Friday, 30 June 2017

Instructions for Visitors.



Occasionally I get half way through a book, and wonder why on earth I'm reading it. I then think 'I've got so far, so I might as well try to get to the end'.

That was the case with this rather lacklustre book by Helen Stevenson about her village in The South of France. I really don't know why I bothered.

I learnt only one thing from this book. Apparently one never refers to 'Champagne Socialists' in France because Champagne is not regarded as elitist. Instead they are known as 'Caviar Socialists', because Caviar represents a love of luxury, incompatible with Socialist principles.

Here in France, the drinking of Champagne is almost viewed as patriotism (I certainly see it thus).

You learn something every day!




24 comments:

  1. I read books like this about Greece and it puts me off writing my own book. Just because you live in a place and know it well does not mean that you are a writer who can write an entertaining book which delights it's readers. Often these books are very badly written

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    1. She starts off writing very flamboyantly, then becomes more down to earth as it goes on. The content is uninteresting (other than to her), and one is left feeling empty.

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  2. I read this book years ago. Can't for the life of me remember what it was about but I do know I was disappointed. I think I was tempted by the title and cover.

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    1. I think in a few days time I will find it difficult to remember anything about it too; other, of course, than the Caviar Socialists.

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  3. She's a translator first and a novelist second.

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    1. I know nothing about her, I only read the book because it was about her life in France.

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  4. I'm terrible with books. I can get half way through and the abandon it if it's not interesting enough, Tom on the other hand will plough on regardless. We're all different.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I did consider abandoning it, but I thought I owed her the pleasure of finishing it. I'm not sure if I was right.

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  5. I am the opposite Cro When young I always finished a book, feeling it my duty ir I had started it. Now, if I don't get on with it I just abandon it.

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    1. I'm always waiting for something better on the next page.

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  6. I've read this book but i can't remember a thing, i think i have it here somewhere.

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    1. I didn't realise it was so well known.

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  7. I once worked at a theatre festival in Aurillac and when we went to the office they pointed to crates and crates of Champagne stacked up against the wall and told us to help ourselves. By the end, the locals were drinking it from the neck of the bottle.

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  8. Might truffle socialist be an option? Or is that a bit common too?

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  9. You only have yourself to blame, Cro.

    Unless it's a book on maintenance (say, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", Robert M Pirsig) I'd eschew any book with "instructions to ..." in the title - never mind read it. Instructions? Leave me alone. I can ruin my life any old way without being given instructions.

    U

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    1. I need no instructions, Maybe that's where I went wrong.

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  10. I don't think I've ever abandoned a book..... but I've read a few rubbish ones in my time !!! One blogger that I have followed from the beginning is Vicki Archer . She has written My French Life and French Essence. She was born in Australia but now splits her time between Provence and London. She is one of the few bloggers that I have met ..... we met at Buckingham Palace to see an exhibition and then had lunch. I like meeting bloggers but it's usually difficult as we all live so far apart !! XXXX

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    1. No, I very rarely abandon a book either. A few recent exceptions have mostly been technical books that were beyond my understanding.

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  11. The only time I read a boring book completely is when I am on a plane. There, I have no choice and the doors are locked.

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    1. And there are no dustbins to be seen!

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