Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: The Reluctant Cannibals

The Reluctant Cannibals
The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

This is probably the book that took me the longest time to finish. Not because there was anything wrong with it. On the contrary, I liked it. The thing was, I had to take some time away from blogging and reading in order to spend it with our Labrador, Lucky, who had been very ill. He crossed the rainbow bridge last Tuesday (October 15, 2013) and I needed some time to adjust to that as well. 

I finally managed to finish reading this book last night. I have to admit that the title put me off a bit when I first saw it listed on NetGalley. But then the more adventurous side of me decided to give the book a try. I had initially expected some gory tale akin some B-grade movie, but I was really surprised. It is a good book.

The story revolves around a group of Oxford academics who are members of a top secret group that they refer to as the shadow faculty of gastronomic science in 1969. They have special dinners where they introduce new and unique types of food -- gastronomical wonders -- for their special guests and each other to enjoy. During one of their dinners, fugu (puffer fish) was served by a Japanese diplomat. Unfortunately, the diplomat died during the dinner.

After that incident, the society had some challenges they had to face. Among them, Professor Arthur Plantagenet learned that he had a heart condition that would definitely shorten his lifespan if he did not take care of himself. The professor thought that the society can benefit from his demise and he made very elaborate plans to make sure that his last wish is fulfilled to the letter.

The other members of the shadow faculty were not so amused with what the professor wanted -- he had wanted that his body be donated to the pursuit of gastronomic science. They began to explore all the possible ways they could manage to avoid going through what Prof. Plantagenet wanted -- which was for them to have a part of him for dinner. They were, as the title of the book says, reluctant cannibals.

The book is a wonderful tale and even though the title may suggest a lot of horrid and gory things, there are none to be found in the book. The humor is understated yet present and enjoyable.

However, I would advise that you do not read this book while you are hungry. The description of all those wonderful gastronomic delights will make you drool no end. Even the most basic -- scrambled eggs -- will make you want to run to the kitchen to try it out.

All in all a good read and one that a lot of readers will surely like.

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 1:05 PM

1 comment:

  1. You were brave to take this one on, but it sounds like the topic was handled with some finesse. Thanks for the review. I might take a look. . .well after dinner and well before breakfast. :-)