Thursday, March 18, 2010

You've Got Mayle

NEW: "The Vintage Caper" by Peter Mayle Alfred A. Knopf 223 pages $24.95

Mayle, justifiably famous for his books on Provence, has attempted to capitalize on his non-fiction fame by writing fiction. This book's plot involves the theft of priceless vintages from an L.A. wine cellar, food and drink in Paris and Marseilles and a "cute" plot.

I was reading along, trying to remember of what writer's style he reminded me and P.G. Wodehouse came to mind. Clever dialogue, no sex and A Problem. No one ever seems to worry about money in Mayle's fiction unless the hero, for plot reasons, must begin his story broke. An okay read, but I'm glad I got it out of the library. I'm such a Mayle sucker I might have (in a very weak - nay, delirious - moment) bought it.

"Acquired Tastes" by Peter Mayle Bantam Books 229 pages $11.95

Being very wealthy has a lot of ins and outs and a wise person studies them before or during making a vast fortune. Mayle gives us a snob's tour of "Things One Must Have - "bespoke" (merely means custom-made) shirts, suits, shoes; caviar in all of its grades, private jet etiquette, vintage wines, second homes.

It's best read as a bathroom book -- it has short chapters and the theme begins to cloy after a time. I got it at a library book sale for $1. Poor Mayle, he'd go broke if I were his only customer...

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