind me -- how is that described in your country?"

"Gay?" said Anna.

"Ah, yes. A most inappropriate use of a charming word." He shook his head. "Gay. How ridiculous. I suppose, then, that one could say we are living in a state of perpetual gaiety. That will be a considerable comfort to us all, I'm sure." He laughed and raised his glass to Anna. "Here's to gay days, and many of them."

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2000

    Fabulous to hear in the Car

    I listen to audio books during long trips, and this is my favorite of all time. Tim Curry is absolutely fabulous to listen to, and the book is entertaining, suspensful, revealing, and engaging. It kept me awake and on the edge of the car seat for the entire story, and I now know a lot about truffles that I never knew before. I highly recommend this audio tape. The only shortcoming is that it's not longer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    As with everything written by Peter Mayle, this is a very entertaining, easy read that you won't be able to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 31, 2012

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    Posted December 30, 2013

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    Posted October 29, 2013

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