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Eating Crow: A Novel of Apology
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Eating Crow: A Novel of Apology

2.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  106 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Marc Basset has a well-deserved reputation as a pitiless restaurant critic. When he writes a devastating review of a celebrated restaurant, the chef commits suicide, roasting himself in his own fan-assisted oven, with Basset's review pasted to the door. Suddenly Basset is moved to do something he has never done before: apologize. Startled by the widow's forgiveness and abs ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 9th 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published July 27th 2004)
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Nov 24, 2007 Jenni rated it did not like it
UGH. The characters are likable, but the whole concept/idea of the book revolving around an english guy becoming the national apologizer is horrible. It started out pretty well, and went down hill when his video taped sorry started circulating. I do NOT recommend this book to anyone.
It was once said that love means never having to say you’re sorry—a phrase that many a chastened boyfriend or husband can tell you is a load of nonsense. If we don’t apologize to our loved ones, but stammer out apologies for stepping on a stranger’s toe, then what does that say about us as human beings?

“Eating Crow” explores the nature of apologia through the fictional entity of one Marc Basset, an Englishman and culinary critic whose scathing reviews come to an abrupt end when he learns that on
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne rated it liked it
Restaurant review results in roasted restauranteur. Okay, so not restauranteur. Chef. But he also owned the restaurant. And the reviewer responsible for the chef roasted himself in his own oven, with a copy of the review tape to the door of same oven, decides that maybe he has been too harsh and apologies to the widow. And that feels so good, he decides to apologize to everyone he has every cause pain or misery. And that goes so well, he is tapped to be Chief Apologist for a new organization wit ...more
Liz Calderon
Jun 21, 2015 Liz Calderon rated it it was ok
The book started out ok, lightly humorous and entertaining, but focusing a story on a serious of apologies quickly becomes monotonous. Halfway through the book, I simply couldn't go on. I skipped from chapter 18 to the penultimate chapter and finished the book in that way. I feel like I didn't miss any plot points that weren't too complicated to infer. I would say this story was just ok.
Sep 09, 2008 Eddylee rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: food lovers, people who read the kite runner, people who wished Kill Bill wasn't so violent
Recommended to Eddylee by: a guy in my book club, so long ago
this is a strangely funny book that lightly stakes a claim to the revenge/apology paradigm that is currently so popular. it's not like a gag a minute or anything, it's just so absurd from time to time you look up and think " this is ridiculous!". it still manages to have pathos though. it's about a restaurant critic who writes bad reviews for fun and profit until one of his reviews is cited as the primary reason a local restaurant owner commits suicide. when he apologizes to the widow he finds i ...more
Kathryn Ottele
Jan 24, 2015 Kathryn Ottele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eating Crow

I liked this book. It was witty and I did learn to eat something while reading. Mr Bassett was a food critic before becoming a United Nations official, after a disastrous review, and also a good cook as well, and he described some delicious meals! There are just so many ways to say you're sorry! This was a very entertaining book!
Sep 30, 2011 Sherri rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-give-up
I saw this book on amoung the clearance books on Amazon and if that wasnt a big enough clue, the forward written by the author should have been. He basically apologizes to the purchaser of the book.
The premise of the book is good and the beginning is plausible but, then it just gets ridiculous. Marc Bassett decides to apologize to those he has mistreated throughout his life after a resturantour that gets a bad review from Bassett commits suicide. But then after a video of Bassett apologizing goe
Sep 05, 2011 Monica rated it liked it
It's such a wonderfully silly concept - a snarky restaurant reviewer apologizes to the widow of a chef who committed suicide after a negative review. He feels so good afterwards that he finds other people from his past to apologize to. This whole exercise winds up getting him tapped to become the Chief Apologist for the UN - traveling around the world in a private jet to apologize for slavery, genocide and other war crimes. As I said, silly, but well written with interludes of food tales - he ne ...more
May 02, 2008 Walker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, ever..
Shelves: cookbooks
The careful preparation and study done before one must begin the actual cooking of the crow is an art form not to be undone by one mans poor cooking skills. Not only are these recipes tasteless, but the bird in question (crow) is an endangered species and can therefore not be a viable food source to begin with. Shame on you Jay Rayner, I hope you received the gout from eating this poorly prepared meal.

However, I would like to commend you for your innovative use of a crucifix for a spit roast in
Feb 22, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
This is a weird and very long book with funny parts mixed in...
Kat Kiddles
Jan 25, 2012 Kat Kiddles rated it it was ok
Well, it’s about apologizing. It’s about the tedium of apologizing. Or, at least, it’s about hearing about the tedium of trying to craft the perfect apology—the one that actually works, the one that convinces the apologizee that you’re genuine, and sincere, and totally into believing that you deserve to be forgiven. Strange. For a story about apologies, it rarely mentions forgiveness.

If you want, you can read more about what I thought (and I'm not apologizing for any of it!): http://www.uncustom
Apr 02, 2016 Amy rated it liked it
I chose to read "Eating Crow" as a fictional palate cleanser from my usual heavy diet of scholarly books and journals for a dissertation on political apologies. It's a light, witty read and quite a satirical commentary on international relations, media, and foodie-ism.
Ellen B.
Feb 06, 2015 Ellen B. rated it liked it
mildly amusing
May 23, 2011 Purlewe rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A book given to me by a friend.. I waited too long to read it. If I had known it was so good I would have read it sooner!

A restaurant critic who writes a review that makes the chef commit suicide. The critic then feels compelled to apologize.. He then becomes the Chief Apologist. Apologizing for companies and countries for their past faults. A great idea. A wonderful concept. I really enjoyed this book.
Sep 25, 2008 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rayner
I loved this book. The main subjects - food and apologies - are two topics that interest me endlessly. For me, reading "Eating Crow" was simultaneously indulgent and cathartic. While I agree that the idea of a "Chief Apologist" is far-fetched, the book is ultimately successful in its aim to entertain and to induce self-reflection.
Nov 17, 2008 Darci rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: gave-up-reading
What a ridiculous waste of time. This book has a silly premise, but silly in a nerdy high-schooler sense of humor. The whole idea of this former restaurant critic being the Cheif Apologist for the UN was just dumb, frankly. I got through about half of it and decided that was about half a book too much.
May 28, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, fiction
"Eating Crow" is an amusing, wry, clever little novel about a restaurant critic who is famous for his scathing reviews. Through a series of events the critic becomes the UN's Chief Apologist. The book is full of fabulous food descriptions-- a little bit of food porn for your inner foodie!
May 01, 2009 Barb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
blech - this book started out like I expected and was fun and funny. Then it dissolved into some implausible, boring mush - I couldn't even finish it. And that hardly ever happens.
Katie Lebovitz
Oct 07, 2009 Katie Lebovitz rated it it was ok
This book was stupid. I must have been still-drunk when I read that this was clever and funny. Ahh well, at least it was a pretty quick read.
Jun 19, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny, well-crafted writing, interesting and believable character, and some really emotional passages about food -- what more could a girl want?
Jan 21, 2009 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty funny, although it never quite delivered like I kept thinking it would. If that makes any sense?
Fenixbird SandS
Jan 20, 2008 Fenixbird SandS marked it as to-read
Sounds incredibly funny...for a somewhat serious plot! Ah and an English food critic no less!! LOL...Hmmmmm
Jul 27, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The food writing alone is worth a read - a great story about the how complex apologies really are.
Jul 25, 2008 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The influence of apologies and chocolate on one man's life.
Aug 20, 2007 Barbara rated it liked it
Amusing novel, with an edge.
Cat marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2016
Alexander Lobov
Alexander Lobov marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2016
Kristine marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
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Jay Rayner is a British journalist, writer and broadcaster born in 1966.

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“Too often we only identify the crucial points in our lives in retrospect. At the time we are too absorbed in the fetid detail of the moment to spot where it is leading us. But not this time. I was experiencing one of my dad’s deafening moments. If my life could be understood as a meal of many courses (and let’s be honest, much of it actually was), then I had finished the starters and I was limbering up for the main event. So far, of course, I had made a stinking mess of it. I had spilled the wine. I had dropped my cutlery on the floor and sprayed the fine white linen with sauce. I had even spat out some of my food because I didn’t like the taste of it.

“But it doesn’t matter because, look, here come the waiters. They are scraping away the debris with their little horn and steel blades, pulled with studied grace from the hidden pockets of their white aprons. They are laying new tablecloths, arranging new cutlery, placing before me great domed wine glasses, newly polished to a sparkle. There are more dishes to come, more flavors to try, and this time I will not spill or spit or drop or splash. I will not push the plate away from me, the food only half eaten. I am ready for everything they are preparing to serve me. Be in no doubt; it will all be fine.” (pp.115-6)”
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