Monday, April 18, 2011


If you're sick of seeing this book jacket under the "What I'm Reading" heading on the right hand side of the page, you don't know the half of it.  Trust me, no one is more sick of the sight than me.  It took me a year and a half to read this damn book, all 650 plus pages of it, not because it was so difficult but because I kept getting distracted by other books, books that didn't require me to periodically sit down with a dictionary to look up lots of stray adjectives.  But I was determined to finish mostly because I couldn't face the French friend who gave it to me if I didn't give it my best.

In case you were wondering, On N'a Pas Toujours du Caviar is a thriller set during World War II and into the 1950s. The principal character is a suave, impeccably dressed German banker Thomas Lieven who has a talent for languages and cooking.  He gets called into action as a secret agent, then a double agent, and triple agent, all the while scheming to figure out how he can just be left alone in peace.  Lieven moves at all levels of society and his adventures bring him into contact with all sorts of people including Josephine Baker and Jacques Cousteau.  And while a lot of the action takes place in Paris, Lieven's assignments take him to Marseille, Lisbon, Germany and beyond.

Would I recommend it?  Probably not.   Will I re-read it?  Absolutely not.  Do I regret the time spent?  Not a bit.


Mary Kay said...

From your description, it sounds like "On n'a pas toujours du caviar" would make a good movie. I don't see myself struggling through 650 pages of French...I'm having a hard enough time staying focused on books that are written in English. There are just too many distractions in Paris.

Elizabeth said...

Out of curiosity I looked up his bio. Interesting guy! Psssst book written in english too . ;-)

Sweet Freak said...

It sounds like a great plot! I'd read it... in English. :)

Starman said...

650 pages....I'll wait for the movie.

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