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The Reluctant Cannibals [Format Kindle]

Ian Flitcroft

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

A truly compelling read with a shocking climax. Well written and incredibly descriptive, the author of this particular work has clearly done homework about the field of gastronomy to produce a wonderful and memorable read. --Publishers Weekly

'I was going to say a brilliant debut novel, but it needs no qualification. A brilliant novel, full stop.' --Paula Leyden, winner of the 2011/12 Eilís Dillon Award

Présentation de l'éditeur

When a group of food-obsessed academics at Oxford University form a secret dining society, they happily devote themselves to investigating exotic and forgotten culinary treasures. Until a dish is suggested that takes them all by surprise.
Professor Arthur Plantagenet has been told he has a serious heart problem and decides that his death should not be in vain. He sets out his bizarre plan in a will, that on his death, tests the loyalty of his closest friends, the remaining members of this exclusive dining society.
A dead Japanese diplomat, police arrests and charges of grave robbing. These are just some of the challenges these culinary explorers must overcome in tackling gastronomy's ultimate taboo: cannibalism.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 523 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 256 pages
  • Editeur : Legend Press (1 octobre 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00BU2NGQ2
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°240.059 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dark and Delicious! 1 octobre 2013
Par Liz Barnsley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Shortlisted for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Irish Writers' Centre Novel Fair Award Winner

So here is a book I would not have looked at twice if it wasnt coming from the amazing Legend Press who have yet to bring me a book I have not liked. And yes, they have indeed done it again....

In the academic world of Oxford University several likeminded individuals have formed a secret dining society - finding forgotton and exotic recipes they enjoy some culinary treats. When one of their number, Professor Arthur Plantagenet, discovers he has a serious heart condition he comes up with a bizarre plan that will test the boundaries of the society to its limits....

I loved this one. It was a complete joy to read and unique in its concept and its execution. When a guest dies due to a mishap in the creation of one of the culinary treats - ""What a bloody marvelous way to die" says one character while the corpse is still fresh at the table - the group is put under the spotlight...and consequences ensue not least due to Professor Plantagenet's weird and wonderful plan. The whole story is gloriously accomplished - the equivalent of the best meal you will ever eat in book form. A culinary masterpiece indeed...

Dark humour abounds - and somewhat of an education. Little titbits about the history of certain food related topics can be found dotted about and it was fascinating stuff. Want to know what the practice of Sokushinbutsu entails? I know you do...and you will!

Atmospheric and intriguing you will be swept along with all the marvellous and nutty characters, and this is elegantly written in a way thats easy to love. Oh I could tell you about so much more but I'm not going to, why oh why would I spoil in any way such a treat of a reading experience - you see this is a story the likes of which you are probably not going to find again, or have read before. So savour it. Pun intended.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Loaded with interesting facts 1 octobre 2013
Par Elka Gimpel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
The Reluctant Cannibals is a delicious tale dripping with gallows humor and British wit. It's the zany story of Oxford intelligentsia who devote themselves to the gastronomical pursuit of sampling exotic and exquisite cuisine. While academics consuming new foods may seem like a dry topic for a novel, as the name suggest, the plot quickly takes a macabre twist.

After Professor Plantagenet is diagnosed with a heart condition due to his years of decadence, he submits a bizarre request to the shadow faculty of gastronomic science-one that teaches them just how far they're willing to go in the name of the perfect bite. Nothing goes smoothly as they have to deal with curing techniques, student rivalries and arrests for grave robbing. And since every boy's club needs a Vernon Wormer, they must also contend with Vice-Chancellor Ridgeway whose greatest desire is to see them disbanded.

From walls lined with leather-bound volumes, to the ghost who haunts the stone cellar, The Reluctant Cannibals has tons of atmosphere and style. There's more than enough quirk and black humor on each page to insure no part was a drag. The footnotes peppered throughout were an amusing touch, and the history of cannibalism was more interesting than it should have been.

The Reluctant Cannibals is for anyone who enjoys their humor dark, and for the gourmand who will appreciate the references. Oh, and of course, for all those determined cannibals out there.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Reluctant Cannibals 14 août 2014
Par S Riaz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
This debut novel is darkly and deliciously disturbing. Set in Oxford University during 1969 and 1970, it features the Shadow Faculty of Gastronomic Science; the members of which are all Fellows of St Jerome’s College. Devoted to their dinners, to which they expand enormous effort, the Society suffer a setback when Takeshi Tokoro, guest of one of the founding members, Dr Augustus Bloom, dies while eating a dish he helped prepare himself. Enter Dr Ridgeway, the modern Vice-Chancellor, who is determined to have the ‘ridiculous boys’ club’ disbanded. However, the accidental death of the cultural attaché of Japan is nothing compared to the havoc which is about to be wreaked by one of its own members.

Arthur Plantagenet, who has devoted his life to gastronomy, discovers that his love of good food is going to shorten his life. However, far from deciding to cut back on his eating to extend his life, Arthur determines that the group should eat him after his death.... It is fair to say that the other members of the Society are less than thrilled with this suggestion, but events soon get quite out of hand. Pursued by both Dr Ridgeway, the police, ethical worries and a deeply unpleasant and snobbish student who resents not being invited to join, Arthur’s last wish descends into farce. This book is full of wonderfully eccentric characters, a delightful academic setting, ghosts who play Bach and some serious perusals of recipes which will either make your mouth water or make you feel slightly squeamish. This is an original and deeply humorous novel. I was saddened, by the end, to say goodbye to the characters who peopled these pages and I know it will be a book I will come back to and revisit. Highly recommended.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Poached Egg of a Novel 16 janvier 2014
Par Lost John - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have strong inhibitions - which I regard as healthy - against interfering with, let alone eating, the human dead. So the title and cover blurb of this book made me hesitate.

On the other hand, the book is calculated to appeal to foodies - gastronomes if you prefer - and to those with an affection for the ways of the older-established English universities , especially before the wind of change swept through the sector, causing at least some mild disturbance on the fringes of the oldest-established. You won't find me very far down either of those roads.... but far enough to be interested.

The setting is the University and city of Oxford, England in 1969. Ian Flitcroft creates a fictional college, St Jerome's, complete with fictional dons, students, Head Porter and Shadow Faculty of Gastronomic Science, but for the most part his Oxford is real enough. So, it must be said, are many of the foibles he gives his fictional characters.

The fictional reason why the setting is so long ago is that the author had to wait until all his key players were safely dead. In practical terms, the 45 year interval provides the necessary aura for us to suspend our disbelief of some of the antics described. But Flitcroft certainly set himself a major task in researching a set of classic wines and other alcoholic drinks that might have been available at the time. I haven't made any attempt to check those, though the alleged ease with which exotic foods were obtained in Oxford at that time itself stretches credibility. It seems the covered market was as comprehensively stocked as the Food Hall of the famous West London store, Harrods. That may be so; I wasn't there, and it doesn't matter.

Besides his own Oxford experience and interest in food, Ian Flitcroft uses his medical training to good effect. He clearly also knows a thing or two about classical organ music, and is amusingly inventive in his use of a few food-related Bible texts. (An organ-playing Chaplain is one of his principal characters.)

Ian Flitcroft gives us to understand that he is himself a gastronome and that many of the culinary wonders he describes in the book have been trialed, if not also invented, by himself. Many would be highly ambitious for us lesser mortals, not to say expensive, but I was tempted as I read the book to try his cooking instructions for poached and scrambled eggs, and they worked, although for me the poached egg was overcooked after the five minutes prescribed. A second attempt allowing only four minutes was much more satisfactory. His tower of stilton cheese topped with a pickled walnut, built on a foundation of a generous slice of ripe pear and a dollop of fig jam, served with a glass of Muscat de Rivesaltes, is entirely possible and just awaits a trip to an upmarket supermarket in my own university city.

But how does the book work as a novel? There are parallels with the poached egg - it would be better if it took 20 per cent less time to read, i.e. was shorter. The story is essentially very straight forward and the writing, whilst adequate, does not send Ian Flitcroft shooting to the level of the all time greats. In the sub genre of black humor he is in any case up against very strong competition. I feel somewhat generous in giving the book four stars, but the gastronomy and the local colour help to make it worth a read.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Guess who we are having for dinner? 15 mars 2014
Par Tommy Dooley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I was drawn to this book by the truly splendid title, but don't think this is a tale of desperate survivors of an air crash or some such incident; no this is set amid the enchanting spires of Oxford University. We meet the members of the dangerously exclusive, `Shadow Faculty of Gastronomic Science. This is a dining society of Oxford Dons who make it their life's aim to turn gastronomy into the science they believe it truly is and to taste all that the world of culinary delights has to offer - and drink a fair bit too.

Then one of the members - Professor Arthur Plantagenet gets the unwelcome news of his sudden and unexpected demise due to a dicky heart. Undeterred by this quite catastrophic news, he sees it as a way to further push the envelope of culinary frontiers - and comes up with a plan. This he entrusts into a meticulous and detailed will of what is to be done with his `remains' once he has shuffled off his `mortal coil'; oh and he leave a rather generous legacy too.

Soon the doctors are proven right and his plan swings into action, as well as the normal directions one of the more galling parts is that he wants to know what `we' taste like and he is only too ready to donate his body, or at least a bit of it, to the field of gastronomic inquiry. That's right he wants them to eat him - and make some tasting notes too. What follows is a tale of subterfuge, modest rebellion, lots of eating, some marvellous recipes and some rather ungallant behaviour by certain individuals.

I really enjoyed this book, Ian Flitcroft has a way with words that is almost Wodehouse in that the humour is both dry and full of wit and insight. The characters really come alive - except for Professor Plantagenet of course - and the story is totally addictive. An absolute joy of a read from start to finish. You should also read the notes at the back as they add to and explain even more of the motivation for this original and rewarding piece of literature.
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