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The Debt to Pleasure Taschenbuch – 1997

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Taschenbuch, 1997
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Na ja, bei allem Sinn für Ironie und Doppelbödigkeit: Das höchst bemühte Streben nach sophistication und das ( wenn auch gelegentlich selbstironisch gebrochene) name-dropping mit den Größen französischer Kultur wirkt trotz der anregenden Einbeziehung der dortigen gastronomischen Verfeinerungen in der durchgängigen Verdichtung zunehmend nervig. Verführt durch Lanchaster großartiges "Capital" habe ich mir dieses Frühwerk angetan - Gott sei Dank hat der Autor mittlerweile sehr viel gelernt.
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Format: Hörkassette
Yes, our narrator is droll. Yes, he's possessed of more knowledge than the staffs of Encyclopedia Britannica and the Library of Congress put together. And he's witty, too.

But he's an icicle. His chill is at first refreshing, but then numbing. Through all the recipes, through all the elitist opinions on absolutely everything (many of which are piercing and hilarious both) he remains below freezing. And he drops hints about his psychopathic activities so loudly they'd wake his murdered victims. The cultured killer is far from a novel concept, and hardly concept enough for a novel. All right already, some killers are well-educated and charming. I kept wondering, what does our narrator care for? What drives him, what is he fighting for? But he remained so wholly impenetrable, so completely without a human inner life, that boredom fell upon me. The effort to discern the vaguest of human qualities in our narrator having all but exhausted me, I turned to the other people he observes. Needless to say, the clinical precision with which he views the world leaves those in his sight devoid of warmth.

One could get the same impression left by this book in a fraction of the time by listening to "Murder by Numbers" by the Police on their album "Synchronicity." To the point, clever, and great cymbal-work by Copeland.

Alternately, you could take the advice of the Talking Heads:

Psycho killer . . .
Run run run, run run run away.
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Von Ein Kunde am 19. August 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
John Lanchaster's debut, A Debt to Pleasure, is one of a number of food-related novels to appear on national bestseller lists recently. While professional reviews were overwhelmingly laudatory, public reaction to the difficult book was more of a love/hate affair. Maybe the esoteric vocabulary and arrogant nature of Lanchaster's irrepressible narrator, Tarquin Winot, targets the reviewers insecurity by appealing to the genius-envy we all live with. Or perhaps those in the industry who were confused by certain features of the novel (like frequent and seemingly endless parentheticals which purposefully lead the reader careening down other avenues of thought, until stupefied, they realize guiltily that they are lost in the words) felt too baffled to issue forth a criticism. Whatever the case, a dictionary and a reading environment free from distraction are recommended. Throughout the book, the narrator's sanctimonious musings leap aggressively between the classic subjects of history, art and (of course) cuisine. Themes are tied together as our anti-hero prepares, contemplates, and consumes carefully considered gourmet meals while on a car tour of the French countryside. Aspects of each meal inevitably provide Winot with yet another piece of evidence to reaffirm his superiority over the rest of humanity. Every step of the way, we consider his thought provoking, if not psychotic, perspectives on subjects as far-ranging as the importance of a balanced breakfast and the inevitability of murder. The biting, comic, tone of Winot's commentary on the world around him brings to mind a similarly misguided protagonist: Ignatius J. Reilly of John Kennedy Toole's masterpiece, A Confederacy of Dunces.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Though I enjoyed the author's descriptive style and it started with an interesting premise, my desire to read this book came to a grinding halt when the sub-plot entered the story and was never developed. I would have been more interested to read about his life as a killer, than to read the never ending descriptions in parentheses. I just became frustrated and had to force myself to finish the book.
An excellent idea that didn't quite hit the mark. It hasn't turned me off his work forever though, and I'll probably pick up his next book and see how it compares to his first attempt.
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Von Ein Kunde am 19. Dezember 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I didn't find this book to be too wordy or difficult to read, but then I've traveled extensively in both England and France and have studied gourmet cooking, so maybe I have an advantage in this area. I thought Debt to Pleasure was simply delicious, a sheer delight. A character study par excellence. John Lanchester reveals his character's true personality little by little, delighting us more and more with each new piece of information. Sheer genius!
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Von Ein Kunde am 25. August 1998
Format: Hörkassette
A treat for all senses! Lanchester's mastery of language, all things esoteric, the erogenous zones that are our taste buds...my only disappointment was that he decided to weave a plot into his masterfully sophisticated musings that, in my opinion, were enough in and of themselves! I will keep this book handy if for no other reason than to increase my vocabulary by looking up all of the wonderful words of which I have no clue what they mean! Thank you, Mr. Lanchester, for a book that gives me the same pleasure as opening a present each time I pick it up to read. TITLE:The Debt to Pleasure AUTHOR:John Lanchester, Nick Ullett (Narrator) CUSTOMER-ID:4938397 SOURCE:jknight@pubnetics.com EMAIL:jknight@pubnetics.com DISPLAY-EMAIL:no USER-LOCATION:Denver CO TIME:904014779 RATING:5 PRIORITY:2500 SUMMARY: REVIEW: A treat for all senses! Lanchester's mastery of language, all things esoteric, the erogenous zones that are our taste buds...my only disappointment was that he decided to weave a plot into his masterfully sophisticated musings that, in my opinion, were enough in and of themselves! I will keep this book handy if for no other reason than to increase my vocabulary by looking up all of the wonderful words of which I have no clue what they mean! Thank you, Mr. Lanchester, for a book that gives me the same pleasure as opening a present each time I pick it up to read. TITLE:The Debt to Pleasure AUTHOR:John Lanchester, Nick Ullett (Narrator) CUSTOMER-ID:4938397 SOURCE:jknight@pubnetics.com EMAIL:jknight@pubnetics.com DISPLAY-EMAIL:no USER-LOCATION:Denver CO TIME:904014779 RATING:5 PRIORITY:2500 SUMMARY: REVIEW: A treat for all senses! Lanchester's mastery of language, all things esoteric, the erogenous zones that are our taste buds...Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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