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Book – The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood

| 8 August 2013 | Reply

Canon Gate Books, rrp $27.99
August 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Jonathan Grimwood - The Last Banquet Book

Jonathan Grimwood’s tale of Jean-Marie Charles d’Aumout finds the penniless, newly-orphaned child eating beetles by the side of a road, and follows his ascent through Eighteenth century French society after being sent to military academy.

Eventually Jean-Marie frequents the palace of Versailles, and even travels to Corsica as a diplomat/spy. Along the way he explores and indulges his hunger, with no taste left untried – Three-Snake Bouillabaisse, Pickled Wolf’s Heart and Flamingo Tongue are just three of the unusual recipes featured.

In this pre-revolution France though, the chasm between the peasant and aristocrat classes is full of hatred and desperation and the hunger of the oppressed – both literal and for change – is an inevitable force that cannot be avoided.

At times shocking, The Last Banquet masterfully evokes the sights and smells of the era, and Grimwood never lets the tension ease for a moment, ensuring the reader immerses totally in Jean-Marie’s quest to assuage his hunger for not only food, but also love and life.


Category: Book Reviews

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