Nicholson's stateside debut, a dark parable of appetites carnal, commercial and culinary, sets him firmly in the contemporary British mode of savvy, morbid humor pioneered by compatriots like Martin Amis and Pete Davies. L.A. wunderkind restaurateur Virgil Marcel is unprepared for the display of pathological gluttony that greets him at London's shadowy, invitation-only Everlasting Club, where members have been enjoying a nonstop orgiastic banquet since the Restoration. He is still more surprised to be subsequently swept off by an omnivorous English maiden on a mystery tour--more masticatory than magical--of English foods and fetishes. Virgil's bewilderment only deepens as he gradually uncovers a generational mystery that bonds the Everlasting Club's patrician sybarites, his English mother and his American father, demiurge of the Golden Boy fastfood restaurants, in a chain of appetite where desire may literally devour its object. A deft stylist, Nicholson adroitly dodges from sex to death to dinner and back, but after an uproarious opening his ability to ring the changes on his fable of consumption fades, while the profundities with which he garnishes the menu are stale at best. Readers will likely guess the Everlasting Club's dark but heavily signposted secret long before the final course, and may consider the club symbol--Ourobouros, the worm that eats its own tail--an apt enough motif for the imaginative but overelaborate dish Nicholson serves up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.See all Product Description