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4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews

Sandy Devanche considers himself to be a five star gentleman, although he never gives more than three.

As the harshest food critic in the business, he is feared and respected by the top chefs of the city. On a standard assignment, Sandy visits the experimental restaurant The House of Jacob, run by chef extraordinaire
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 122 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Dark Continents Publishing
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Community Reviews

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Sweet Bloody Hell!!

Hello…is it safe to come of hiding yet? …..Dare I open my eyes? Is it over?
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Thought I was real bloody clever picking up this one, didn't I

I can't even remember where I saw this book, or why it caught my attention. I will not believe it was fate, because that would be too cruel and it would put me over the edge. This is most certainly one of those books that find YOU.

Critique, a creepy little f%cker screaming... read me me.
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A force my sadistic curiosity could not re
Suzanne Robb
Jan 18, 2012 Suzanne Robb rated it it was amazing
When I first starting reading this novella I had a bare bones idea of what it was about.

What ensued was so much more than I could have imagined. A story within a story.

Carlos stops at a diner for some water and gets talked into a cup of coffee and a meal. We soon get immersed into the life of Sandy Devanche, a restaurant critic, and a five star man who never gives more than three.

He is foul tempered, seeks out the negative in everything, neglects his child, we learn he abused his wife, is dealin
Feb 19, 2013 Tai rated it really liked it
What can I say about this book? I feel like I have a thousand different thoughts about it running through my mind, and yet, I cannot seem to express any of them. I think my mind is still in shock at just what it was forced to read.

Is this book well written? Engaging? Thought provoking? Leaves you at the edge of your seat unable to pull your eyes away from it? Yes, yes, yes, and YES!!

And yet, I do NOT recommend anyone read this book. I had been warned previously by another reviewer, so certain th
Feb 22, 2013 Kristie rated it liked it
Oh, this book...I probably would go 3.5 to 4 stars if I felt I was given a better ending. The gross nature of the content did not bother me as much as the ending did. I thought the ending was lacking. After all I went through, I felt a bit duped.

Don't get me wrong, because I still liked this a lot. The content is sick, disgusting, and should not be attempted by anyone with a weak stomach. But, for all that was gross and just plain vile, I could not put the book down. I was obsessed with finishi
Ok, I like my books to hit me upside the head with what they are about. I really don't like reading books where I dont have a clue whats going on. I finished this and thought, ok, I dont get it. I am sure the author was trying to tell the reader something, just bypassed me.
A.J. Brown
Jan 18, 2012 A.J. Brown rated it it was amazing
Where do I start with this review of Daniel Russell’s ‘Critique’? Let me say this: this story is so much more than what meets the eye. It starts out slow—on purpose—but not boring at all. As the story unfolds so does the pacing until you reach the end at a break neck speed.

The characters are portrayed nicely, especially the main two, Jacob Enfer and Sandy Devanche. Interestingly enough, neither character shows up at the beginning—two others do and it is in a diner where one character tells the
Shannon Gambino
Mar 03, 2012 Shannon Gambino rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Sane, cocky, and meticulous personality traits turn into insane, groveling, and obsessive-compulsive behavior within a few pheromone-laced mouthfuls at the House of Jacob. The novella was very well written with twisted meals that at some points made me shut my eyes to get the visual imagery to stop. The descriptive wording even pushed my olfactory sense into overdrive while reading. Though my senses were on high alert while reading CRITIQUE, I still felt a lacking sense of character connection. ...more
LD  Durham
May 17, 2012 LD Durham rated it it was amazing
My first horror story. A true horror story. So, not being a fan of the genre, I have to say this was awesome! It freaked me the hell out without being gory. Not to say I ever ate while reading, because it does get... intense and disturbing. But not a slasher story. Just genuinely hair-raising. There were times that I did NOT want to turn the page, but just couldn't walk away from the story. It was truly well-written, drawing me in from the first paragraph.

It was a free read, which is why I tried
Sep 13, 2012 Plainbrownwrapper marked it as dnf
Some notes while I read --

This has an attention grabbing opening:

"Desolation was a strange monster. It operated on different scales, on varying shades. It could be plain or beautiful, imposed, self-inflicted, but always…empty."

Hmmm. It's a little jarring to be reading about a guy driving through an American desert while coming across words like "tyre" and "bonnet"... ;-)

Hmmm again. I didn't expect this to be a framed story. It's got an opening frame very reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode...
Greg Chapman
Sep 04, 2012 Greg Chapman rated it it was amazing
Once I started reading this tale I experienced sensations of repulsion and the compulsion to turn the next page.
Russell's story about a snobbish, thoughtless food critic Sandy Devanche who gets his just desserts after years of treating everyone he knows like crap - is a delicious piece of horror fiction. Instead of blood and gore, the horror's strength comes from its ability to make your stomach turn. We cringe as Sandy goes through each course, slowly, but surely starving his soul in the proces
Frankie Yates
Oct 18, 2015 Frankie Yates rated it it was amazing
This book fascinated me. I've never read anything like it and I doubt I'll ever read anything like it again. I couldn't put it down and on the occasions I had to, I couldn't wait to get back to it. When I first finished it I didn't know what to think or how to feel but after letting it sink in a little more, I can't stop thinking about it.

If someone was to briefly describe the plot of this story to me, from start to finish, I would think "Nope, there's no chance that would work" but the way this
Alan Baxter
Jul 03, 2013 Alan Baxter rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This is a very well-written journey through desire and addiction, but not addiction to drugs. It has gross-out moments that work very well within the context of the story. There's no great surprise to how it pans out - you can pretty much see what's coming - but it's handled really well nonetheless. I would probably give this 3.5 stars (how I wish Goodreads would go out of 10 instead of 5) but I'll be generous and lean to 4 instead of 3 because this is something different done very well. The ...more
M.L. Roos
Oct 02, 2012 M.L. Roos rated it it was amazing
Loved this story. A fascinating, dark tale of a food critic in a diabolical game of one-upmanship with a genius and temperamental chef. The story is told to a stranger by a roadside cook one dark and lonely night. But could this tall tale be a glimpse into a darker world?

What a fun story, albeit a nauseating one at times. Definitely not a story to be read if you have a weak stomach coupled with a strong imagination. But it is wickedly fun.
Autumn Christian
Apr 19, 2012 Autumn Christian rated it it was amazing
This is my first introduction to Daniel Russell's work, and I've been pleasantly surprised by the multi-layered, riveting novella that is "Critique." The story of a selfish, egotistical food critic forced to confront himself through the efforts of an intimidating, otherworldy Chef is reminiscent of a Clive Barker novel, most notably The Hellbound Heart. Fast paced, fun, disturbing. The idea of using food as a medium is a compelling one, and I look forward to reading more from Mr. Russell soon.
Jan 04, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This was delicious! The third book I have read of Dan's and they never fail to spin me out. I find it hard to write a review because there are never enough words for me to describe. Brilliant work, keep them coming!
Dresden Feltenstein
Dresden Feltenstein rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2016
Talasilverwind rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2015
Emma Audsley
Emma Audsley rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2012
Yoshi rated it it was ok
Mar 09, 2012
Daisy rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2013
Jakie rated it did not like it
Jul 19, 2012
Ethan rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2016
Samanta Luna
Jan 31, 2014 Samanta Luna rated it liked it
Not the most awsome novel I've ever read, but it was a very original story and well written.
S.l. Schmitz
S.l. Schmitz rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2012
Matthew Tait
Matthew Tait rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2012
Steven Dines
Steven Dines rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2012
Jen rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2012
Nancy L
Mar 12, 2012 Nancy L rated it really liked it
Ummmm...I'm speechless
Kath rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2012
Russ rated it did not like it
Sep 13, 2014
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Australian Shadows Award finalist Daniel I. Russell has been featured publications such as The Zombie Feed from Apex, Pseudopod and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #43. Author of Samhane, Come Into Darkness, Critique, Mother's Boys, The Collector and Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem, Daniel is also the former vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association and was a special guest ...more
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