From Here, You Can't See Paris by Michael S. Sanders

From Here, You Can't See Paris

From Here,You Can't See Paris is a sweet, leisurely exploration of the life of Les Arques (population 159), a hilltop village in a remote corner of France, untouched by the modern era. It is a story of a dying village's struggle to survive, of a dead artist whose legacy began its rebirth, and of chef Jacques Ratier and his wife, Noëlle, whose bustling restaurant—the village's sole business—has helped ensure its future. The author set out to ...

Details From Here, You Can't See Paris

TitleFrom Here, You Can't See Paris
Release DateSep 30th, 2003
PublisherHarper Perennial
GenreTravel, Cultural, France, Nonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Autobiography, Memoir, Food Writing, Culinary, Cooking, Foodie

Reviews From Here, You Can't See Paris

  • Laura
    This book was so respectful of life in the village where the author lived for year. Having read almost all of Peter Mayle's books, I found this to be a step above. I felt like I understood the life of the village from the inside after reading this book. It wasn't all poking fun at French idiosyncrasies. It certainly made me laugh occasionally but it didn't put the French down but it wasn't an over glorification of French country life either. The ...
  • Megan
    I was wandering by a display in my local library and picked out this book. I have only been to France once - to Paris for 4 days. I admit I have romantic imaginings about the French countryside dancing in my head. So, I thought I'd indulge those fantasies by reading this book. It is non-fiction and written by an author from the US who moves to a very small, rural village in the French countryside with his family for a year. He decides to profile ...
  • William
    I read every book whose them is "observations of an American transplanted in France." And most are pretty predictable: American discovers just how ultimately satisfying it can be to learn to enjoy life like the French. This is much the same, but done very well. Author, wife, and young child spend a year in tiny Les Arques, a small farming community with a popular (seasonal) restaurant. The author is engaging and enlightening, and he adds a lot to...
  • Suzanne
    Great book about a family's year in a very small town in southwest France and the town's restaurant. It takes you on a tour of the markets and farms where French food is grown and raised (vegetarians beware the chapter on foie gras), and really gives a sense of what a traditional small Fench village is like. Very enjoyable.
  • Erin
    This book tells the story of an American writer who moves to a tiny village in southwest France with his family to write about the changing nature of the French countryside. He spends most of his time in La Recreation, the one restaurant in Les Arles, profiling the owners and their cuisine. Sanders makes excellent observations about French culture, people and food. The book is very atmospheric and highly enjoyable. If you like this book, check ou...
  • Liz
    Sooo, I enjoyed this, mostly because Michael Sanders writes about food. I have to admit though that I think he is a bit wordy. There were plenty of times throughout the course of this book where I felt he could have written the exact same thing in half the space. Still enjoyable, except for the descriptions of foie gras, which, really, I don't need to know about, nor do I need to ever try it.
  • A
    Pretty boring, especially compared to all the really great similar stuff out there.
  • Joje
    Half way through as of today. A gift from Nancy last year. A good tale of a village with the details that inform. Even if so much is familiar and recognizable to one who lives partly in French villages, there are other sections that are newly informative, especially about the agricultural past in the Lot and of course the story of a successful restaurant. Perhaps a good parallel would be the book about a library and its cat in the midwest that so...
  • John Nebauer
    This is a very well written homage to French village life. Sanders initially arrives to write about 'La Recreation', the new restaurant that has helped breathe life into the new village. Inevitably, Sanders' portrait becomes one of the whole village. While the characters are interesting in their own right, what is fascinating is the light they shine on Les Arque specifically, and rural France more generally. While this is a delightful tribute to ...
  • Sharon
    Michael S. Sander's memoir of his year spent in a tiny French village was absolutely charming. Though Sanders started out to write about life in a French restaurant, the book is actually about the villagers themselves.Centered around the city's main business, a restaurant in an old schoolhouse (Le Recreation, or "recess"), the book takes us through a year in the life of Les Arques. The elderly mayor, the family who makes its living keeping ducks ...
  • Abi
    Mostly I enjoyed this because I've been to the restaurant that it's about, having spent some time in the area, and I can confirm it is the best restaurant I've ever been to. People should go to the Lot Valley just for La Recreation, seriously. I'm not sure how interesting this would be to someone who didn't know Les Arques, but then I only know it a very little bit and I thought it was a fascinating glimpse into a dying rural France. Especially s...
  • Donna
    Living in the Gers Gascony region i was able to compare Gers with Lot and found that the people in my area are very simular.The villages are slowly dieing out and to be a farmer you need alot of land and fingers in many pies.He tells in detail about truffles which i found fasinating and was surprised they do foie gras over there as foie gras is a main contributer to the farmers income over here as well.An all round good book and i wish he done mo...
  • Robert Blade
    Sanders and his family spend a year in a small village in southwestern France, focusing on the restaurant there, La Récré, and its husband and wife owners. Fascinating details on the people and seasonal rhythms of the village. The big downside is the writing/editing. Along with some genuinely well-written scenes (I especially enjoyed the description of his young daughter becoming more French than American), Sanders repeats himself, writes sente...
  • Stacy
    Michael Sanders and his wife moved to a very, very small village in France so he could write a book about a restaurant and the people who ran it. Fun to read about the great food and ways to prepare it. But a glimpse into the lives of the rural French was the best part for me. Now, I'm going to see if I can get Steve to find some kind of high paying job somewhere in Tuscany or Provence. Then you can all visit me whenever you want. Or... one of yo...
  • Virginia
    This only whets my desire to live in Europe.A lovely book, very calming. A bit slow to start, but once I got into the rhythm of Sanders' writing, it sped up.He wrote a really nice snapshot of this French village. And, as a foodie, I really enjoyed the loving descriptions of the various dishes and foodstuffs.I need to get my hands on a good black truffle, damnit. That's definitely going on my list of things to do before I die.
  • Vonnie
    Don't read this book unless you have some food in front of you. It was a great biography of the year that an American family spent living in a small hilltop french village. They were there to observe the phenomenon of great chefs working in small restaurants in out of the way places.Just reading the chapters about the choreography required to prepare a meal was fascinating.The characters are real and interesting and makes you definitely want to g...
  • Mike
    I loved reading this book. It is set in a village quite close to where our place in France is. Having read it I was really keen to visit, so managed a wonderful trip for my birthday in 2009. I got to eat the infamous lobster ravioli. The food and ambiance were fantastic. Since then, the chef and his wife have moved on to another place, but the restaurant is still there and still at the heart of the village.. If you want an insight into life in ru...
  • Kristin Dow
    Since I've read other French lifestyle books, little was new to me in the topics the author addressed. He doesn't have near the wit and humor Peter Mayle does who has set the bar high in this category. Little dry and boring in parts with some editorial mistakes. Overall, an okay read, esp. if you're a sucker for France.
  • Lori
    I very much enjoyed this true story of the author moving his wife and young child to a tiny village in the southwest of France. His observations get very detailed and I especially enjoyed his observations about his daughter and her adaptation of French ways. The food list from her school was fascinating! Like A Year in Provence without the humor.
  • Marti Graham
    incredible prose. Michael Sanders knows how to write and if you want to immerse yourself and feel like you are really there , - take this book - take it slow - and wrap yourself up into this story of people, small places, unknown places, how things work and especially in the kitchen!! If you love kitchens, and especially FOOD, you'll love this book.
  • Emma
    Nog zo een boek --- de rijke Britse vlucht naar het Franse platteland, vol cursief gedrukte Franse woordjes, om te laten zien dat ze het al kunnen, veel groente, ganzen en truffels en natuurlijk het restaurant op het kleine dorpje in de titel. Veel rescepten voor liefhebbers.
  • Nancy
    A well-written account of what it's like to live in a small, rural farming community in southwest France, with a particular focus on its one restaurant. Reading this book immerses you into that life, but there's no compelling reason to keep turning the page.
  • Melanie
    Interesting to learn more about restaurant life in France but think I was too vegetarian to appreciate a lot of the food mentioned!What a wonderful village this sounds like though and very traditional in its way of life.
  • Rebecca
    Not the usual romanticized version of life abroad since the author put in 12 months to research from within. A great time capsule of a quiet corner of France and how a village can survive without becoming Disneyfied.
  • Gina
    Good read for learning a little about life as a foreigner in the French countryside and "behind the scenes" restaurant work. Warning--this book will make your mouth water with all the talk about delicious food!!!
  • Rachel Jacobs
    Well I wanted this book to be good...but it just wasn't.I was hoping for more of a story about a family living in a small town in France and their life there. Instead it was a lot about the restaurants but not interesting stuff.
  • Adrienne
    I loved this book of a restaurant in a village in the Dordogne. Michael Sanders lived in the village for about a year while he was writing about the restaurant, the people who eat there, the dinners, the kitchen, and the people of the village.
  • Joe
    Although it was a pleasurable read, the last chapter "how to eat well" Sanders came off like a snob. I think it may have ruined my reading experience.
  • Michaelbatte
    Loved this book - made you feel as if you were living in this small French village with him - made me yearn for French cooking and to visit this area