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Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil: Essays on Marseilles, The Mediterranean, and Noir Fiction Paperback – May 7 2013

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The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts

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“What makes Izzo’s work haunting is his extraordinary ability to convey the tastes and smells of Marseilles.” —The New Yorker

“Our last true romantic, Jean-Claude Izzo transmits warmth to his readers, as if granting them a mouthful of pure love.” —Le Point (France)

“Just as Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy made Los Angeles their very own, so Mr. Izzo has made Marseilles so much more than just another geographical setting.” —The Economist

About the Author

Jean-Claude Izzo was born in Marseilles, France, in 1945. He achieved astounding success with his Marseilles Trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourmo, Solea). In addition to the books in this trilogy, his two novels (The Lost Saliors, and A Sun for the Dying) and one collection of short stories (Vivre fatigue) also enjoy great success with both critics and the public. Izzo died in 2000 at the age of fifty-five.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Nov. 11 2013
By Howard S. Stein - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am really surprised to find I am the first reviewer. This is a terrific book. I bought it because Izzo is a wonderful writer; his trilogy is a great story and his other works are also very worthwhile. Note however, that his books all show great affection for Marseilles and the Mediteranian coast. This book is an homage to that same area, and it resonates, also, in its recognition that the south coast of Europe and the north coast of Africa are closely related. After I -- a noir mystery and police procedural reader -- gave the book with a recommendation to my 28 year old son -- a world traveler and broad topic and style reader -- he was unusually enthusiastic about it. I whole heartedly recommend this book, but I don't fit it into any one category of interest.
A slim volume of not-so-interesting essays on Marseilles May 5 2015
By Lola Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is more a series of short essays written with nostalgia for his hometown of Marseilles. I did not find them particularly moving or interesting. The author (deceased in 2000) was distressed about the situation in Marseilles (political and cultural) and with good reason; he would be even more distressed if he saw it today. Many people keep pressuring the French to be "reasonable" and "tolerant" but how about the other groups? Do the same expectations and rules apply to them? I might read his other "Mediterranean Noir" books but so far I'm not that inspired by him.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Smell and Taste in the second largest city of France Sept. 8 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Takes you to Marseilles and gives you the smell taste feel and history of the place. It's like taking a vacation without leaving the house, and also brings you right into a time when cafe culture formed neighborhood solidarity among many different cultures.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Noir Background April 17 2015
By filho da noite - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you're interested in the background of landscapes and histories that inform Izzo's Mediterranean noir classics, this book of essays is a fine addition to your library.