Sunday, February 11, 2007

Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun

I am on page 10 of this book and am already gritting my teeth. So far in this travelogue on life in the somnolent Italian countryside -- a New York Times bestseller -- Mayes has already talked about visiting remote but picturesque towns where you can "see olives the first day they are olives." She gets "very pleasantly lost" driving on the gravel roads between Umbria and Tuscany, on the way tasting the softest Brunello and the blackest Vino Nobile.

The above is why I don't understand how travelogues do so well. I don't want to vicariously experience a country! What possible fun is there in that? All I feel is green with envy -- hence the gritted teeth. I guess I can always tell myself that I'll make it there -- someday -- and reading about it is like reading a guidebook.

More likely, if I finish this book, I may have no teeth left.