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Without rehashing the plot, it's an exposition of how an young American couple becomes involved with an extended French family (and other guests) at the chateau, with those relationships largely carried over to their subsequent time in Paris. Loose ends are dealt with via an epilogue format I found ... odd, but it worked, for the most part. The characters are all well differentiated, none of them stock. Overall, a good snapshot of a place and time.
Karl Miller does a great job as narrator, especially with the principal voice of Harold, who could've come off as dopey, or priggish, at times with the wrong reader.
I found this one a great use of a credit.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Has The Chateau turned you off from other books in this genre?
What didn’t you like about Karl Miller’s performance?
Odd hesitations in all the dialog, mispronounced French words
Any additional comments?
I enjoyed listening to this -- it was soothing and managed to hold my interest somehow even though almost nothing actually happens. It is about a young American couple moving around France as tourists during the years right after World War II, wondering about the oddities of the characters they meet and cultural differences that often baffle them. If you love France and/or William Maxwell, all this will be of interest, but be warned that the story amasses small mysteries which, just as in life, are only explained by conjecture. Because I love this author and his other books, I was willing to accept this but could certainly sympathize with any reader who finds it frustrating. This is not Maxwell's best book by a long shot (try TIME WILL DARKEN IT or THE FOLDED LEAF), but his wonderful voice is fully present. I was less pleased with the reading performance. To my ear, the French accents sounded labored, and I know that many of the words were mispronounced. It should have been possible to find a bilingual reader for this work!
A gem of a novel from a superb writer and beautifully read - love the French accent.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Having read a couple of his honest, personal and intriguing stories, I kept reading, waiting for the story to develop but it never did. Dull chronicle of a young couple's holiday in post war France