Lynn's Reviews > Waiting for Dessert

Waiting for Dessert by Geoffrey Stokes
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Feb 09, 08

Recommended for: foodies, social history buffs
Read in January, 2007

There's something about food that encourages good humor and something in food writing that brings the humor to the surface. The humor starts with the title "Waiting for Dessert" is a homage to "Waiting for Godot". The author's pseudonym, Vladimir Estragon is made up of the names of the two characters in Beckett's play: Vladimir and Estragon who wait for this fellow Godot with whom they are barely familiar. The play is chocked full of silences and vast-maybe boring-emptiness. In the way that these things happen, it was also one of the most cited cultural acts of post-war Europe.

Our Vladimir is not waiting in silence at all. Each of these chapters were originally chatty columns in the Village Voice. The Voice was exceptionally precious back thenVillage Voice January 1968 Newspaper Allen Ginsberg and these columns were refreshing. The columnist may have invented the trope of pet pseudonyms for his family. His wife, the Woman Warrior puts up with Vlad and his two sons: the Potato King and the Mad Baker and then one day, the Youngest Member comes along and resets their entire world.

The recipes are simple, practical and delicious. They were also an island of humane and reasonable discourse in the Voice which was often in those days, too precious to be real. Estragon is a real New Yorker and this book is a pure delight.


Lynn Hoffman, author of the slightly cheeky New Short Course in Wine,The and Wryly Shy bang BANG: A Novel
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