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 Post subject: Chocolat Question #15 - Favorite Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:14 am 
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What were your favorite passages?



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:25 pm 
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I don't have my book with me at work today. :-/ (I sure wish that I did.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:29 pm 
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One of my favorite passages is this one:

Page 46 and starts with:

"Everything has a soul," I answer. "That's what my mother used to tell me. Everything.

and ends with this:

"It' all right to feel this way, "I tell him firmly. "its allowed."
Beneath us, Charly barks his indignation.

I like it most because I believe it.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:26 pm 
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I'm in the same boat QofK...I should get two copies, one for home and one for work... :banghead:

Raven, I remember that passage. It was very touching and showed what a sweet man Guillaume was and also the bit of rebel in him to not accept everything Reynaud said as fact.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:47 pm 
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I have my book, but for some reason I didn't mark anything this time. I did manage to find a couple of things I remember liking very much.

First is her description of Roux, p 117: His eyes are the hazy no-color of a city skyline in the rain.

And the other is Armande's lovely rant on p 142: Armande shot me an impish look. "That's right," she replied. "I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I'm going to be immoderate - and volatile - I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant," she declared with satifaction.

Harris's choice of words is just so perfect sometimes. The metaphor for Roux's eyes is just stunning in its beauty and complexity. . ."the no-color of a city skyline in the rain." And the words Armande uses - "immoderate", "volatile", "lurid", "rampant". Just perfect!



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:51 pm 
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Bix wrote:
I have my book, but for some reason I didn't mark anything this time. I did manage to find a couple of things I remember liking very much.

First is her description of Roux, p 117: His eyes are the hazy no-color of a city skyline in the rain.

And the other is Armande's lovely rant on p 142: Armande shot me an impish look. "That's right," she replied. "I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I'm going to be immoderate - and volatile - I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant," she declared with satifaction.

Harris's choice of words is just so perfect sometimes. The metaphor for Roux's eyes is just stunning in its beauty and complexity. . ."the no-color of a city skyline in the rain." And the words Armande uses - "immoderate", "volatile", "lurid", "rampant". Just perfect!


Agree Bix!! :cool:

Both are wonderful pictures!



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John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Bix, I agree with those passages. I love the way she describes things.

This passage from Pg. 222 is one of my favorites even though I dislike Reynaud. It is just so incredibly sensous. :-O


"Looking across the square at the chocolaterie, its bright window, the boxes of pine and red and orange geraniums at the balconies and at either side of the door, I feel the insidious creeping of doubt in my mind, and my mouth fills at the memory of its perfume, like cream and marshmallow and burnt sugar and the heady mingling of cognac and fresh-ground cocoa beans. It is the scent of a woman’s hair, just where the nape joins the skull’s tender hollow, the scent of ripe apricots in the sun, of warm brioche and cinnamon rolls, lemon tea and lily of the valley. It is an incense diffused on the wind and unfurling softly like a banner of revolt, this devil’s spoor, not sulfurous as we were taught as children but this lightest, most evocative of perfumes, combined essence of a thousand spices, making the head ring and the spirit soar. I find myself standing outside St. Jerome’s with my head lifted into the wind, straining to catch a trace of that perfume. It suffuses my dreams, and I awake sweating and famished. In my dreams I gorge on chocolates, I roll in chocolates, and their texture is not brittle but soft as flesh, like a thousand mouths on my body, devouring me in fluttering small bites. To die beneath their tender gluttony seems the culmination of every temptation I have ever known, and in such moments I can almost understand Armande Voizin, risking her life with every rapturous mouthful."

This passage almost convinced me that chocolate was a sin. :eyebrow:



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:40 pm 
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I liked this passage from page 101:

Still more of this interminable rain. It falls like a piece of the sky upended to pour misery onto the aquarium life below. The children, bright plastic ducks in their waterproofs and boots, squawk and waddle across the square, their cries ricocheting off the low clouds.

Bright, plastic ducks...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:32 pm 
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Liz wrote:
This passage almost convinced me that chocolate was a sin. :eyebrow:
:lol: Absolutely, Liz! I remember being very taken by that passage also. I agree it is very sensuous and very sensual.

And the bright, plastic ducks passage is a great one too, Theresa. As with some of the wind or bells passages, she gives us something to hear here as well. . ."their cries ricocheting off the low clouds."

She does ask us to use all our senses to absorb her story, doesn't she?



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:10 pm 
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Bix wrote:
She does ask us to use all our senses to absorb her story, doesn't she?
Funny you should say that, Bix. Last fall I heard a bestselling author (John Sandford) say that he tries to incorporated something from all five of the senses on the first page, to draw the reader in. Since he writes mysteries/thrillers, getting a taste on the first page can be a problem for him, though it surely isn't a problem in "Chocolat."


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:00 pm 
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I love this one because of the picture she paints (pg. 284):

"The huge platter gleams with reds and pinks and sea greens and pearly whites and purples, a mermaid's cache of delicacies that gives off a nostalgic salt smell, like childhood days at the seaside."

It brings to mind a Monet painting.



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:08 pm 
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I love that comparison to a Monet, Liz. Perfect.

And completely opposite of that Impressionistic wash of colors:


The weather turned cold again last night. St. Jerome's weathervane turned and swung in anxious indecision all night, scraping shrilly against its rusted moorings as if to warn against intruders. The morning began in fog so dense that even the church tower twenty paces from the shopfront seemed remote and spectral, the bell for mass tolling thickly through wadded cotton candy as the few comers approached, collars turned against the fog, to collect absolution.

You can almost feel the thick, fog in that description.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:07 pm 
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theresa wrote:
I love that comparison to a Monet, Liz. Perfect.

And completely opposite of that Impressionistic wash of colors:


The weather turned cold again last night. St. Jerome's weathervane turned and swung in anxious indecision all night, scraping shrilly against its rusted moorings as if to warn against intruders. The morning began in fog so dense that even the church tower twenty paces from the shopfront seemed remote and spectral, the bell for mass tolling thickly through wadded cotton candy as the few comers approached, collars turned against the fog, to collect absolution.

You can almost feel the thick, fog in that description.


Thick like cotton candy. Another good one! I just love the way she writes. :cool:



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:17 am 
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One of my favourite passages is the one on pages 74-75, a conversation between Armande and Vianne. I'll just type out a bit of it.

...I had no idea what she was talking about. But I could smell it too; the scent of the changing winds, that air of revelation. A distant scent of fire and ozone. A squeal of gears left long unused, the infernal machine of synchronicity. Or maybe Josephine was right, and Armande was crazy. After all, she could see Pantoufle.

"Don't let Reynaud know," she told me, her mad, earnest eyes gleaming. "You know who he is, don't you?"

I stared at her. I must have imagined what she said then. Or maybe our dreams touched briefly once, on one of our nights on the run.


I love the idea that their dreams could have "touched briefly once."


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:32 am 
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That's a great one, QofK. Talk about synchronicity!



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