A Piano in the Pyrenees : The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains, Paperback Book

A Piano in the Pyrenees : The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


If you had to pick two things you wanted - if you had to - what would you pick?' I hesitated.

This was a bigger question than usually got asked at these post-match debriefs. 'I suppose the honest answer would be,' I said, still accessing the last pieces of required data from a jumbled mind, 'meeting my soul mate, and finding an idyllic house abroad somewhere.' Inspired by breathtaking views and romantic dreams of finding love in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees.

Here, he plans to finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world.

In reality, the chaotic story of Tony's hopelessly ill-conceived house purchase reads like the definitive guide to how not to buy a house in France.

It finds him flirting with the removal business in a disastrous attempt to transport his piano to France in a dodgy white van; foolishly electing to build a swimming pool himself; and expanding his relationship repertoire when he starts co-habiting, not with an exquisite French beauty, but with a middle-aged builder from West London. As Tony and his friends haplessly attempt to fit into village life, they learn more about themselves and each other than they ever imagined.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9780091903336

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Let me just point out that this Tony Hawks is NOT the skateboarder. ;-)I've enjoyed each of Hawks' books, and this one was no exception. More amusing than laugh out loud funny, the book paints a funny picture of French life and his own lunge into middle age. I'd say there is more of a "point" to this book than the others, and that allows him to reveal a different side of himself and his writing ability. There are some sage observations about life amidst all the humor.

Review by

Unlike a lot of authors who make a story out of their move to another country Tony Hawks does not make fun of his new fellow countrymen - just makes humour from daily life challenges, his friends and himself. Largely makes a success of living there, entertains the reader thoroughly and has a good time - a bit of a love story underneath!