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