I buy books. And sometimes I read them. This blog is for the times when I do more than just store shelf candy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Flipped the Pages of Peter Mayle's Chasing Cezanne

My copy: trade paperback
ISBN 067978120X
Purchase date unknown
Purchased from: Goodwill Bookstore
Read: May 10, 2010

Peter Mayle was on my list – my list of Favorite Authors I’ve Never Read (FAINR), authors I buy whenever I get the chance. Shelf candy, perhaps, sharing space with other FAIRN authors, Theroux, Pynchon, and Vonnegut. But I knew I wanted to read him because I’m a frustrated travel writer. But you know how it is with TBRs – too many books, too little time, and too much Facebook.

FFP's May’s themed book discussion on Art in Fiction was the kick I needed to finally read a Mayle. Chasing Cezanne fitted the theme perfectly.

This book had all the promise – a scrumptious recipe of travel, food, art, wit, and suspense – the stuff Mayle is known for. The promise was delivered. The book presents a little bit of all. Sadly, it was just that – a little bit or each element.

A little bit of travel – main protagonist, New York based photographer Andre takes the dotted line to the Riviera and Cap Ferrat and the Bahamas and Paris, and other European destinations on my TBV, To Be Visited, list.

A little bit of food and wine – Andre snacks on “a wonderfully dense rosy saucisson” and “pommes allumettes that snapped in the mouth in the most delicious and satisfying way.”

A little bit of art – well, it’s about a Cezanne.

Just a teeny, very teeny weeny bit of suspense; more is revealed than kept as mystery.

A little bit of all those, but but not enough of any of those to satisfy. I imagined it to be a light comedy flick starring Steve Martin with a fake tan and a funny moustache.

Mayle will not move from my FAINR list to to my Favorite Authors list; not just yet. Though I still think he is worth another read as a non-fic, purely travel, food, and wine author. As a novelist, he is just like what my book nerd friends call sorbet, something to cleanse the literary palate.

And so, this too was not enough to satisfy my Art in Fiction lust. So I moved on to this.


  1. Mayle writes better non-fiction than fiction :D

  2. Yes, Blooey, I suspected as much. Will definitely read his non-fic books. How I wish a trip to Provence is coming soon so I can be more inspired.



Related Posts with Thumbnails