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Chocolat [Paperback]

Joanne Harris
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book by Harris, Joanne

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We came on the wind of the carnival. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!! May 18 2004
Format:Paperback
I watched the movie "Chocolat" a year or so ago and found myself amazed at the sensuality of this little story. So I decided to read the book although I felt I knew the story.
Joanne Harris is a brilliant story teller with such admiration for the senses that she pulls her readers into a land of sensory overload where you want to reside forever. The book is different than the movie (isn't this always the case?) but just as entertaining. The delicate prose and romantic verse keep you interested until the very end and then for days and days afterwards. I dare you to read this tale and not find yourself sipping wine and cocoa while being tempted by all the chocolate. France will be calling your name!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolat! May 13 2004
Format:Paperback
Chocolat by Joanne Harris was an exceptionally well written novel and now one of my favorites. I particularly enjoyed the journal format of the book between the two protagonists, Vianna and Reynaud. The book has a fairytale like sensation centered around the magical touch of Vianne. Her mystique of people's sense and chocolate is mesmerizing. The contrasts of masculine and femininie support the novel well, as well as the struggle between Vianne and the church. The ending caught me by surprise and it sure is the unexpected. Chocolat is a heart warming and enjoyable story. The only downfall: the intense chocolate cravings the whole time you read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sugared Magic Realism July 12 2004
Format:Paperback
In this lusciously mystical novel, Vianne Rocher and her young daughter Anouk arrive in a small French village on Mardi Gras. Vianne, the daughter of a gypsy and a wanderer herself, sets up her chocolate shop during the most austere of Christian seasons, Lent, thus infuriating the local priest who knows his parishioners will struggle with their Lenten vows. Vianne turns out to be a not-so-ordinary shopkeeper, and Reynaud the priest is not the holy man he pretends. As Vianne befriends the down-trodden, including a band of gypsies, her force in the village becomes as powerful as Reynaud feared.
With its tantalizing descriptions, this book will have readers dreaming of the finest chocolates and confections. The language can be at times self-conscious and overblown, but the overall effect is mesmerizing, thanks to Harris's visual style and attention to detail. The biggest flaw of this otherwise skilled first novel is the unsatisfying ending and the one-dimensional way Vianne connects emotionally with the gypsies. These forced elements can be forgiven, however, given the moving lyricism of the rest.
CHOCOLAT is a beautiful but flawed work that offers much more than the average novel. If you haven't already read this and are a fan of magic realism, you should pick it up. You won't be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars chocolat review May 13 2004
By Julie
Format:Paperback
Chocolat by Joanne Harris can be depicted as an inspirational novel. Vianne Rocher, the main character, is a unique woman who will not conform to the ways of society. This is an amazing story that relates to happiness, sorrow and romance. Harris reflects Vianne as a woman worthy of praise. Vianne easily disregards the opinions of society. She is deeply rooted in her own morals and beliefs. The author captures the spirit of the characters as well as fulfilling the beauty and magic of the town. She also provides vivid descriptions and images of the townspeople and their reactions to Vianne and her daughter Anouk. However nothing compares to the images the author provides when Vianne is brewing up her famous chocolate recipes. My favorite scene was the arrival Roux. I knew something special was going to happen between him and Vianne. Joanne Harris is more than capable of grabbing the reader's attention, in fact she is able to leave their emotions rising and falling with every turn of the page.
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4.0 out of 5 stars chocolat review May 13 2004
By Julie
Format:Paperback
Chocolat by Joanne Harris can be depicted as an inspirational novel. Vianne Rocher, the main character, is a unique woman who will not conform to the ways of society. This is an amazing story that relates to happiness, sorrow and romance. Harris reflects Vianne as a woman worthy of praise. Vianne easily disregards the opinions of society. She is deeply rooted in her own morals and beliefs. The author captures the spirit of the characters as well as fulfilling the beauty and magic of the town. She also provides vivid descriptions and images of the townspeople and their reactions to Vianne and her daughter Anouk. However nothing compares to the images the author provides when Vianne is brewing up her famous chocolate recipes. My favorite scene was the arrival Roux. I knew something special was going to happen between him and Vianne. Joanne Harris is more than capable of grabbing the reader's attention, in fact she is able to leave their emotions rising and falling with every turn of the page.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites! May 11 2004
Format:Paperback
I must admit I saw the movie before I read the book, but liked the book much more. Joanne Harris knew the romance between Vianne and Roux (respectively played by Juliette Binoche and Johnie Depp in the movie) was not an important factor in this story, only Hollywood's little addy, and undoubtedly the reason for people saying the movie was better.
Harris writes in an entrancing manor which is not only evocative in her descriptions of Vianne's Aztec chocolate recipes, but it leaves an impression of the exotic, appealing, and surreal nature of Vianne Rocher's character. Vianne is the epitome of a wanderer with her little daughter Anouk, but in their wanderings they come across many people who's lives they touch. The persuit of belonging is a predominant theme as well as not being afraid to be different and possess some mystery (it's so much more interesting).
Description of chocolate has never been so vividly mouth-watering as in this book, and with its promotion of indulgence, makes one want to savor its taste long afterwords. No wonder even the priest is forced to live a little (what harm is there in that?)
The witchlike characteristics of Vianne and Anouk (as well as Armande Voizin) not only appall the enemy villagers who rebel against her Paganistic rituals, it makes the reader incredibly curious for more hints of supersticion, fortune-telling, or mind-reading eminent in Vianne. The north-wind's blowing, and allusions to the "black man" also add to this enchanting tale of two wanderers who defy the black man in hopes to find somewhere they can settle in.
A must-read, especially while on vacation, and be sure to bring chocolates with you!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
I was looking for a new book to read, and spotted this on my mother's shelf. Since I have wanted to see the movie based on this book for a long time, I decided to give it a go. Read more
Published on June 2 2012 by Erica
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new here !
Admittedly, this story wasn't just published, but it simply is the same old, old theme: church and priest = bad guys, persons preaching self-indulgence = good guys. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2008 by B. Legg
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicately Delicious
The novel Chocolat written by Joanne Harris does french history proud as it does a great job of portraying the original traditional values and cultures that post war France... Read more
Published on June 4 2007 by Sammy van Velzen
3.0 out of 5 stars Chocolat Review
I thought the book Chocolat was great and I enjoyed reading it. It was definitely a change of pace from all other books I have read in school which made it that much more... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Jenny Godwin
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book , okay movie
This was an enchanting tale of a mother daughter duo that was able to come into a quaint French town and transform many of the village people. Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Katrina
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
This is the perfect fantasy for anyone who's not afraid to be different. Instantly drawn to this story, I found myself getting further and further into the plot while relating... Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Carolina
4.0 out of 5 stars Chocolat is excellent!
Joanne Harris has written a beautiful novel that grabs the reader from the start. She uses imagery, great detail, and clever dialogue to portray the little French village of... Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by Emily
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