Fat Man in France by Tom Vernon
Tom Vernon - "the thinking man's Alan Whicker" - who donned his metaphorical beret and cruised through France on two wheels, delights us with the subtitles and diversity of everyday French living. He visits the more popular areas of France such as Normandy (and Tom's ancestral town of Vernon), Brittany, Champagne, Alsace and Lorraine, the Loire Valley, Languedoc, and Lozere-Averyron-Cevennes. From whom else would you learn about the woman in the Cevennes who kept all the silkworm eggs of the village in bed with her for 15 days, until they hatched? Or where you can eat a salad of geziers (chicken gizzards) followed by duck breast with green pepper sauce accompanied by courgettes and bechamel, all for 85F? Visit the place where Monet grew his waterlilies, and where Proust regarded the apple blossom from behind coach windows that he didn't dare open because of his asthma. The history, the traditions and the richness of French culture are revived by the knowledgeable, anecdotal and personal view for which Vernon is best known. "Fat Man Encore" is a practical book that highlights pleasant cycling trips for those who want to enjoy the country at a steady pace (15-20 miles a day) while including more demanding ones for those who seek a challenge. Up-to-date information on food, accommodation, travel, and cycling advice has been included to aid the amateur and practised cyclist alike, with informative maps specifying routes taken.