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Blackberry Wine Hardcover – Large Print, May 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 478 pages
  • Publisher: G. K. Hall & Company; Lrg edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0783894538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0783894539
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,871,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blackberry Wine was one of the biggest disappointments I have read recently. The plot is confusing as it moves clumsily back and forth continuously from 1977 to 1999 every other chapter. Many times I felt like just jumping ahead and skipping the 1977 chapters.
The characters are one dimensional and exceedingly ordinary.
This was a toss in the garbage book for me. The only thing going for it was the title and even that was an extended contrived metaphor. Don't waste your hard earned money on this "penny dreadful".
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really loved the unfolding of the characters and the essence of each individual's contribution to the plot. It was so well orchestrated and finely tuned throughout. I fell in love with Joe and could have spent days in his beloved care. Thank you to one of my favourite authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Cumby on May 23 2002
Format: Paperback
It has been over two months since I read this book and I think of it alot. It has such vivid passages that I feel as though if I stumbled upon Joe's house in the real world I would recognize it in an instant. I loved the scattered attachments to Chocolat. Joanne Harris is definitely an author that I will remember and keep reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read this novel twice, and the second time was even better than the first for the nuances that a rereading revealed. While the novel's conclusion is certainly not unexpected, and its theme of following one's dreams is commonplace,the evolving relationship between the main character, Jay, and the older man who befriends him, is a delight. Much of the novel focuses on the conflict between what Jay wants to believe about Joe and his "everyday magic" and what he finally thinks he knows. In the end, Jay's anger and disillusionment give way to a new understanding of Joe and himself; and this is achieved in a manner that I found most surprising, since, like Jay, I thought that I had Joe all figured out.

While I admit that, at times, the repeated movement between past and present meant that I felt torn out of one interesting narrative and thrust abruptly into another, I cannot think how Harris could have told this story differently, of the persistent past that continues to haunt the grown man, without leaving one or the other undeveloped.

Finally, the novel took me to a very different world and made it plausible and real. Now that's magical.
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By A Customer on June 3 2002
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book because I enjoyed Chocolat so much. At first the book was hard to get into, each chapter jumps from present day to 20 years into the past and than back again. The main character was hard for me to like at first. But after the first few chapters that drag, the main character moves from London to a small village in France and the story takes off from there. It was very enjoyable good-good story and like most stories, ended all too soon.
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By Andy Gregory on May 28 2002
Format: Paperback
The work of genius has been said to be 'that which can enchant a child yet move the most worldly of men to tears.' I probably don't need to say more than that to recommend this book.It is such a gem.I'm usually very picky about what I read and virtually NEVER finish reading most fictional works as they fail to engage my interest. This book had me enthralled from the moment I read the first page; I read it all in one morning and then more thoughtfully over the next couple of days. I have just finished reading it a third time.What is so enthralling about it you may ask.The book is written from the viewpoint of a vintage bottle of wine that just happens to be the same age as the main character, Jay. (Yes I'm sure you can now guess what happens right at the end.) The intense emotional saga of Jay throughout the book is neatly counterpointed by the 'character' of the bottle of wine (memories of long-remembered past summers, suppressed, changed and matured by years of 'confinement'.)The relationship between Jay and 'Jackapple Joe' will strike a chord with anyone who remembers a special childhood relationship with an old person - in particular the way the child takes everything for granted and regrets this years later when it is too late to remedy.In the book Jay is given a magical second chance with Joe (I won't spoil things for potential readers by saying how, or whether he is successful.) There are various other subtle and clever themes woven into this tale, which on a first reading appear perhaps disconnected from the more central ones. I appreciated the unity of the entire book by reading it again.Any review of an excellent work obviously does not do either the work itself or the author justice. I apologise for this. You will miss out if you do not taste 'Blackberry Wine'.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read Chocolat, I realized Harris is a kindred spirit...the sci-fi, the food, the memories, the spirituality. So I picked up Blackberry Wine in a blythe mood, and read it in less than two days. I really didn't want it to end: Jay, the hero, had a tumultuous coming of age in mystical setting with an old crank Joe as the teacher-wizard, with his incantations, his fantastical seeds, his potions (wines). The story flashes back and forth between these idyllic summers and Jay's deflated present of 1999, as a burned out writer who throve on the memory of those same summers. He cracks open Joe's old '75 wines and Joe is brought back, verily a genie from a bottle, as Jay's muse, and an adventure living in the village of Lansquenet ensues. The story stirred me on many levels, particularly the gilded, bittersweet summers as a young teen, that we all wish we could bottle and save like the Specials, to re-open and re-immerse ourselves in again. A great read.
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