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Lisel SchillingerThis amuse-gueule of a plot is followed by a main course worthy of an ovation.
— The New York Times
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And that's just the beginning.
After a series of virtuoso expressions of regret, word of Basset's mollifying power spreads, and he is tapped to become Chief Apologist for the United Nations. His job is to travel the globe in his own Gulfstream V private jet, apologizing for everything from colonialism through exploitation to slavery. It is a role that brings him fame, wealth, and access to a lot of very good chocolate. But in a world overdosing on emotion, does Marc Basset really have the stomach to become the sorriest man in history?
Built of delicate layers of heinous crime, forgiveness, and outrageous gastronomy, Jay Rayner's hilarious new novel is an arch comedy of modern appetite and etiquette.
The point is, I'm sorry this book was bought. Somewhere along the line somebody has been conned by the smart-ass cover art which the art director obviously thought would set it apart from all the other guff on the bookshop shelves (and which, admittedly, did the trick, or it wouldn't be in your hands now). Beautiful trees have been destroyed needlessly to make the paper. Then there's the grievous waste of oil-based ink. And we mustn't forget the obscenely large cash advance paid on this insidious doorstop which will, inevitably, result in the publisher having to spend its remaining money on banal, dead-certain bestsellers to the exclusion of anything new, interesting, or challenging. Finally, of course, there's the waste of your time, should you be one of those people who insist upon finishing a book once they've started it, and I know there are a lot of you out there.
I admit - and under the Professor's first law, I am required to admit - that I am not sorry about absolutely everything in this book. There's some pretty good writing between pages 129 and 133. I like the descriptions of my father, which are honest, and I always will have a warm place in my heart for the tasting menu of chocolate dishes in chapter 29. It really was as good as I make it sound.
As for the rest of it, I think you probably get the idea by now. I'm sorry. I'm just so bloody sorry.
Excerpted from Eating Crow by Jay Rayner Copyright © 2004 by Jay Rayner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted October 8, 2005
This was a fantastic book. A definite page turner. It's fantastic to see how the food takes shape, his apologies give a little to him, and the ending comes off in a way that you never would have expected.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.