Gourmet Rhapsody

Gourmet Rhapsody

Book - 2009
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From the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in The Elegance of the Hedgehog , Pierre Arthens, the greatest food critic in the world, is dying. Revered by some and reviled by many, Monsieur Arthens has been lording it over the world's most esteemed chefs for years, passing judgment on their creations, deciding their fates with a stroke of his pen, destroying and building reputations on a whim. But now, during these his final hours, his mind has turned to simpler things. He is desperately searching for that singular flavor, that sublime something once sampled, never forgotten, the Flavor par excellence. Indeed, this flamboyant and self-absorbed man desires only one thing before he dies: one last taste.

Thus begins a charming voyage that traces the career of Monsieur Arthens from childhood to maturity across a celebration of all manner of culinary delights. Alternating with the voice of the supercilious Arthens is a chorus belonging to his acquaintances and familiars--relatives, lovers, a would-be protégé, even a cat. Each will have his or her say about M. Arthens, a man who has inspired only extreme emotions in people. Here, as in The Elegance of Hedgehog , Muriel Barbery's story celebrates life's simple pleasures and sublime moments while condemning the arrogance and vulgarity of power.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Europa Editions Inc, c2009.
ISBN: 9781933372952
Characteristics: 156 p. ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Anderson, Alison


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WVMLlibrarianCathy Mar 05, 2017

This companion novel to The Elegance of the Hedgehog does not disappoint. Once again, Ms Barbery offers a glimpse into the relationships, lives, and deaths of characters who pass through this charming Parisian apartment building. Her philosophical slant on fiction gives the reader much to ponder, and her descriptions of cuisine gave this reader a rumbling belly...

Jun 02, 2014

Well written novel, would recommend this book and the author's other novels too.

Jul 01, 2013

Elegance of the Hedgehog was an extraordinary novel, one where I became absorbed in the characters and found myself caring a great deal about what they thought and said. Muriel Barbery's Gourmet Rhapsody did not match up to the artistry of Elegance of the Hedgehog. It was more lightweight and less absorbing. I did appreciate the protagonist's florid, sensual descriptions of food, and I think his method of description might be good for me to use in a food writing class. However, the characters were largely forgettable because they are allowed so little space to speak of the man most of them have come to despise: Monsieur Arthens. I did get to the novel's end, and I did want to know if M. Arthens found the allusive flavor. I also thought that in some respects, the novel was a shrewd examination of the meaning of good food and how much culture can get in the way of understanding what good food really is.

Mar 11, 2011

Unfortunately, this was a disappointment. I love both food and Barbery but this is incredibly hard to get into. This goes to show that even though you love one of the author’s works, you can’t expect all the works to be interesting.

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