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  • Anything Considered
  • Written by Peter Mayle
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780679762683
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  • Anything Considered
  • Written by Peter Mayle
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307791931
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Anything Considered

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A Novel

Written by Peter MayleAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Peter Mayle

eBook

List Price: $11.99

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On Sale: July 03, 2013
Pages: 320 | ISBN: 978-0-307-79193-1
Published by : Vintage Knopf
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fiction (64) france (29) provence (8) novel (7) mystery (6) humor (6) travel (5)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Bennett is an English expatriate living in France with a champagne taste and a beer bankroll. Happy-go-lucky and a bit roguish, he places an ad in the International Herald Tribune offering his services -- any services. He pursues a response from a wealthy Englishman named Julian Poe who has developed a means of producing truffles and is close to cornering the immensely lucrative truffle market. Bennett signs on and finds himself in Monaco, where he is able to live in a style to which he has always wished to become accustomed (including eating to his heart's content -- a Mayle trademark!). Soon the Sicilian and Corsican Mafiosi intrude and Bennett is joined by the beautiful and experienced (in all ways) Anna. Ham-fisted goons, gendarmes working at cross purposes, French village busybodies, and an order of monks dedicated to the god Bacchus all play a role in the surprising, and more than a little satisfying, denouement.

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."
Peter Mayle

About Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle - Anything Considered

Photo © Betina La Plante

Peter Mayle is the author of thirteen previous books, seven of them novels. A recipient of the Légion d’Honneur from the French government for his cultural contributions, he has been living in Provence with his wife, Jennie, for twenty years.

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