Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Poslastica” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  6,032 Ratings  ·  938 Reviews
In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Pierre Athens, the greatest food critic in the world, is dying. Revered by some and reviled by many, Monsieur Arthens has been lording it over the world’s most esteemed chefs for years, passing judgment on their creations, deciding their fates with a stroke of his pen, destroying and b ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 2009 by Čarobna knjiga (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jennifer (aka EM)
Nov 22, 2009 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novellas
I loved Elegance of the Hedgehog, primarily because Barbery created two characters who, although deeply flawed and often annoying, were so obviously vulnerable and sad that one (I) couldn't help but feel deeply for them. That story unfolded as carefully and precisely as an origami swan, revealing deeper nuance of character with each alternating chapter, bringing two very isolated and lonely characters together (through plot, character and symbolically). It also took broad and very funny swipes a ...more
Cristina Boncea
Mar 15, 2016 Cristina Boncea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
O carte dulce, așa cum scrie și pe copertă, deși tema ei nu insuflă deloc acest sentiment. Protagonistul este un critic culinar aflat în pragul morții care se chinuie pe parcursul romanului să își aducă aminte de o anumită aromă, ultimul lucru pe care și-ar dori să-l mănânce înainte să moară. Avem astfel ocazia să aflăm diferite scene din copilăria acestuia și câte ceva din viața sa de critic, despre care nu aflăm mare lucru. Pot spune că mi-ar fi plăcut să fie puțin mai complexă cartea, mai lun ...more
Feb 16, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know this is my pre-teen, Nancy-Drew-loving self that is saying this, but I will say it anyway: I hope Muriel Barbery writes a book about EVERY SINGLE PERSON at 17 Rue de Grenelle. I loved _The Elegance of the Hedgehog_, and was enchanted to find this new novel by Barbery. This one which concerns Pierre Arthens, who makes one supremely unpleasant visit to the heroine of _Hedgehog_ before dying and leaving his flat vacant. Let me say upfront: He is unpleasant in this one too. But this time we s ...more
Keşke bu kitabı da Işık Ergüden çevirseymiş. Çevirmen cümlelerin içinde kaybolmuş sanki. Okunmuyor. Yoruyor.

Fransızca biliyorsanız ya da Fransızca cümle yapılarına aşinaysanız sorunun nereden kaynaklandığını çok net bir biçimde görebilirsiniz. Sözcükler Türkçe ama cümleler Fransızca gibi. İlk fırsatta orijinalini edinip tekrar okuyacağım, puanlamayı da o zamana bırakıyorum.
Dec 17, 2009 Lesley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you loved _The Elegance of the Hedgehog_, you may be able to tolerate this. If, however you found yourself skipping major sections of the pretentious, florid prose and navel-gazing, you won't find this much an improvement. Originally published in 2000, but re-released after the success of _Hedgehog_, _Gourmet Rhapsody_ focuses on another resident of the swanky rue de Grenelle apartment house, Pierre Arthens, the illustrious, arrogant food critic. Dying of heart disease, Arthens tortures his m ...more
Jul 14, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where I got the book: from The Book Depository.

After my tear-soaked, ecstatic reaction to The Elegance of the Hedgehog , I was eager to read Une Gourmandise (I had it in its original French) or Gourmet Rhapsody if you're reading the translation. It's Barbery's first novel (Elegance is the second and last to date, the first to be published) and deals with the same apartment building in Paris. This time it's about the penthouse tenant, the food critic Pierre Arthens, who is dying and searching th
Jinny Chung
Dec 13, 2009 Jinny Chung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"How ironic! After decades of grub, deluges of wine and alcohol of every sort, after a life spent in butter, cream, rich sauces, and oil in constant, knowingly orchestrated and meticulously cajoled excess, my trustiest right-hand men, Sir Liver and his associate Stomach, are doing marvelously well and it is my heart that is giving out. I am dying of cardiac insufficiency. What a bitter pill to swallow."

As soon as I read those words (which can be found on page two), I was hooked. Barbery, you la
After the joy, wonder and affirmation of life that I found in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Gourmet Rhapsody was a disappointment. There is no plot here, no real story, just a collection of rhapsodic culinary memories by a food critic who lay dying in the his Parisian apartment building. There is also commentary by his family, neighbors and Rick, the cat. Pierre Arthens, this critic of enormous appetite and reputation, is feared and loathed by most (except Rick); he is a cold and distant father, ...more
Cameron Brown
Gourmet Rhapsody is a series of vignettes centering around revered, revolutionary food critic Pierre Arthens, on his deathbed, searching his memory for a singular, life-defining flavor. Alternating with Arthens' memories are the musings of a host of other entities, including family, friends (as much as he can be said to have any), his pet cat, and even a sculpture sitting in his apartment, on their relationship with this incredibly polarizing man. The critic is in turns crucified and admired, an ...more
J Omar Vidrio
Apr 26, 2013 J Omar Vidrio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro exquisito. La forma en que Muriel Barbery nos describe los platillos, y el deleite que Pierre Arthens siente, nos hace agua la boca provocando que queramos un bocado.
Es maravillosa la filosofía que rodea a la comida en este libro. Con un sutil e irónico pero muy fino humor. Si te ha gustado La elegancia del erizo, ademas de ser admirador de la cultura japonesa y de la gastronomía, esté libro es IDEAL para ti.
Aug 09, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Do you know how hard it is to write an engaging book of a life, based on taste? Yet, Muriel Barbery does it extremely well in this short, tasty morsel of a book.

This one expands on the life of the despicable food critic Monsieur Arthens who makes a brief but interesting entrance and exit in The Elegance of the Hedgehog. In this book, it is Arthens last 48 hours on Earth and through his voice and the voices of his family, friends, coworkers, and pets the reader gets his whole life described in va
Monica Carter
Sep 04, 2009 Monica Carter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Foodies
I am the greatest food critic in the world. It is I who has taken this minor art and raised it to a rank of utmost prestige. Everyone knows my name, from Paris to Rio, Moscow to Brazaville, Saigon o Melbourne and Acapulco. I have made, and unmade, reputations, and at sumptuous banquets I have been the knowing and merciless maitre d'oeuvre, expediting to the four corners of the globe the salt or honey of my pen, to newspapers and broadcasts and various forums, where I have been repeatedly invite
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is just about as close to 4 stars as you can get without crossing the line. If you enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog, you will likely enjoy this one too, but it really isn't nearly as good, so don't expect it to be.

Barbery uses a phrase in Gourmet Rhapsody that I think perfectly describes her style: a symphony of language. This is her debut novel, however, and I think we can easily see the orchestra is just practicing. She has a marvelous turn of phrase, and her insight is still good, b
Aug 10, 2012 Leajk rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really hoping for the supporting characters of this book to become important or involved in some kind of twist, in some kind of big revelation.

As the blurb will tell you this is a book about a famous and powerful, but cold-hearted food critic dying. Meanwhile he is trying to remember one last vital taste that will tell him who he is before he dies. Every other chapter is him reminiscing about the food that he’s eaten throughout his life, often rustic food not served in gourmet restaurants
ţi lasă gura apă citind această Gourmandise, o carte despre tot ceea ce înconjoară, însoţeşte şi creează gustul: despre lumina, sunetele, conversaţiile din jurul meselor, despre mirosuri, texturi şi savoare, despre memorie, dar şi despre artizanii mâncărurilor şi personalitatea lor.

Am dat peste cartea asta scormonind prin Saint George’s, una dintre frumoasele librării de limbă engleză din Berlin şi când am văzut că e scrisă de Muriel Barbery, autoarea unui simpatic bestseller tradus şi la noi –
Nov 01, 2009 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved "The elegance of Hedgehog"; I even read somewhere that the book had been prescribed for some patients of psychoanalysis instead of medication. I can not compare the two books ("Rhapsody" was the first one published by Barbery), they are completely different. This book is a poem, a song dedicated to food. It is a hymn of odaration for the delights and pleasures of eating. The story makes you dismiss any concept of diets and enjoy the butter, cream and rich cakes, to crave fresh bread and ...more
Feb 02, 2010 Vickie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hoped for better, having just read Elegance of the Hedgehog. I was charmed by a few of the vignettes of foods, but I can't say the personal reflections inbetween did anything but drive the story to a new understanding of the critic's personality clashing or complementing each food.

As for the final taste... it is possible, having never eaten the food, I am really missing something here, but I was unimpressed with the resolution - and not just as a food, but as a cathartic device. I had a moment
Aug 19, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beloved, 2009
Yet again, Barbery has broken my heart with an amazingly sweet, simple story about people being people... in particular, food critic Pierre Arthens whose life has been lived describing and critiquing the so called 'finer things in life,' and has forgotten the simple joys of youth and true pleasure. I love that his family and acquaintances spend the book complaining about this man's inability to connect to them, while he spends his narration connecting to mayonnaise and whiskey!
Nadja A.
Jun 30, 2014 Nadja A. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Der Aufbau selbst fand ich gut gemacht, leider waren die kurzen Kapitel der Anderen viel interessanter als die Erinnerungen des unsymphatischen Meisterkritikers. Und ich befürchtete schon, dass diese Delikatesse grosse Lust auf alle genannten Leckereien mache, aber dieses hochgestochene Gelaber war so fern vom Genuss.
A secret of mine: I have difficulty reading menus. I can't make heads or tales of them. I can't focus. I would gladly have lived in the era of the man ordering for the lady. I am happy to it just about anything. Cookbooks are another thing. Those I like to read. Restaurant reviews, back to menus. Restaurant reviewer often end up in throes of ecstasy, their descriptions leave me wondering, is thus a meal or an especially frothy Botticelli he is describing. Gourmet Rhapsody is somewhat like that i ...more
Sep 22, 2016 Hilary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Having read The Elegance of the Hedgehog I was interested to read this parallel story of a gourmet food critic who lived in the same apartment as Renee. This story describes the final hours of the critics life as he tries to recall a forgotten taste. I didn't enjoy this and became bored with the descriptions of food.
Aug 14, 2015 Suze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pierre Arthens is dying, there's nothing that can be done for him anymore. He was a famous food critic and people loved his work, but they also feared him. There's one taste Pierre is still looking for, the last thing he wants to eat before he's ready to pass on. Only what is it? He's looking for the taste, but can't seem to remember what it is. He's desperately trying to search his brain for the scent and the flavor, but can he find the memory on time?

Pierre Arthens isn't a man who's loved by e
Elizabeth Schlatter
Nov 26, 2016 Elizabeth Schlatter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
LOVED IT! This is really a novella, a snapshot into a person's life at the very end, in fact within the last 48 hours of that life. He's a terrible person, a food critic named Pierre Athens who cared about no one in his life as much as he cared about his eating experience, leaving all sorts of emotional damage in his wake. However, his love of food is all consuming and the descriptions of his memories of eating and drinking are fantastic.

The book has several very short chapters, every other one
Tara Carpenter
I have been wanting to read this book for a few years, since I read Barbery's other, The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I loved that one! But not everyone I recommended it to appreciated it like I did. And after reading this one I think I might understand.

This book is a collection of remembrances of and about one man - a great gourmand and foot critic, whose entire life has been focused on his craft rather than the people around him. And now he's about to die. About a third of the chapters are from t
Sep 03, 2011 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It's always interesting to read a book where the main protagonist isn't especially likable. Gourmet Rhapsody is the slim story of a famous food critic in his last two days of life. Lying on his deathbed, he tries to recall the one particular flavor he wants to taste again before he's gone forever. The chapters alternate between his recollections of the various and best things he's tasted throughout his life and the observations of the people whose lives he's touched - from the maid to his wife a ...more
Jan 04, 2010 Tinav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbery’s earlier book, Gourmet Rhapsody, became the second one printed in the U.S. after Elegance became such a success. Now this one did interest me, and during the recent holidays, I finally got around to reading it. I finished in one sitting.

A rich, influential, hated French food critic lies on his deathbed with some 48 hours left to him, casting his mind back through every food memory in search of an elusive flavor he feels he simply MUST taste again before he dies. From the food his grandm
Mar 11, 2016 Owain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen some previous reviewers slate this book for not being quite the book that Hedgehog was. I think that's unfair. This book is good. It's good as a stand-alone but works quite nicely as a little prequel to Hedgehog. The prose is perhaps more sublime but possibly at the expense of the plot. The plot certainly offers less and I thought it was perhaps a little predictable. I would have been better pleased if the gourmet had never rediscovered his lost flavour. i also though Barbery missed a ...more
I read Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog first and loved it. This one I appreciated but did not love. While it is unnecessary for a reader to like the protagonist of a novel in order to enjoy the work, it is a least necessary to be able to understand the protagonist. I did not understand this protagonist. The novelist could have done a better job of giving readers an understanding of how he came to be the worthless, arrogant, and universally hated old man whose dying reminiscences comprise ...more
Sep 02, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-lit
While I didn't like this book as much as The Elegance of the Hedgehog, it was still enjoyable. Barbery actually wrote this short novel first, but it was published in the US after Hedgehog.

It chronicles the last days of a famous food critic's life as he searches for a familiar flavor that he needs to enjoy before he dies. Alternating chapters are from those who knew him, and I personally found these chapters to be more intriguing than those from the critic himself. If you're interested in food an
Oct 03, 2011 lukk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-russian
Собственно, места, где я открывала эту миллипи*дрическую по объему книжку, гораздо интереснее самой книжки >_<
Она о еде, размытая и напрягающая намеками на тему «только в конце вы узнаете, что за невъ*бическое блюдо хотел съесть этот критик». Сам главный герой, жаждущий вспомнить свое любимое блюдо на смертном одре, не вызывает ни симпатии, ни сострадания, он — жук, который никогда никого не любил. В книге есть отзывы его знакомых — собственно, большинство о нем довольно низкого мнения, с
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
La Stamberga dei ...: Estasi culinarie di Muriel Barbery 1 4 Sep 16, 2012 09:57AM  
  • Cooking with Fernet Branca (Gerald Samper, #1)
  • Broken Glass Park
  • A Novel Bookstore
  • Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet (Modern Library Food)
  • The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Notes from the French Countryside
  • From the Land of the Moon
  • The Human Comedy: Selected Stories
  • Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio
  • كان صرحا من خيال
  • L'Échappée belle
  • I'm Gone
  • Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris
  • The Kitchen and the Cook
  • The Barbarians are Coming
  • Persecution (The Friendly Fire of Memories, #1)
  • How to Hug a Porcupine: Easy Ways to Love the Difficult People in Your Life
  • Confessions of a French Baker: Breadmaking Secrets, Tips, and Recipes
  • Edible Stories
Muriel Barbery is a French novelist and professor of philosophy. Barbery entered the École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay-Saint-Cloud in 1990 and obtained her agrégation in philosophy in 1993. She then taught philosophy at the Université de Bourgogne, in a lycée, and at the Saint-Lô IUFM.

La timide et très discrète Muriel Barbery ne s’imaginait sans doute pas faire l’objet de l’engouement qu
More about Muriel Barbery...

Share This Book

“The real ordeal is not leaving those you love but learning to live without those who don't love you.” 110 likes
“People think that children don't know anything. It's enough to make you wonder if grownups were ever children once upon a time.” 24 likes
More quotes…