CBR13Bingo – Libations
Here, watch this:
On the one hand I liked a lot about this book, and on the other hand it got to be a little bit of a drag at certain parts. Like all food blogs, this novel, which poses as a cookbook or recipe book has a bit of a “when do they get to the fireworks factory” issue. Our narrator, an eclectic and cryptic food writer, is slowly taking us through a culinary adventure using the seasons as his guide. His recommendations are off-beat, which makes it interesting, and the result is some fantastic storytelling along the way. But I also wanted to learn about the food! So here, the book reminds me of two books–one real and one fake. The real book is Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days, which along with ghost stories and other Christmas tales gives us various winter recipes. And the fake book comes from Edward St Aubyn’s Lost for Words, a send up of the Booker Prize in which the leading contending for the award is a cookbook that’s mistaken for a novel. Was St Aubyn thinking of John Lanchester? Almost certainly not. But I still thought about it.
For me though, without giving away too much, this book is most like Nabokov’s Pale Fire. Our writer, given the opportunity to share his thoughts on food and drink, cannot help but use this space as kind of confessional, mining further and further into his strange past and clearly working his way toward actually telling us something real about himself.