Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book review of A La Mod, by Ian Moore

My book review this week is of Ian Moore's A la Mod: My So-Called Tranquil Family Life in Rural France. This is just my sort of book; a funny look at life in rural France. As you would expect from a book written by a comedian there is plenty of humour here and he often had me sniggering, giggling and really laughing with his light hearted look at his life.

french village diaries book worm wednesday review of A La Mod by Ian Moore life in France
A La Mod by Ian Moore
Ian is a mod, his appearance is important to him and his clothing is ‘different’. In London and possibly Paris too, he would blend in. In the rural area of the Loire where Ian, Natalie and their three boys have called home, he stands out. This is especially amusing when he describes dressing in his mod best to tackle the many outdoor chores involved in rural living and animal husbandry. The locals seem to view him with a mix of awe, amusement and mistrust, but this doesn’t put Ian off. All he is looking for in life is somewhere quiet to while away his days when he isn’t working on the comedy circuit – this was the main reason they moved from the crowds in the south of UK to the calms of France. His ever-growing family of children and animals, who he seems to think have got it in for him, make this a tricky search, but an amusing read.

However it is the lovely Natalie, his wife extraordinaire, who I would like to meet. Ian’s love and admiration for her shine through the pages of his book, and I think I could learn a thing or two from Natalie. Our lives are similar, we both have husbands who work away from home, we both enjoy our outdoor life and love our animals and often have to put up with an element of grumpiness when our men-folk return to our nests. So, how come she manages to bend the “I said no more” rules like she does? She has three sons, I have one, she has two horses and goats, I have none, she also has more cats and dogs than I do too and it is not uncommon for Ian to return home and find his family has grown in his absence. I have been absolutely forbidden to get anything else that has four legs. But at least I’m indulged when it comes to feathers, Ade rarely says no to ducks and chickens. Ps Natalie I can recommend ducks, they are such characters, their eggs are delicious and they get on well with chickens.

I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who likes life in France books, and even to those who don’t. Ade will find my copy in his luggage next time he is away from home and if he reads it on the TGV or at the airport Ian might even spot him as they often seem to use the same routes between France and UK. I do hope we get a second book from Ian in the future.

Published by Summersdale, A la Mod: My So-Called Tranquil Family Life in Rural France. is available in paperback and ebook format from all good book sellers and links to can be found below.

You can read my France et Moi interview with Ian here and follow his blog here.


  1. What a glowing review of my husband's book and a great blog you have put together here! I must admit I have been tempted for a while now to get a couple of ducks to live on our little 'mare' - can just imagine Ian's reaction if he were to come home to that though - 'j'en ai marre!' would be quite appropriate but I feel he would more likely use much stronger cockney rhyming slang (involving duck you understand) to express his displeasure!

  2. Natalie Crawford-MooreJune 13, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    ...sorry just wanted to clarify the above post is from Natalie and not Ian Moore!

  3. Thanks Natale. I say go for the ducks, at least it will give him some material for the next book! You could always tell him they just flew in - that is how I got into duck keeping, it can happen, honestly.

    1. Natalie Crawford-MooreJune 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Believe me, he doesn't need ducks to provide material for the next book! I'd be too worried the poor ducks would be shot come the hunting season and I'm not sure I agree with clipping their wings so that they can't fly away from you not have chasseurs where you are?
      I'm about to use your Provencal yoghurt cake recipe to bake a cake (using rhubarb from the potager)for the first of 3 school 'fete de fin d'annee'. Will let you know how it goes down!

    2. Thankfully being in a village we don't suffer with hunters close to the house, but they do make for tricky dog walks put in the fields. Hope you like the cake, I have already done one quiche for aperos at school, just another two to do - and we only have one kid!

  4. A great read, hugely entertaining and at times laugh out loud! Having grown up in the same part of Sussex in the south of England, at the same time as Ian & Natalie, there were very accurate observations of our 'old' home town, so I could really relate to parts of the book.

    I would love to see a second book too, although I'm a convert to Ian's blog which I highly recommend too! I checked out Ian live on YouTube from some of his past gigs, and he's hilarious, and I hope to see him live when he's next over in the UK. I can imagine if he is able to bottle up some of the humour from his excellent book and release on stage, he will easily be the act of the evening!

    Thanks Ian for a great read, and to Natalie too for some real time updates on Junior, my favourite character!

    1. Thanks Neil, it was a very funny read, and I love his blog too!

  5. Just listened to the book on a long trip. He does a great job with the audiobook. Then I found my way back to this blog, which is fantastic. Well done.


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