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Friday, March 18, 2016

Manon des Sources (1962) by Marcel Pagnol

Emmanuelle Beart played the title character of Manon des Sources in the movie version of the book.

Book Review
Manon des Sources (1962)
 by Marcel Pagnol

  Manon des Sources is the second book in a two book series that includes Jean de Florette.  Both books tell the multi-generational sage of a small French village in the hills near Marseille (i.e. "the south of France")  Both books were adapted into films made by Marcel Pagnol himsel, wth Gerard Depardieu playing the tragic hump-backed farmer of the first movie and Emannuele Beart playing his grown daughter in the second movie.
Jean de Florette streaming on Youtube for free

   Even the editor who chose this book acknowledges that Pagnol is "deeply unfashionable," as of 2006.  Nothing has changed in the decade since.  In 2016, you can watch Jean de Florette for free on You Tube, as clear a sign as any that no one is making enough money on the property to bother with You Tube take down notices.   The curious editorial choice to include the second but not first book in the series means that you either have to look up the plot of the first book or just pick it up as you go along.

  It isn't hard to follow Manon des Sources without Jean de Florette but it seems to me that you'd either read both or neither.  To their credit, the editors have stuck with their original decision, neither removing Manon des Source from subsequent editions nor adding Jean de Florette.   Perhaps Manon des Sources is included because it is a deeply satisfying tale of revenge for a wrong that is exhaustively detailed in the first book.

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