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Amazing Disgrace [Paperback]

Paterson James Hamilton

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Book Description

Nov. 28 2006
Gerald Samper is a ghost-writer to the stars: rock singers, racing drivers and ski champions. And to Millie Cleat, the monstrous one-armed sailor, whose round-the-world voyage has made her the toast of Britain, and who has become the poster-girl for the Deep Blues, a mystical and nutty environmental group. Gerald pines for greater things, however, and would prefer to write the memoirs of Max Christ, the celebrated conductor. While he schemes to land this unattainable catch, he muses hilariously and viciously on the world of which he is such an unwilling part, looking out from his Tuscan hilltop and pining for his neighbour Marta, offspring of a crime family from Voynovia, who disappeared one day into thin air.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber And Faber Ltd.; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 28 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571229395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571229390
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,344,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gerald Samper, an irrepressible middle-aged Brit, divides his time between London and a Tuscan villa, where he sips wine, savors his own curious culinary creations (like "Badger Wellington" and "Death Roe"), and pens biographies of sports and media personalities. The subjects of his offerings are often insufferable, such as one-armed fiftysomething yachtswoman Millie Cleat, more concerned with her own notoriety than her nautical achievements. In this sequel to the wonderfully wry Cooking with Fernet Branca, Samper experiments with an herbal potion for penile enlargement and pines for his Tuscan neighbor, Marta, a composer from an Eastern Bloc country who has mysteriously disappeared. Fortuitous circumstances bring Samper into the company of famous German conductor Max Christ. This turn of events is sure to please his nicotine-addicted agent, Frankie, who's forever pestering Samper to find more substantial subjects for his tomes. Amazing Disgrace is written as if Samper is chatting with the reader over a bottle of Prosecco, and it offers endless (often laugh-out-loud) musings from the scatological to the sartorial. Upon the pleasures of a corduroy suit, he opines: "Discretion is the better part of velour." Samper is the consummate conversationalist, though one might think twice about sampling his cuisine. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"'Larded with bitter satire and piquant wit'. The Times"

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samper's Delicious Present Feb. 15 2007
By George Oppel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yes, Samper is back, cooking up delectable dishes that tend to explode delightfully in his own face. This book is just as funny as "Cooking With Fernet," though if anything the satire is angrier, more focused. We meet Millie Cleat, the "one-armed old sea bitch" whose megalomania is a wondrous match for Samper's, and who (like Samper) has a gift for hoisting herself with her own petard. There are times when Samper comes dangerously close to being a three-dimensional character, but fortunately his penchant for awful puns, double entendres, and lewd anagrams saves him from this unwelcome fate. He remains a rootless hedonist who makes a crust by writing celebrity biographies and who even convinces himself that "in default of any serious alternative ... lotus eating is definitely the way forward." Ever the survivor, he moves from one disgraceful episode to the next, his adventures all alike in being completely devoid of significance. And in his wake you can hear the grateful laughter of his readers.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samper is back! Nov. 16 2006
By justin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
and he gets into the most ridiculous situations. It is still laugh out loud and read out loud funny. Less cooking than in "Cooking with Fernet Branca" - perhaps there are a limited number of gut wrenching culinary combinations even the fertile imagination of Hamilton-Paterson can dream up? I have to say, I did miss Marta. Sometimes the solid pages of Samper reflection got to be too rich, like gorging on hunting dog pate.

I got the feeling at the end that perhaps Samper still has some legs for further books, and if that happens I'll make some time and space, pretend that I've flown to a safe distance from "TV Cheffies" and all things mundane, and savor the further adventures of this most unusual character.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is Fernet Branca? July 28 2010
By Sparkle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gerry Samper, our beloved self-important, singer, fence builder, chef, writer extraordinaire is back. He is still living in Italy, ghosting biographies and singing at the top of his lungs. However, Marta is gone and he is no longer "Cooking With Fernet Branca".

Gerry's subject this time is Mille, a one armed, grandmother sailor that lets a little fame from her sailing expeditions go to her head. This book does have its funny moments and some clever quirkiness, but the relationships in this book lack the spice and antagonism that Gerry & Marta had that made the first book in this series so laugh out loud funny. ,

I really enjoy Paterson's writing style and I'm glad I read this book. He is clever and smart. I hope though, if there is a third book in this series, he can bring back the love-hate dynamic he executed so well in "Cooking With Fernet Branca".
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment Plus!!! June 24 2013
By Michael E. Nader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The second volume of the trilogy, just as funny as the first one, and just as funny as the last one. The author notes that with North American guys and gals getting pierced and tattooed all over, the National Geographic magazine no longer needs to send photographers to Papua, New Guinea, to see such people, they are right here at home, a new Stone Age people, right here in the West.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous - but please read Cooking with Fernet Branca first! June 17 2013
By morgana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
How to describe this? Beautifully written, glorious, but one has to read Cooking . . before totally enjoying this - which, trust me, you will!!

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