Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Review: Gourmet Rhapsody

 Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

I just finished reading this last night and I still can't decide if I love it or hate it. The basic plot is there is a famous food critic who is dying and he is desperately scavenging through his memories to recall this one taste that he must have before he dies. Every other chapter switches between his reminiscences of specific flavors and experiences and someone in his life, ranging from his wife to kids to nephew to his cat to the bum on the street.

The writing: super interesting. The plot: meh. The characters: meh AND super interesting (some were just better than others). The length: perfect. One hundred and fifty-six pages of slightly better than mediocre story-line. I enjoyed the read, probably won't read it again, but MUST read Muriel Barbery's other novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I have no idea what it's about, but because this book was so interesting to read I feel like anything she writes, even if the storyline and characters are just meh, I'll still enjoy it. And maybe I just didn't care for this particular setting, who knows?

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about in regards to her writing style:
"In her dirty hand, deformed by work in the fields, there it sat: crimson in its taut silken finery, undulating with the occasional more tender hollow, with a communicable cheerfulness about it like a plumpish woman in her party dress hoping to compensate for the inconvenience of her extra pounds by means of a disarming chubbiness evoking an irresistible desire to bite into her flesh."

I have read a lot of descriptions, but I have never read a tomato described that way before! Seriously cool, right? And yes, I did have the Kindle with the dictionary open as I read it. An excellent vocab review! Overall I'll give it...

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

My next book I think will be either finishing Cry, the Beloved Country (actually re-starting it as I didn't give it the proper amount of attention last time I tried to read it), The Elegance of the Hedgehog which is available now at my local library, or Stuffed which is another food book only this one is an auto-biography about a restaurant family. Yeah, I'll leave you on your toes!

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