I won a copy of Muriel Barbery's novel Gourmet Rhapsody through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. Wait. I won an AUDIO copy of this book. And that's where this gets tricky.
I rarely listen to audio books. My mind tends to wander and I end up rewinding a bunch. And then there's the issue with the narrators. A bad narrator can ruin a good book. Thankfully that was NOT the issue with this audio book. I loved the various narrators' voices. I just had other issues...mainly my own.
First of all, I tried listening and doing things on the Internet. Bad idea. Then I decided to sit and knit while listening. Better idea. Forgot to turn the shuffle thing off iTunes. Bad idea. So I listened to about half of the book in shuffle mode. Yeah.
Anyway, here's the gist:
Gourmet Rhapsody takes place in the same affluent apartment building as The Elegance of the Hedgehog (read my review). This book, however, revolves around an elderly food critic, Monsieur Arthens, who is on his deathbed. The story flip flops between the food critic desperately trying to remember a specific food or taste while he revisits old memories of his lifetime. The rest of the story is narrated by the various people in his life: wife, cat, children, etc. Some of them liked him and some absolutely loathe him. (Almost every section of the audio book is narrated by someone else with a lot of flashbacks, so you could see how I might not have known it was on shuffle.)
At first I did NOT like the food critic. Pompous. Vain. Wordy. But as I sat and knitted, I just started to salivate. I wanted to curl up with a glass of wine and listen to all the foods. (My husband just laughed at that because I am not what you'd call a foodie person.) And then I started to like ol' Monsieur Arthens. He's just on his deathbed remembering fond tastes and smells and experiences while all around him family and friends are judging him.
Anyway, there you have it. I did like it. Even after all my technical difficulties. I want to re-read it (not listen) because there are so many things said that I loved. No dog-earring with audio copies.
***Would you like my Audio (CDs) copy of The Gourmet Rhapsody?
1) Tell me your favorite foodie book. I mean one that makes you want to eat whatever they are.