“Delicious is engrossing from page one. This is a deft and wild comic novel drawn from utterly fresh material. I look forward to anything Mark Haskell Smith writes.” Jim Harrison
“Haskell Smith writes well, especially about sex and food, and the multilayered plots move so fast they feel fresh. Think Elmore Leonard meets Mario Batali.” Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times
“Rated NC-17 for intermittent comic violence, good-natured swearing, cannibalism, humorous amorality, and some truly perverse sex.” Kirkus Reviews
“Hits exactly the right spot. . . . Haskell Smith smartly keeps the action lively by cutting back and forth between viewpoints while tossing off hilarious one-liners and situations that would be over-the-top if they weren’t so hilarious. But what really makes this novel work is its deft touch with serious themes of displacement and relationship changes. Deliciousis not for those with weak stomachs, prudish minds or delicate ears, but that leaves the rest of us to savor the novel’s many twisted charms.” Baltimore Sun
“Smith writes like Carl Hiaasen’s oversexed cousin. . . . [He] excels at cooking up a supremely weird atmosphere and spicing it up with equally weird sex and violence.” Booklist
“At once sexy and repulsive, the novel manages to plant sharp moral and cultural barbs in its gorge-feast of a plot.” Publishers Weekly
“Perverse black humor and sensuality, totally unexpected situations. Murder and gore abound but are presented so matter-of-factly, with such sly, lazy humor, that they are not repellent. . . . This is spare, stylish writing. Not a wasted word. . . . Believe me, Smith makes sure the reader has an immediate connection to each character. There's no stopping after the first couple of pages. Smith wittily displays an intuitive sense of human nature; how variable, vulnerable, changeable and dangerous the mind of man (and woman) is. Some of the plot turns are simply breathtaking. But unlike other twisty thrillers, you're never confused or exasperated. You go right along with Smith, and accept what he decides is the fate of this or that one.” Liz Smith, New York Post
“Smith is a funny guysee his earlier work Moistand this ribald account of a food-catering war in Hawaii islike wine-drizzled opakapaka and hungry sexdifficult to put down. . . . Sly and humorous.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin
“[A] darkly comic tale of contract killers, strip-club patrons, libidinous gay producers, and entrepreneurial island chefs.” Out
“Sex is certainly the throbbing heart of this exuberantly perverse, engagingly comic new novel. . . . It’s all neatly twisted together, viewed with a sweetly jaundiced eye and discussed in fleet, pungent prose. . . . Smith’s characters are mostly likeable, the less estimable more soall drawn in broad, deft strokes. . . . A sprightly light read. Grade: B+” Cincinnati CityBeat
“This is an absolute gem of a novelan addictive and engaging page-turner that is both hilarious and unexpectedly touching. Mark Haskell Smith is a genius at humanizing the absurd, prettying up the grotesque and altering the reader’s expectations in all kinds of wonderful ways. Delicious is a joy to read and the most aptly named novel in recent decades.” David Liss, author of Spectacle of Corruption and The Coffee Trader
“I haven’t laughed so hard or often at a crime novel in years. Delicious is a wonderfully perverse book and I recommend it in the highest possible terms, with this caveat: Don’t read it right before dinner.” Scott Phillips, Author of The Ice Harvest, The Walkway, and Cottonwood
“Definitely the sick-bastard son of Elmore Leonard, yes, Mark Haskell Smith. . . . Highly, highly recommended.” Tony DuShane, Cherry Bleeds
“They are funny, weird, serious, off the wall, you name it. . . . Each [character] is a jewel.” I Love a Mystery
Set in a seedy, sun-baked Hawaii that most tourists don't know exists, Smith's frenetic second novel (after Moist) begins with a flash-forward to a Greek tragedy of a luau. Roasting human flesh was not on the agenda for Joseph when he set out to become a professional chef, but a battle to keep the family catering business from being ruined by a greedy rival gradually drives him to desperation. The battle begins when a gay TV producer flies to the islands for a film shoot, sparking a contest over who will provide food for the set. Joseph, his uncle Sid and dimwitted cousin Wilson have been the only game in town, but a nasty, horny, recovering stroke victim with Mafia connections has come to Honolulu from Las Vegas to take over the film-catering industry. Sid is not about to let his paradise dream be wrecked, but then hit men are brought in. Meanwhile, Joseph must decide whether to follow his culinary dreams to New York City, support his uncle's war against the outsiders or indulge a gay suitor to save the family business-all of which leads to that luau from hell. At once sexy and repulsive, the novel manages to plant sharp moral and cultural barbs in its gorge-feast of a plot. Agent, Mary Evans. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Carl Hiaasen, meet Hannibal Lecter. Caterers to a movie shoot are covered by the Teamsters Union's lucrative contract conditions, and Las Vegas production caterer Big Jack Lucey doesn't see why island caterer Sid Tanumafili and his family should have a monopoly on everything shot in Hawaii. But Sid, his son Wilson and his nephew Joseph like the current arrangement just fine. So when a unit producer brings Jack with him to cater the pilot for a hoped-for TV series, Sid declares war on the invaders. The mainlanders are hobbled by a couple of handicaps that won't surprise fans of Moist (2002): Francis, the producer, is mourning his breakup with Chad, a big-shot producer with the morals of a gay lifeguard, and Big Jack has recently suffered a stroke that's left him partly paralyzed and with a bad case of technologically induced priapism. While Jack is getting the local Teamster leaders to sign on the dotted line, Yuki Sugimoto, Francis's New Age production assistant, is reinventing herself as an androgynous sexpot on the advice of Lono, the local pimp she falls for. Unable to concentrate for long on anything but his sempiternal erection, Jack hires an ex-Marine hit man to settle his labor problems, but unexpected complications with the payoff force him to an even more sanguinary Plan B. As the entire cast caroms from one lighthearted set piece to the next with all the speed and depth of pinballs, an unidentified pair of them is unwittingly headed for a future in the Tanumafili barbecue pit, and the rest headed nowhere in particular. The effect is fast, funny and sometimes winsome, but consistently lightweight, the characters' bizarre actions fueled by nothing more than their unquenchableappetite for sex, liquor, drugs or the next plot twist. Rated NC-17 for intermittent comic violence, good-natured swearing, cannibalism, humorous amorality and some truly perverse sex.