"Uncorked is just like a good French wine: light, delicious, and full of flavour."
— Grant Lawrence, CBC
“Like a wry cross between Bill Bryson and Dave Bidini”
"Like a wry cross between Bill Bryson and Dave Bidini, Paul Shore’s funny, self-deprecating and wholesome recounting of a year spent in the French Riviera will ring très true for anyone who has made the trip to this special but highly exclusive part of the world. Shore captures exactly what it’s like to be a foreign national trying to bust into the local scene. And if you haven’t been to the South of France, Uncorked will have you looking up AirBnBs in places like Saint-Paul de Vence or Villefranche-sur-Mer while you practice your pétanque rolls. One part travelogue, one part self-help guide, one part memoir, Uncorked is just like a good French wine: light, delicious, and full of flavour."
— Grant Lawrence, CBC broadcaster and author of Adventures in Solitude: what not to wear to a nude potluck and other stories from Desolation Sound.
"Paul's foil Hubert, who is a star"
"Shore's use of the game of Pétanque as a point of entry to address areas of personal alienation is a great literary and narrative choice. This memoir made me laugh; especially Paul's foil Hubert, who is a star. And its funny and illuminating stories contain a soul that is touching too!"
— J.J. Lee, CBC radio host, author, and Governor General's Literary Award finalist
"Like a younger generation’s A Year in Provence"
"A computer geek in the South of France? What could go wrong? In Paul Shore’s delightful and quirky memoir, he conjures an engaging and funny portrait of life as a young Canadian software engineer on the Côte d’Azur in the late 1990s. With remarkable storytelling skill, and through the device of learning to play the game of pétanque with the locals, Shore brings to life a time and place where community, simplicity and a slower place were revered. Like a younger generation’s A Year in Provence, Shore’s book arrives just at the time when our media-frenzied selves need it the most."
— Sarah Bancroft, co-author of Vancouver: The Unknown City and writer of the blog A Year in Paris
“Life is a marathon and not a race”
"Paul has written an entertaining and thoughtful memoir of his adventures and misadventures as a Canadian living in Provence. Sport can be a way to break through barriers. Through the game of pétanque, Paul found his entry-point into French culture. His light-hearted story takes you to a place where the simple joys in life are what matters. During my Man in Motion World Tour 30 years ago, I blasted through Provence in a whirlwind. I look back on that time and wish I could have slowed down as Paul did. Life is a marathon and not a race - these poignant realizations come to light with time."
— Rick Hansen, Founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation
"On tour with a friend who tells it like it is"
“Exactly the type of book I crave...only better! Shore's writing immediately feels like you're on a tour with a friend who tells it like it is. His self-deprecating humor and humility make it no wonder that he found a way to ingratiate himself into a tight-knit community in the south of France and enjoy life as a local.”
— Sandy Abrams, entrepreneur, author of Your Idea, Inc, and Huffington Post blogger
"Cross-cultural endeavors never go out of style"
"Cross-cultural endeavors never go out of style. Shore will make readers smile and reminisce over their own youthful sojourns in faraway lands. Uncorked is a well written and diverting book that many readers will treasure."
— Judge's Commentary, 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
"Unleash fond memories of the South of France for anyone who has spent time there."
"The colorful stories in Uncorked will unleash fond memories of the South of France for anyone who has spent time there, of which I am one. Or it will encourage those who haven’t experienced that part of the world to start making travel plans. Paul’s humorous style of writing elicits affection for cultural nuances brought back wonderful memories --- from pétanque games on dusty grounds with hard-nosed local combatants to navigating ancient cobblestone alleys at race-driver speeds.
— Gene Frantz, retired Principal Fellow at Texas Instruments, and father of Digital Signal Processing
"The fish-out-of-water story; the sweet and gentle humour."
"I enjoyed Uncorked immensely: the fish-out-of-water story; the sweet and gentle humour; and all of the characters, especially Hubert and his la puff! The story was very uplifting, and I could easily relate to finding oneself in a strange land and not knowing the customs, or the language."
— Rebecca Wood Barrett - Program Manager, Whistler Writers Festival
“Thanks so much for a wonderful read and bringing back such incredible memories.”
"Very funny in spots and emotional in others. It reminded me of my own time in Europe and how much I miss it. And I loved your references to Chagall and the connections to your own background. As someone who has researched and written extensively about refugees, and who is an immigrant herself, I appreciated that the refugee crisis and being a stranger in a new land is not a new phenomenon. Thanks so much for a wonderful read and bringing back such incredible memories."
— Stella Harvey – Founder of the Whistler Writers Festival and author of The Brink of Freedom
"His determination to master the game is admirable (or foolish)."
"Paul Shore’s entertaining story of his year, as a young man in an ancient village in Provence is both entertaining and educative. Being immersed as a young techie on his own in an old culture in a language with which he is barely familiar, is a brave act in itself. But he undertakes this with a positive attitude and becomes fascinated by the game of boules played by elders in the community. His determination to master the game is admirable (or foolish). However, in doing so he is gradually absorbed into the community. He learns of the slower pace of these people and the benefits that pace permits in the appreciation of all the things we miss in our busy world."
— Julia Levy, immunologist, co-founder of biotechnology firm QLT, educator, recipient of the Order of Canada
“Shore’s nostalgic musings tap into a treasure trove of cross-cultural respect and understanding"
"Paul Shore’s nostalgic musings on the ancient, nuanced sport of pétanque demonstrate how, with a dose of persistence, to tap into a treasure trove of cross-cultural respect and understanding in sunny Provence or, for that matter, just about any place on the planet."
— Jack Christie, writer-broadcaster, author of 52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver.
"An insightful, amusing examination of the possibilities of acceptance and awakening in a complex foreign culture"
Paul Shore's brief memoir of a year spent in southern France in the late 1990's made me feel sentimental from the start. A young, somewhat naive Canadian techie, sent abroad by his employers, ventures into the tightly-knit community of a small, ancient and cloistered town in Provence, where he encounters the gnarled, jaded and wiley inhabitants and their mysterious ways. He commits many sins of innocence in his quest for acceptance there, culinarily and linguistically, culturally and, most specifically and horrifically from the natives' perspective, by revealing his absolute ignorance of Yves Montand, Marc Chagall, and the mesmerizing spectacle of Pétanque. A form of boules, this signature pastime of Provence is the throbbing raison d'etre and passion of many of the town's denizens, a visceral communal liaison with the primal elements at the intersection of luck, skill, psychology, Frenchness, history, competitiveness, topography, profanity and alcohol. As the young foreigner seeks, between frequent business trips elsewhere, to quietly observe and comprehend the esoteric rituals involved in the activities occurring in the town square, adjacent to the locals' cafe, he is actually the one being tested and scrutinized through the smoke from innumerable Gauloises cigarettes and the haze of endless glasses of milky pastis, as the games of clacking, heavy steel balls, frayed nerves, and revenge are played out for endless hours, day after day. Because of his stubborn tenacity, his conspicuous curiosity and genuine fascination, he finds a grumpy mentor to reluctantly and surreptitiously teach him the game, and the locals finally condescendingly allow him, not only a glimpse into their secretive lives, but, eventually, a grudging inclusion. This is the tale of a neophyte traveler in an alien world enduring initial humiliation and rejection, but ultimately gaining not only knowledge and appreciation of the hamlet's past, the Côte d'Azur, the local cuisine, the art of Chagall (who was a longtime resident here), but also access into the hearts and minds of Saint-Paul-de-Vence's curmudgeonly inhabitants. It turns out to be an insightful, amusing examination of the possibilities of acceptance and awakening in a complex foreign culture. A witty and compelling read.
— Lucas Lackner, writer and art-and-antiques dealer
“Like Peter Mayle before him, Paul Shore made the leap and found a cornucopia of delights in his new home."
"Many dream of relocating to France at some time in their lives. Like Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence) before him, Paul Shore made the leap and found a cornucopia of delights in his new home. Years later, you'll no doubt enjoy discovering Provence through his eyes. But don't be surprised if Uncorked leaves you more than a tad obsessed with finding the nearest game of pétanque."
— Stephen Hui, hiking writer and former Georgia Straight web and technology editor