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The Food Chain [Paperback]

Geoff Nicholson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 5 1993
Frank runs the Golden Boy fast-food chain, his wife Mary is having an affair with the chef, and his son Virgil modelled for the Golden Boy logo when he was a baby. All three get embroiled in the machinations of an organization dedicated to feasting and Dionysian activities.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Britain's Nicholson delivers a savvy, morbidly humorous story of a trendy L.A. restaurateur's undesired initiation into a secretive London club.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Acclaimed British novelist Nicholson will make quite a splash with his first American release, a sly and bawdy culinary romp. This rambunctious tale of gastronomic excess and sexual abandon begins modestly enough in California, where Frank Marcel is despairing of ever making a go of his diner. Inspiration arrives when his English wife, Mary, takes a picture of their toddler, Virgil, chomping on a chicken leg. "Golden Boy" is born, and soon Frank owns a profitable chain of family restaurants. Virgil becomes an archetypal prodigal son who achieves a modicum of fame running his father's one trendy gourmet eatery in L.A. When he receives a rather enigmatic invitation to join something called the Everlasting Club in London, he readily accepts, but the club turns out to be an experience few could stomach. Its emblem is a snake swallowing its own tail, and its mission is to sustain a perpetual bacchanalia. So far, the party has been running nonstop for 350 years. As all the Marcels get tangled up in the club's epicurean intrigue, Nicholson, who maintains a devastatingly arch tone and brisk pace, presents us with scenes of both cheerful eroticism and taunting grossness, all the while flirting with the specter of cannibalism and the connection between consumption, power, and sex. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Capitvatingly Disgusting! Feb. 11 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
All right, I admit it. I have become a depraved and obsessive fan of Geoff Nicholson! I was compelled to read all his titles and each one has pleasantly surprised me. I don't know how the mind of this man works but it is scary how he can, with such dark humour and hysterical grotesqueness, manipulate his plots and characters.
In "The Food Chain" he does this once again. I literally was wincing as I read it. I have been to movies where I was afraid to look at the screen but was so morbidly tansfixed by what was going on that I couldn't completely turn away. This was how I felt about the entire book.
In short, if you love a good read and wish you could tap into the twisted side you know you must have deep down somewhere, get this book. Then again, I suppose I'd say that about any of Nicholson's works.
Can't wait for "Flesh Guitar"!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A love/hate book , thats hard to put down ! Sept. 25 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
i loved this book so much .. yet at tymes i wanted to throw it and still i kept on reading it .. the story hold's you captive as it twist and turns revealing the story bit by bit.. if you haven't read it yet i sugest doing so soon... i could not stop reading it
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When the hunter becomes the hunted Feb. 7 2008
By - Kasia S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The vagueness of what is going on makes this book stand out from others; the reader is kept in the dark about the present but gets the past woven in through the chapters to build up the story. I felt like I took a journey with Virgil Marcel, his invitation to the secret Everlasting Club in England wasn't traveled alone, it was a trip taken with the reader deeply immersed in with everything that was going on. For a foreigner such as himself the food was strange sure, but the real food that was served and created for the club was a mixture of disgusting combinations, fancy pairings, secret meats and an overabundance of liqueurs, not to mention the naked woman lounging on the dinging room table...

Virgil has no idea what he has gotten himself into, spoiled, rich and young he takes advantages of what the club has to offer but unknowns to him its not as simple as it seems. Something dark and secret and mysterious is happening and the members who belong to the club are no ordinary people. Sadists freaks, gluttons and weirdos with insatiable strange fetishes have feasted there for the past three hundred years and they have no intentions of changing their bizarre, dark rituals and feasts. As Vrigil gets tangled up deeper into the nets of despair and simply walking away is not an option. Half the fun was reading about the history of the members and the other was worrying what was happening to the guests, the chapters go back and forth giving more glimpses of what this club is really into.

The writing was silky smooth and flowed easily, it never bumped around my head like a blind critter and the ideas and theories the author included were not too foreign, but it was unusual to see crazy things one can make up in their head or simply know in print, staring them in the face. Nicholson's charm lays in his descriptions, the amount of food in this book is staggering, most of it doesn't come close to anything I would be able to eat, a creature put together on a silver platter with a shark's head and octopus tentacles, claws and other weird parts is not your daily fare, yet it was something that The Everlasting Club was known for and the reader gets to experience it all.

The bizarre meets gruesome and perverse in this strange but wonderful tale, and the ending was great, I felt scared that this thin book will end before thing get really ugly but it was all tied up wonderfully. Full of twists and turns this book doesn't shy on taking the deep plunge into the deep end of the psyche!

- Kasia S.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capitvatingly Disgusting! Feb. 11 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
All right, I admit it. I have become a depraved and obsessive fan of Geoff Nicholson! I was compelled to read all his titles and each one has pleasantly surprised me. I don't know how the mind of this man works but it is scary how he can, with such dark humour and hysterical grotesqueness, manipulate his plots and characters.
In "The Food Chain" he does this once again. I literally was wincing as I read it. I have been to movies where I was afraid to look at the screen but was so morbidly tansfixed by what was going on that I couldn't completely turn away. This was how I felt about the entire book.
In short, if you love a good read and wish you could tap into the twisted side you know you must have deep down somewhere, get this book. Then again, I suppose I'd say that about any of Nicholson's works.
Can't wait for "Flesh Guitar"!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love/hate book , thats hard to put down ! Sept. 25 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
i loved this book so much .. yet at tymes i wanted to throw it and still i kept on reading it .. the story hold's you captive as it twist and turns revealing the story bit by bit.. if you haven't read it yet i sugest doing so soon... i could not stop reading it
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Money well saved Aug. 27 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am very happy to say that I did not purchase this book; it was loaned to me for my opinion. I find the author's mentality so disgusting (you can see why from the other reviews) that I am not even going to finish reading it. Generally speaking, I enjoy satire, but I find this just a vehicle for the grossness that so many find desireable and amusing in today's culture. Save your money - buy a GOOD book!
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