The Club of Angels

( 1 )

Overview

A literary mystery about cooking and gourmands by one of Brazil's most popular authors.The Club of Angels is an irresistible, enticing book about the sin of gluttony. With wit and dark humor, Verissimo tells the story of ten well-to-do men who meet every month to dine fabulously. When their leader and chef dies of AIDS, he is replaced by a mysterious, strangely taciturn cook who gives them gastronomic experiences to die for!

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Overview

A literary mystery about cooking and gourmands by one of Brazil's most popular authors.The Club of Angels is an irresistible, enticing book about the sin of gluttony. With wit and dark humor, Verissimo tells the story of ten well-to-do men who meet every month to dine fabulously. When their leader and chef dies of AIDS, he is replaced by a mysterious, strangely taciturn cook who gives them gastronomic experiences to die for!

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Editorial Reviews

George Monteiro - World Literature Today
“Verissimo's joyful text, playing lightly over his mighty theme, is nothing if not witty, subtle, and nuanced.—George Monteiro, Brown University”
Daniel Kraus - Booklist
“It's not just amusing: it's morbidly enthralling, like a socially acceptable snuff film.

Publishers Weekly
The first novel by this Brazilian literary and journalistic celebrity to be translated into English offers a rare and wonderfully barbaric story. The Beef Stew Club is a collection of middle-aged gourmands who meet each month to indulge in extravagant dinners. After the death of their leader, Ramos, from AIDS, a new member appears almost magically to take his place. The elusive Lucidio is a remarkable cook but after each of his meals, one member of the club dies. The club members' enthusiasm for their quiche, duck with orange sauce and paella might, indeed, make readers themselves want to indulge; as narrator Daniel puts it, "the possibility of dying really did have an effect on the taste buds... one ate in a state of exaltation, of near euphoria." The novel is an apparent whydunit although we think we know who did it, we are uncertain why until the end, when our certainty of the culprit becomes, as in all great mysteries, utterly derailed. On the way to his maniacal conclusion, Verissimo serves up a critique of male bonding (spoken through the gourmands' disapproving wives and girlfriends), along with a withering probe into the motivations of his eccentric characters, many of whom are variously frustrated and seek transcendence in the satisfaction of their palates. The book's pleasure is increased, as well, by the witty and deft illustrations by Verissimo himself (which recall Picasso's sparer moments) and the sure-footed, expert work of translator Costa. This swift and acidic portrait of a (literally) poisoned network of friendships has a bite that endures because of the great intelligence underlying it. (May) Forecast: The Club of Angels has been on the bestseller list in Brazil since 1998, and with Costa's excellent reputation (she's translated Jos Saramago, Paulo Coelho and Javier Mar!as), New Direction's edition should bring Verissimo many American admirers. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811217552
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/14/2008
  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Luis Fernando Verissimo, son of writer Érico Verissimo, is one of Brazil's best-known literary figures. He is a cartoonist, saxaphone player, and the author of novels and newspaper cronicas.

Margaret Jull Costa is an award-winning translator of Portuguese and Spanish literature. She lives in the United Kingdom.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2002

    Something Different

    Upon reading the book jacket I thought the story line sounded really interesting and `why¿ were all the characters being killed off in the club? I did like the book and finished it in 2 days, but I wasn¿t all that into it. Firstly I had trouble with all the characters, with 10 of them, and all their names sounding alike. Secondly I was expecting a huge `wham¿! that¿s who done it and that¿s why, but the ending was a letdown. I can see were the book has an underlying, read between the lines message. But its not what I expected. However it was a light and easy read, so I don¿t regret it, its just something different.

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