The Discovery of Chocolate: A Novel

The Discovery of Chocolate: A Novel

3.6 3
by James Runcie
     
 

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A wonderfully inventive and entertaining journey through time and the history of chocolate!
The Discovery of Chocolate is a fabulous tale, as rich and exotic as the gorgeous creation that Diego de Godoy first discovers when he arrives in Mexico with Cortes and his conquistadors.

Diego is seeking his fortune in the New World. What he finds is love, and chocolate,

Overview

A wonderfully inventive and entertaining journey through time and the history of chocolate!
The Discovery of Chocolate is a fabulous tale, as rich and exotic as the gorgeous creation that Diego de Godoy first discovers when he arrives in Mexico with Cortes and his conquistadors.

Diego is seeking his fortune in the New World. What he finds is love, and chocolate, and an elixir of life. Separated from his lover, he must wander the world, and the centuries, in search of the fulfilment that he first knew in Mexico.

In a series of dramatic episodes that are evocative, witty and thought-provoking, from revolutionary Paris to Freud's Vienna, Fry's Bristol and Hershey's Pittsburgh, Diego and his ever-faithful greyhound, Pedro, seek the perfection of chocolate and the meaning of life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘The Discovery of Chocolate is as intoxicating and addictive as the substance it describes. The novel is a triumph of inspired imagination…’Financial Times‘The Discovery of Chocolate is a sensual delight which does not take itself too seriously and leaves a lingering sweetness in its wake. More books should be like this; elegantly written, unpretentious and unashamed fun.’Joanne Harris, The Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007107834
Publisher:
HarperCollins UK
Publication date:
04/21/2010
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
707,918
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.76(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

James Runcie is a writer and film-maker. His films include Miss Pym's Day Out, Saturday/Sunday, My Father, and The Great Fire. The Discovery of Chocolate is his first novel.

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Discovery of Chocolate 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I read The Discovery of Chocolate, I felt that, instead of a novel, this was a collection of short stories. The first story, in which Diego, seeking a unique treasure, joins the Cortez expedition to conquer Mexico, is full of the romance, adventure, and passion which I had hoped to find in a book of this title. There then follows an interlude in which Diego returns to Spain, is rejected by Isabella, and then journeys again to Mexico in search of his true love, Ignacia. During this second visit to Mexico, Diego learns of his own immortality. The second ¿story¿ provides a vivid picture of Diego¿s life in Paris, some two hundred years after his adventures in Mexico. The writer¿s passion returns in his description of the preparation of various chocolate treats, including Diego¿s first experience of the combination of raspberries and chocolate. In the third ¿story¿, we read of Diego¿s life in Vienna. This story consists of three somewhat disjointed episodes. To the reader, it seems odd that Diego¿s dog, Pedro, who has been present throughout the book to this point, effectively disappears from the story, only to reappear later at a critical moment. In the first ¿Vienna Episode¿, Diego meets Franz Sacher and, with Sacher¿s children, creates the wonderful Sachertorte. Sadly, the writer¿s energy is spent on the three bratty children, and not on the new dessert. The writer¿s appetite is aroused more by the apricot jam than by the chocolate component of the sachertorte. The book then moves to Diego¿s relationship with Claudia, a prostitute. This episode illustrates the emptiness of Diego¿s life. As part of the emptiness, chocolate is not prominent in this episode. Diego then meets Sigmund Freud. This episode is an unsatisfying plot device used to provide Diego¿s motivation to move on to the next stage of his life. The remainder of the book is quite disappointing. Diego becomes associated with Joseph S. Fry, who developed the first chocolate bar. This episode, which the book covers in a mere five pages, is quite unsatisfactory to the reader, for the romance, the adventure, and the flavor are all missing. Perhaps the author¿s message is that chocolate no longer is a heavenly food when it is produced for mass consumption. Diego next moves to the United States, where he works with Milton Hershey in the development of the Hershey Kiss. This episode is described in a brief two pages, and is less fulfilling than the aroma from an empty plastic bag which once held Hershey Kisses. Finally, Diego returns to Mexico and is reunited with Ignacia, who is also immortal. Sadly, the reunion scene fails to satisfy, as Diego prepares a feast, rather than an exquisite chocolate, for his beloved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a first-time author, Runcie does an admirable job of pulling together the plot of Diego, Pedro (the greyhound) and Ignacia and the elixir of love, Chocolate. 'He who loves truly, forgets slowly,' permeates Diego's heart and mind forever with thoughts of his love for Ignacia. A delightful spin through four centuries of Diego and his ability to create chocolate delicacies and his never ending search for love. Diego admits 'he's slow' in catching on to life as he stumbles over the centuries until he is finally convinced he can never be happy until he goes back once again to Mexico to find his love, Ignacia. A terrific romp through Europe and Mexico in a fast paced and delightful book. Chocolate loves will simply drool as Diego mixes his chocolate confections!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Runcie's debut novel, 'The Discovery of Chocolate,' is laden with prose as rich as the finest chocolates. His tale is inventive: A 16th century Spaniard goes to 'the New World' in search of a unique gift for his lady love. In Mexico, he drinks a curious beverage called 'cacahuatl' -- chocolate. In pursuit of this treasure, he falls in love. What follows is his journey across continents and centuries, intoxicated by both love and chocolate. He is kept company by his first love's pet greyhound, Pedro. Together they meet the Marquis de Sade, Sigmund Freud, and participate in the invention of pain de chocolate, Sachertorte, and the humble Hershey's kiss. This is a fable lush in sensual detail and rich in intimate reflection. It was a very emotional read, leaving me tearful and spent with heartache, ravenously hungry for both chocolate and passion.