19: Anything Considered

Anything Considered by Peter Mayle

From the library book sale in the spring. Read Peter Mayle’s Provence books a long time ago, thought I’d give this a go. Same setting, but Anything Considered is a novel rather than a memoir.

This was (I’ll say it) total dick lit, i.e. the male equivalent of chick lit. I think they call it “lad lit” in the UK.

The MC is Luciano Bennett, because he’s half-Italian, so he tans nicely, and half-English, so he’s… English-y. Of course, he’s called Bennett, because Luciano is too twee. He’s mid-30s, doesn’t really have a job, lives in France. He’s broke—he alludes to some misadventure in the past where someone made off with his life savings—but this really isn’t an impediment to his lifestyle. He lives for free (IIRC) in the house of some guy who’s on sabbatical or something. I guess you could say he’s house-sitting? Except a housekeeper came with the deal.

Anyhow, the premise is that he places an ambiguous ad looking for work, and a Really Rich Dude answers it. A job is offered, and Bennett accepts, thinking he’s essentially getting a paid vacay in Monaco where he can work on the aforementioned tan. (Silly characters! Don’t they know nothing is ever as it seems?) Instead, hijinx ensue. Naturally, he partners up with a chick who happens to be both formerly a model and formerly in the Israeli Army. So she’s hot and she can kick (his) ass. Of course! (What other kind of woman would be worthy of an unemployed middle-aged dude our esteemed hero? ;-))

Well, I won’t tell you any more. This had the potential to be terrible, but it was not. It was total cheese, but the good kind. The writing was good, and I think that makes the difference between fluff and dreck. It’d make an entertaining cheesy TV movie.