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PROVENCE by Peter Mayle


by Peter Mayle

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-679-43564-6
Publisher: Random House

 Poor Provence. Like some geographical cousin to the Golden Goose, it is sentenced to an eternity of laying golden eggs for Mayle (Up the Agency, 1993, etc.). In this extravagant book, Mayle teams up with Jason Hawkes, whose aerial photographs of vineyards, asymmetrically laid out French villes, marinas, freight yards, mountains, churches, and jet skis will put American readers where they like to be--above the French. Mayle's economical text is an arch accompaniment: ``One of the features of rural France is the manner in which the farmer shows his disapproval of the way the world is going...there is always something to upset him, and he often takes his revenge in messy and spectacular fashion. He dumps. He dumps melons on the steps of the Mairie, he dumps potatoes on the autoroute, he dumps cherries in the village fountain or, as he has done here, he dumps tomatoes on the banks of the Durance.'' The photo that accompanies this tribute to Gallic gall is quite spectacular, for, by a trick of perspective, the tomatoes, in varying stages of ripeness and color, look like a carnival of fungus climbing a rock.