"The Devil's Larder" by Jim Crace

3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Not so much a book of short stories, but one of many short pieces of (one hopes) fiction. Not really about food, yet food plays an important role in each piece. (Definitely not a cookbook.) It is so hard to describe -- fascinating, a bit disgusting, poetical, appetizing, scary -- just plain bizarre is the only simple (!) way to refer to the subjects and their treatment. One piece is about a baker who in his youth used to lace his confections with, perhaps, "controlled substances," how he fulfilled the last wish of a condemned prisoner, and how he looks at life now. Another involves a doctor, a patient who came to him with abdominal pain, and jerusalem artichokes. Another, the inhabitants of a coastal town and how they amuse themselves with others' reactions to mussels served by the local chef.

Several of the pieces were published in The New Yorker issue of May 7, 2001. The full book (published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux) was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review on Sunday, October 21, 2001. (As you can tell from my avatar, books are quite important to me.)
 
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
Thank you for the reference.

I love this kind of books very much. After reading the last page I am not sure whether I liked them or not!

have you experienced this feeling?

Suzanne have you ever read the books of Ambrose Bierce?
Same concept some years (around 300) earlier!
Great! I strongly suggest him, easy to trace his book!

:)
 
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Joined Oct 27, 2001
If you are looking for something 'lighter' Manuel Vazquez Montalban's 'Carvalho' series are excellent. Murder mysteries, based in Barcelona where the detective, Pepe Carvalho' is also a gourmet cook. The best one to start with is (both in culinary literature terms) 'The South Seas' 'Los Mares del Sur"
 
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
Dear Friends.

The books mentioned here by Rachel and me may sound wierd and very old to you.

But I can assure you that they are very nice and relaxing readings after a long day!

:)
 
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Joined May 26, 2001
Oh, yes, Athenaeus! I first read parts of Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary many years ago. I also have The Doctor and the Devils by Dylan Thomas (I think it's one of his few prose works). And G.B. Shaw's The Devil's Disciple is a fine play!

Don't worry, Afra, I'm not posessed by the Devil! I no longer eat Devil Dogs or Devilled Ham (unless I make it myself).;)
 
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Joined Jul 24, 2001
I am not surprised Suzanne about your past relations with Ambrose Bierce!

Am I right when I am suggesting that it's not as a heavy a reading as it sounds?
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Well, it's not Harry Potter, but neither is it Henry James! That is, it's definitely more literature than pop, but quite fascinating and gripping without the deep deep language.
 
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