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Liquor (Rickey and G-Man #2)
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(Rickey and G-Man #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,446 ratings  ·  192 reviews
New Orleans natives Rickey and G-man are lifetime friends and down-and-out line cooks desperate to make a quick buck. When Rickey concocts the idea of opening a restaurant in their alcohol-loving hometown where every dish packs a spirited punch, they know they're on their way to the bank. With some wheeling and dealing, a slew of great recipes, and a few lucky breaks, Rick ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published March 16th 2004 by Broadway Books
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,446 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Deborah K.
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
PZB goes from writing cult teen horror novels to writing about chefs in New Orleans? We'd passed around Drawing Blood in high school like it was treasure, savoring the angst and the blood and the angsty sex and the artsy blood and gore, and then I was 30 years old and in a tourist shop in New Orleans and her new series was featured on a prominent table? PZB featured in a gift shop full of mainly southern tourists? Never mind that Anne Rice is writing about Jesus in the first person. Is this an a ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first PZB book, and I must try another soon. I've never read a book about the restaurant "life", and it was a great change to my typical reads.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit to having been a fan of PZB's gore-filled goth horrors in my angsty teen years and, whilst that familiarity is what drew me to this book initially, I feel that the author has changed, almost as if she (like me as a reader) has grown up.

In Lost Souls and Drawing Blood, we saw rich, moody, characters and were drawn into Missing Mile almost as if by enchantment. Those stories for me were categorised by their graphic violence and gore, which was stomach-churning at times. They were shock
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, series
Yeah, I've been pretty meh about the writer these days (nothing to do with his lifestyle choices, just so you know; it's more of a personal thing) so I'm not sure what made me pick these books up again, but damn I still love me some PZB.

I always love foodie novels, and the thing that made the publishers drop them (too niche) is exactly why I love these novels so. There's food, restaurant culture, New Orleans culture, crime and mystery, and of course, the relationship between Rickey and G-man. S
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, fiction, done, gay
Very good gay fiction about a couple who are line cooks in New Orleans and are approached by a financier interested in helping them open a restaurant. I especially enjoyed reading this while in New Orleans.
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Liquor may not be perfect but like any great drink with ingredients that shouldn’t go together but do, you simply enjoy the ride and ignore the aftertaste. The mix of fantastic New Orleans setting, great foodie descriptions, an intimate knowledge of the underbelly of the cooking scene, and some interesting characters combine to create a fun book with a hefty dose of classic New Orleans style. On the downside, the characters are flat and predictable, from beginning to end, and the mystery is so o ...more
Abi Walton
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.75 Stars because I dont give 5 stars very often. I am so glad that I found this gem of a book! PZB wrote something truly unique and special with this novel I haven't read anything else by this author but I truly fell in love with Ricky and G-Man. And foodie novels who knew that was a thing! They are amazing why haven't I read or heard of more?!! This book description of food was perfect as though I was with Ricky and G-Man in the kitchen tasting their ideas with them. in Liquor PZB really capt ...more
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The story begins in a pre-Katrina New Orleans with two out of work line cooks sitting in a tree while getting drunk. So far, this book is a big departure from Brite's earlier work. So far no explicit sex or gore just lots of great descriptions of New Orlean's and food and life as a line cook (a job I'm glad I never tried out!).

The two out of work drunkards concoct a business idea that might actually work out, a liquor based gourmet restaurant. The book mainly concerns these two, their offbeat ac
James Berry
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This book was lovely, and I know that isn't a great adjective - in fact, myriad people would be loathe to hear their work described as "lovely" - but this book really was lovely. I say that because this book is the coziest piece of fiction by Poppy that I've ever read. A couple of books before this, I read Exquisite Corpse and nearly burnt the book after finishing it, such strong distaste for the subject matter I felt. So yeah, reading about Liquor, Rickey, and G-Man was a nice break from the da ...more
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, lgbt
Two New Orleans gay chefs live the dream and open up their own restaurant. There's also a vague crime/danger plot, but mostly this is just a book about food. This book made me want to eat things I don't even like.

I needed this today. It's fun and soaked in restaurant culture, with a generally interesting M/M long-term relationship around the edges. A light-weight escapist good time.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent series. Gritty, real and from one of my favourite authors.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fun and romantic with just the right amount of suspense. I love the inside view of a restaurant kitchen. I also love the main characters.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book The main thread of the story was just OK and a bit predictable, but what really shined was the clear love the author has for New Orleans and the food culture there. The bio says she is married to a chef, but she must have at least waited on tables or worked in kitchens somehow because there's stuff in here that I don't think someone could just research. The relationship between Ricky and G-man is nice and established, with just enough backstory you can get the sense of them.

Would defini
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq-fiction
Poppy Z. Brite was one of the names I was aware of when I first tried the gay-fiction/MM romance genre back around 4-5 years ago. His books were always been on the list on the "recommended for you" feature. So I have been wanting this one for such a long time, only to buy it just now using Kobo discount code (since the ebook price is more than $10).

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this -- it was more of gay fiction, with a dash of suspense, not a romance. Rickey and G-Man were an established
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Attention foodies: This is your kind of book!

Liquor is about two friends/partners that are tired of working for someone else as cooks in New Orleans. When they get fired from "Tequilatown", the franchise-y, crappy food restaurant owned by the country singer Jesse Honeycombe,(Can you say Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville?) they come up with an idea to start their own restaurant.

It's not going to be just any restaurant. It's going to be called Liquor. And all of their dishes will contain... you guess
Oct 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: foodies, those who love or long to see New Orleans
Recommended to Jennifer by: the author herself
I've been following Poppy Brite's blog ( since not long after Katrina hit New Orleans, but this is the first of her books I've actually picked up.

I read it in a day, but I had a hard time putting my finger on what was so gripping about it. The writing is passable, certainly not outstanding. Some of the characters are rather flat. But Brite captures a place and a mood and a time so vividly that it's hard to stop reading.

The book is about two New Orleans cooks who decide,
Bert Edens
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Prior to "Liquor" the only books from Brite I had read were in the horror genre. So I wasn't really sure what to expect. But, being a foodie and being appreciative of Brite's writing style, I thought I would give it a whirl.

I am very glad I did. Brite does an outstanding job of creating characters that have depth, ones you care about, and even those you despise. Plus, all the foodie details in the book gave me lots of ideas for future forays into the kitchen.

This reads like a cross between "Kitc
Patricia Voigt
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-lesbian
I read this several months after returning home from a Hurricane Katrina-induced exile. Maybe it was the heightened emotions of that time period, but I found myself alternately laughing out loud, nodding vigorously, and even wiping away tears while reading this book.

It's like A Confederacy of Dunces: if you're from New Orleans, or have lived there, you'll get it. You'll recognize ya Mam an' ems. You'll say, uh huh, I know these people. Know that guy. Yeah, know that guy too. Oh gawd, I know tha
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: various-romance
I loved this tale of two line cooks who live their dream amid a cast of colourful characters in the Big Easy. It totally immerses you in the atmosphere of New Orleans and the culture of restaurants and food preparation. There is a little touch of romance and some mystery thrown in. Great writing. I love Rickey and G-Man and will definitely read more of their adventures. More for fans of general fiction novels than m/m romance, although the first book in the series The Value of X is much more rom ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
The story begins in a Pre Katrina New Orleans with two out of work line cooks getting drunk sitting in a tree.They concoct a business idea that might actually work out. Aliquor bases gourmet restaurant. T he story is mainly about them and their off beat acquantances and the problems and trails of starting a business from the ground up. I t was a good read.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, my-short-list
Ooh this was good! I kept expecting something terrible to happen having read a couple of his books when I was younger but this was fun and thrilling and it was great to read a story that was taking place in the city I was born in. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really like the direction of Poppy Z. Brite's more recent novels--dark fiction, as opposed to horror. The NOLA backdrop, characters to which you can relate, and the food-centric story are all win in my book. Can't wait to read the other books she's written with these same main characters.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: entertaining
The charm of these books lies mostly in the brilliant characterization and the wonderful recreation of New Orleans. The good is great too.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Seriously, I can't cope with how good this book is. Every. Single. Time.
Kristy Newton
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started reading this series backwards and read he third book in the series, Soul Kitchen , about a year ago. Recently I picked up this one and the following book “prime” because I loved the intersection of New Orleans culture, foodie culture, and the great characters. This book was pleasing in the same way that a new episode of a Netflix series you really like is - more of everything I wanted. I smashed it in a day which should tell you how easy a read it is. What I particularly love is Brite’ ...more
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this on a plane and it is a fine example of that sort of book. easy to read, pretty light, but enough to it to keep me going for the hours in flight. Two young guys from the (now mostly lost?) Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Hardly from the lap of luxury, they grow up together and become chefs and lovers. The book chronicles their efforts to open a restaurant--Liquor. There's a bit of a mystery thrown in. Strong on food and also on characters. There's a couple more that I'll probably read, too. ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! I don't know if it's because NOLA was such an important character or because the Ricky/G-Man relationship was so refreshing or because the story of two really hard workers achieving their dream is just such a great theme or because the side characters were so wonderfully colorful or because people's insanity is so riveting. At any rate, I had a hard time putting this book down when I needed to, despite the fact that it's wildly different from anything I've read in age ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Fun, but forgettable story taking place in the New Orleans culinary scene. Possibly the most "2004 edgy" thing I've read since 2004. The main couple are kind of bland, with interchangeable personalities. And the villain is cartoonish and clearly only there to provide some sort of conflict. But I like all the attention to detail in the setting and the food descriptions, plus the ruthless Guy Fiere stand in that mentors the main characters as they open their own restaurant.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose this book because it checked a couple boxes for me - it's a novel by a trans author which is an item in the Read Harder 2019 challenge. Also, it takes place in New Orleans, where in have an upcoming trip. In the end, I did like this book. I thought there was some fun and inventive writing at the end, which I wish had been through the entire book. And although I saw the mystery "twist" coming a mile away, it was still fun to read and see a happy ending.
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
I've tried so hard with this book. I really wanted to love it; I mean, New Orleans, food, booze, a charming gay couple, what's not to love? But I've started it several times over the last decade (or more) and never finished it. Finally gave up and am returning my sister's copy to her. Apparently this is the second book in a series, though. Maybe someday I'll go back and try the first book.
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Poppy Z. Brite (born Melissa Ann Brite, now going by Billy Martin) is an American author born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Born a biological female, Brite has written and talked much about his gender dysphoria/gender identity issues. He self-identifies almost completely as a homosexual male rather than female, and as of 2011 has started taking testosterone injections. His male name is Billy Martin.


Other books in the series

Rickey and G-Man (6 books)
  • The Value of X
  • Prime (Rickey and G-Man #3)
  • Soul Kitchen
  • D*u*c*k
  • Second Line: Two Short Novels of Love and Cooking in New Orleans
“Rickey sometimes wondered what would have become of them if the Peychaud crew hadn't imploded one night in a marathon of apocalyptic drunkenness. No one remembered much of this night, but by the end of it, two cars were totaled, the sous chef and the bartender were in Charity Hospital, the chef was in jail, and the grill guy's wife was filing for divorce. The owner decided to close the place and they found themselves jobless. Rickey guessed this kind of thing was known as a "wake-up call” 27 likes
“A chiropractor is a doctor who performs adjustments on the spine," Rickey told the class before bending Gary backward and "adjusting" him, ripping off the false arm and spraying red hair dye all over the classroom. Gary howled in "pain" and collapsed dramatically on the threadbare school carpet, his legs flailing a bit before hitting the floor with a terrible, final-sounding thunk.

That was the first time they were sent to the principal's office together. They had to apologize to their teacher and explain to their classmates that doctor visits were unlikely to result in surprise dismemberments.”
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