The Bistro

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

I had the great pleasure of spending time with Louise and Deborah Crombie on Tuesday evening at the Dallas Arts & Letters event. I say spend time although I was just sitting in the audience, but felt like I was having a glass of wine and a conversation with old friends. What an absolute treat is was to listen to both these wonderful authors chat about the writing process, the charecters and their quirks, life, and travel. I will not forget that evening.

Being a part of Louise’s Gamache community which offers joy and satisfaction to everyone everywhere is a wonderful thing, a lucky thing.

I am enjoying “The World of Curiosities” very much and admire the way it delves into relevant, and often disturbing, issues. This real world quality and the way characters interact with those issues is what makes this series so special to me.

Louise wrote about this in her December 2022 newsletter. I’m thoroughly enjoying Joy, the Ernesto Cervini’s jazz album, based on Louise’s characters and books. As I listen to it, I try to determine which character the musical selections are based on, and Ernesto nails it. It’s wonderful to feel this extra connection to Three Pines through this beautiful music. I highly recommend Joy.

I played snippets of Cervini’s jazz album to my one year old granddaughter during lunch today. She had a fit when I stopped it as she was entranced! It was her first introduction to jazz, and won’t be her last!

I thought, being Stephen, he had an emergency fund set aside for contingencies, and to pay off the Prefect’s mortgage in France. What about the trust funds for the grandchildren? Surely he would have kept them safe. It is a mystery.

Love your books. I savour them.

If I had to cast Gamache it would have to be Hugh Bonneville. When I read your books it is he who I visualise.

I gave my unsolicited suggestions for the roles in Louise’s upcoming Amazon Prime series, “Three Pines”:
Hi, Louise!
I was just thinking how I cannot wait for the Amazon Series of Gamache to begin and how FABOO the casting of Alfred Molina is in the role of your/our beloved Armand.
Here are some of my suggestions for other roles:

Ruth Zardo — Maggie Smith (if you get her, you’ll get everyone else)
JeanGuy — Colin Farrell
Frankur — Ciaran Hinds
Michelle Braybuf — Brendan Gleason
Olivier — Stuart Townsend
Gabri — Brendan Fraser
Clara — Marcia Gay Harden
Myrna — Octavia Spencer

It would be nice to see more Quebecois characters be Quebecers or at least French. You have chosen all British actors – all anglophones. The setting and feel of all the books is Quebecois – a vibrant passionate and bilingual community. I hope that is not lost in the new series. I am really looking forward to it.

Did anyone else notice this at the bottom of the most recent email from Louse:
“Do you have any questions or comments about Louise Penny’s books, GamacheSeries.com, or just want to chat with other readers? Please join us in the virtual Bistro! And we’ll see you next week to share our final feature. ”
Are they saying that a “World of Curiosities” will be Louise’s final Gamache book?

A World of Curiosities is superb. I couldn’t put it down and now I’m sad that I finished it! I loved the history, suspense, familiar and new characters and as always, it left me yearning for the next one. Thank you Louise!!!

We all have such rich and wonderful images in our minds of the community of Three Pines. I love to imagine their voices and mannerisms. What a gift Louise Penny has given us, right? Yesterday, I listened to Terry Gross on NPR interview Misty Copeland, ABT’s first Black Principal dancer. Many suggested that she could not play the Swan Queen in “Swan Lake” (and many other roles) because she is a women of color. She reminded us all that acting and interpreting a character is an art. I view Molina in the same way. He will be interpreting Gamache and will bring the character to life with passion, no doubt. Of course it will not fit neatly into our imagined visions we hold. But he will be excellent in my opinion.

I agree. I’m sure most readers form an idea in their mind of what a character looks or sounds like, so there’s no pleasing everyone. But Alfred Molina seems a good choice.

I have always pictured the wonderful Michael Gambon as the good inspector. I didn’t think Nathaniel Parker “was” Armand and I have concerns about Alfred Molina, though he is a fine, fine actor. However, given the state of the world, the way Amazon casts even these most beloved of books seems like a fairly small potato!

Mary Beth, excellent, discerning woman! I believed I was the only person who envisioned – and *heard* – Michael Gambon! Sadly, well past an age for the role, but – well, I enjoyed him SO as Maigret, and in some ways the two Inspectors are not dissimilar. As appealing as Nathaniel Parker is, he was a disastrously wrong casting choice. (But then again, there was little to commend the entire project. She was dismayed by it, I believe, so now, if she is reasonably comfortable with what is being made, , I’ll trust her instincts. (And reportedly she is well pleased with Molina; we shall see…)

I agree with your comment about Nathaniel Parker. Not right at all. When I heard Alfred Molina was selected for the Three Pines series my reaction was “YES” much better!

Louise Penny’s books are worth reading again. Between new books I enjoy going back to the older stories to refresh my memory. The story lines are so complex that they still surprise me because I have forgotten what went before. We
are impressed by Gamache’s strength of character and his control in his personal and public life. He is what we would
all like to be. He is our hero. The people around him in Three Pines are his FRAMILY. And it seems that’s how they
feel about each other. I’m so happy that there are so many others who feel as I do and welcome a new book every year.

I, too, would really enjoy more books per year. But, having said that, I’m afraid then that we would become less enchanted with the series. Everything is so instant these days, that we don’t get to relish the anticipation that comes from knowing something special is about to happen. And it’s so special for me to know there are others who feel the same way I do about Louise’s books. Thank you Louise, for all your hard work. It must be so rewarding to have such a wonderful response from all your faithful readers.

I’m not going to over anticipate Molina as Gamache. I’m hoping to give him a fair chance, but I am also positive Gamache would have been a great follow-up for Michael Lonsdale’s Lebel in The 1973 The Day of the Jackal. He’s always been my head picture of Gamache.

Louise is a fabulous writer and I love her characters. It is a mystery to me why she feels the need to use the f word at all. The stories would be just as good without that word. What do the rest of you fans think?

I agree on the fabulous writer comment. I think she is trying to reflect the real world her characters exist within. We are no longer living in the Victorian or even the Second Elizabethan period. I suspect the “f word” is all too common in the real world her characters are supposed to inhabit.

I agree. It makes him so much more real and believable. And reminds me of my French grandfather, whom I would sometimes overhear swearing, never saying “merde” but often “tabernac”! He never said such things in front of me, but you know how kids are–they hear lots of things grown-ups say. He was the sweetest, gentlest man, and I loved helping him in his expansive fruit and vegetable garden in Santa Barbara. And going to the beach with both him and my grandmother (also French). I learned to speak French with them quand j’etait toute petite. Je t’aime, Mémé et Papa.

I don’t mind the use of the “f” word and others in the series. These are real people, cops, and this is how they talk, really. If all the world is reduced to polite conversation, it would be unreal and frankly, boring.

I’m F.I.N.E. and reading A World of Curiosities at full speed. Love it. I may have to start the series again (3rd time) cause I can’t get enough.

I started reading Still Life when first published and immediately fell in love! I follow Louise Penny on Amazon so I’m always informed of the next book, and always pre-order so I can receive the book right away. I do have a few favorite authors I follow, so I usually can keep myself busy until the next Gamache book is released. I am so looking forward to seeing the Gamache series on Prime Video. Thank you Louise for these wonderful books!!

I started my love affair with Inspector Gamache and Three Pines during my cancer treatment journey. I literally floated away to be enveloped by Three Pines and its residents. All I can say is write faster Loiuse Penny the wait is too long for more.

I also enjoy getting “lost” in Three Pines when I need to get away from it all. May your battle with cancer be brief and successful!!!

I have loved the books for many years and the trailer looks fantastic! I’m curious to know why the characters don’t have French Canadian accents?

So this is to be a series…….I get that…….I am a bit concerned that the trailer shows snippets from many books in the Ganache series…..does that mean that have already filmed all these books? Is each episode going to one a whole book? I hope not. How many episodes in the series?

Like all LP aficionados, the woman can’t write these wonderful stories fast enough. Forgive us Louise but we wait months in anticipation for each book and then we devour them, in my case, two days tops. In reading the comments, I’m not the only one who loves 3P, the characters (long live Ruth & Rosa) and relationships anf the Food. I initially thought Alfred Molina as Gamache – are they nuts, but having matched the trailer I am anxiously awaiting Dec 2. Thanks Louise

After living with the Gamache and all the Villagers of Three Pines, I have developed a deep sense of what each of the characters looks like, the sound of each voice, the way they carry themselves. I know them intimately. The challenge for any TV or screen adaption is that whoever is cast as Gamache, or Ruth or any of the other main characters, will never match the mental image I hold in my mind of each of them. They will all fall short in myriad ways. But I will watch anyways, with the same kind of familial optimism one feels when attending a high school production of a Broadway play.

Alfred Molina was cast as Inspector Gamache in a Three Pines movie based on the Louise Penny book Still Life in 2013. Can anyone shed some light on why this fact is never mentioned?

Nathaniel Parker played Gamache in Still Life. He also played the lead in Elizabeth George’s book adaptations. I think Molina is a better fit.

I have also seen, and heard, Michael Gambon in my mind as I read the stories. I can accept Alfred Molina by in the role, but will continue when reading, to picture Mr Gambon

Nathaniel Parker was Gamache in “Still Life”. The movie was good, but he did not fit my image of Gamache totally. Too svelte, too handsome. He made a better Inspector Lynley

I love the Armand that is in my mind. This image will not be disturbed by an actor playing the Armand I love.
I have my own lovely movie rolling in my brain, thank you.

I have just finished the last book in this series. Was feeling a bit lost…..but now just discovered that Prime has the series Dec 2nd! I’m thrilled! And look forward to catching up with “old friends”. Thank you Louise Penny for your gift and hours of enjoyment I’ve spent reading and immersed in the lives of three pines residents. I will watch to see when Louise visits my “neck of the woods!”

I’m looking forward to this series also, after having read all the books (so far). Yes, I have formed images of the characters in my mind. But I also believe, and have seen, good actors bring out the essence of a character even if the physical appearance doesn’t “fit” imagination.

Hi Kathy,
I agree with your statement about good actors. I enjoy seeing plays that I’ve seen before just to experience how each new director, each new cast member interprets the play and characters. Also, I think each of us must imagine characters differently than anyone else so none of us would agree with who is casted as each Three Pines character. I’m excited about the new book coming out and will be watching the series. What a gift we’re given from Louis Penny. I so appreciate her talent for story telling and character building and look forward to visiting Three Pines each time I open one of her books. I also look forward to seeing each of her marvelous characters coming to life in the form of a television series.

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