“Great writing is like a great wine. It finds those deserving of it.” – page 94
My favorite line from this book is also its last, for it holds the whole truth of the work.
Mr. Alaux and Mr. Balen’s style of writing remind me of Charles Dickens in his work “David Copperfield”. Layers upon layers upon LAYERS in the scope of description. This book is total immersion at its best – all the senses are stimulated, even through just the written word. The depth of understanding, and the care the authors put into taking their reader deep into their passion for wine, writing, and French life was a gem to behold. You can tell these gentleman wrote a story for themselves, that they would enjoy, and therefore, it became something everyone else would as well, because so much enthusiasm went into it.
Le French Book and Anne Trager did an amazing job in the translation, and the e-book version had the same integrity as the print, which was refreshing. I love their company’s motto: “If we love it, we translate it.” The written word is safe with champions such as these!
The story-telling style caught me off-guard at first. I found it unusual to have scenes of rushing building action, and then the next chapter would be two of the characters enjoying a drink over dinner and discussing the resolution of the previous conflict. Then I took a step back and realized what truly made this such a prize to read – the full truth of “culture”. I am getting to read a French book, written by French authors, who originally wrote for a French audience. I get to step off my current island of what I know and am familiar with, and delve deeper into the seas of the written word. That was worth the read in and of itself, and then you have this great tale on top of it!
Only 100 pages long, but that number is deceptive. At 40 pages in, we are still traipsing across the hills with Benjamin and his dog Bacchus, learning where we are, and who we are walking with. And yet, 60 pages later we have come to the resolution of the mystery in perfect form, with no detail left out, and many more added along the way. I am totally hooked. I can’t wait to read the next 19 translations – as they come – and recommend this to all my fellow readers who want a chance to truly see the world through someone else’s pen.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley