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Gourmet Rhapsody
Gourmet Rhapsody
Author: Muriel Barbery
M. Pierre Arthens is France's premier restaurant critic -- so premier in fact that he's simply called the Maotre -- and we meet him as he lies in bed, waiting to die. Fervently he mines years of gastronomic delights and discoveries in search of one single flavor, one that he says is "the only true thing ever accomplished." What...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781933372952
ISBN-10: 1933372958
Publication Date: 8/25/2009
Pages: 160
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.

2.8 stars, based on 30 ratings
Publisher: Europa Editions
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

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Helpful Score: 4
Gourmet Rhapsody is a very fitting title for this pre-quel of sorts to The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Originally published six years prior, Gourmet Rhapsody takes place during the imminent death of 7, Rue de Grenelle resident Pierre Arthens. With 48 hours left to live, the world renowned food critic is frantically rummaging his memory for that Flavor he wishes to re-taste before he dies, so he takes the reader through a non-chronological visit down memory lane with elegant, vivid descriptions of delicious food and the simple pleasures in life. Barbery's language, marvelously translated from the French by Alison Anderson, is the highlight of the novel. His mental wanderings are interspersed with brief chapters of those around him reacting to his imminent demise. I found this first novel less satisfying than Hedgehog because of its monotonous plot structure and the less-than-sympathetic protagonist. Although professionally successful, Arthens is a man who does not love his children, ignores his wife, and dislikes dogs—a far cry from the charming concierge Renee who makes a cameo appearance. As such, his trial as a gourmand Ivan Ilyich seemed less compelling.
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