For one thing - I love a short book. But beside that, I thoroughly enjoyed this little story. The inside cover says
'France's greatest food critic is dying, after a lifetime in single-minded pursuit of sensual delights. But as Pierre Arthens lies on his deathbed, he is tormented by an inability to recall the most delicious food to ever pass his lips, which he ate long before becoming a critic. Desperate to taste it one more time, he looks back over the year to see if he can pin down the elusive dish.'I found it interesting that in the early stages of the book it was about searching for the food, however I noticed a change, as the food critic reflected on his life - he was thinking more and more about his life experiences, the relationships he had in his life. I wonder if he was looking for that elusive experience of love. This is an interesting concept for this arrogant and self centred french foodie. His wife was devoted to him, but he couldn't see her as anything but a beautiful piece of art. His children were desperate for his attention, but he had nothing but intolerance toward them. Any wonder he was 'alone' in the end - searching for a flavour..
Despite the lead characters personality, the author did a fabulous job at describing him, his family, and his mission. One particular chapter I loved was that dedicated to bread. The narrator, Pierre Arthens, is recalling childhood memories of days at the beach. These words so eloquently describe my own experiences;
We were breathless; it was time to leave the beach. The day had already seemed both deliciously short and long. The shoreline at this point, a long sandy arc stretching lazily into the distance and devoured by waves, offered us the most heedless of swims, with the maximum of pleasure and the minimum of risk. Since morning, with my cousins, we had been diving over and over into the breakers, or taking flight from their crests, breathless, inebriated from the endless rollers....I don't usually eat bread in my daily life, however, his recollection of bread can bust any restricted dieter... I wont quote it here, but I'd highly recommend this little book! It was both a tour through the sensual experiences of eating and tasting, but also a lovely journey into aspects of the vie Parisienne.
Now, tell me you didn't just disappear into your own childhood memories of the beach?