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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » In the Kitchen: A Novel » User review

long and rarely interesting tale of life in a restaurant kitchen

  • Feb 7, 2012
Given how much I enjoyed Brick Lane, I was delighted to receive a copy this book. Unfortuately, delight soon turned to drudgery. The story was impossible to get into- none of the characters were particularly appealing and having recently read some non-fiction tales of life in a restaurant, this just didn't grab me. The writing is beautiful but that can only carry the novel so far, and the story itself was simply not engaging. A disappointing read from a great author.

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February 18, 2012
Maybe so.
About the reviewer
C Quinn ()
Ranked #348
I love books and review for pleasure, and I love to browse reviews online looking for more books to add to my TBR list.
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About this book


SignatureReviewed byPatricia VolkArestaurant kitchen is a functional substitute for hell. Flames leap, plates fly—knives and fingers, too. They're also the default place immigrants, legal and otherwise, find work. At London's Imperial Hotel, the setting for Monica Ali'sIn the Kitchen, nobody speaks the same language and everybody is underpaid. Ali, acclaimed author ofBrick Lane, nails the killer heat, killer fights and lethal grease buildup, all of it supervised by a simmering culinary Heathcliff, Gabriel Lightfoot, executive chef.Lightfoot dropped out of school at 16 to begin paying his kitchen dues, working crazy hours with crazy people while studying food chemistry and Brillat-Savarin. Along the way, he picked up scarred hands and a ravaged psyche. At 24, given his own restaurant, it went straight up his nose. Now, almost 20 years later, two wealthy Londoners have agreed to back Gabriel in a new restaurant, Lightfoot's, where he'll serve Classic French, precisely executed. Rognons de veau dijonnaise, poussin en cocotte Bonne Femme, tripes à la mode de Caen. In postmodern balsamic-drenched London, Gabriel is confident traditional French is poised for a comeback. Then the naked corpse of a Ukrainian night porter is discovered in the Imperial's basement, his head in a pool of blood. There is no one to claim the body. The ripple-free effect of a human death unhinges Gabriel. He develops a voluptuous need to self-sabotage. Visual manifestations include a Dr. ...
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ISBN-10: 141657168X
ISBN-13: 978-1416571681
Publisher: Scribner

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