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the Complete Review
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Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil

Jean-Claude Izzo

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To purchase Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil

Title: Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil
Author: Jean-Claude Izzo
Genre: Various
Written: (Eng. 2013)
Length: 107 pages
Original in: French
Availability: Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil - US
Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil - UK
Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil - Canada
Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil - India
Mein Marseille - Deutschland
Aglio, menta e basilico - Italia
  • Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine, and Noir Fiction
  • Translated by Howard Curtis
  • With an Introduction by Massimo Carlotto (translated by Michael Reynolds)

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Our Assessment:

(--) : slight, but a nice companion-volume to his work

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Guardian . 10/5/2013 P.D.Smith
Il Sole 24 Ore . 4/10/2006 Giorgio Maimone

  From the Reviews:
  • "(T)his evocative new collection of essays -- which sadly are undated -- is a paean to the life, cities and food of the Mediterranean, particularly his home, Marseilles" - P.D.Smith, The Guardian

  • "Questo piccolo volumetto arriva a colmare un vuoto e, a modo suo, ce la fa." - Giorgio Maimone, Il Sole 24 Ore

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil is a very motley collection, extremely generously spaced out over just over a hundred pages. Promising in its subtitle Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine, and Noir Fiction, few of the pieces are full-fledged essays -- though they do cover these various topics. The collection also includes a short piece of fiction featuring the hero of Izzo's Marseilles-trilogy, 'Fabio Montale's Christmas Dinner', and there's even an appendix of sorts that list Montale's favorite places, and the music and books that are mentioned in the trilogy.
       Along with Massimo Carlotto nice introductory homage, the volume does make a fine little love-letter to Marseilles and the Mediterranean region around it.
       It has a bit of a posthumous feel to it -- it's hard not to see it as a gathering of scraps -- but it's still a decent, if rather slight and loosely put together companion piece to Izzo's fiction, providing some background (including the smells and tastes that infuse his fiction), and offering a few odds and ends and variations on the themes that should appeal to (if perhaps not fully satisfy) fans of the region, of 'Mediterranean noir', and of Izzo's own work.

- M.A.Orthofer, 3 April 2013

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Garlic, Mint, and Sweet Basil: Reviews: Jean-Claude Izzo: Other books by Jean-Claude Izzo under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of French literature

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About the Author:

       Jean-Claude Izzo was a popular French author. He was born in 1945 and died in 2000.

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© 2013-2021 the complete review

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