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Food of the Gods

(Gods and Monsters: Rupert Wong #1-2)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  343 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Paying off a debt to the gods is never easy.

It’s not unusual to work two jobs in this day and age, but sorcerer and former triad soldier Rupert Wong’s life is more complicated than most. By day, he makes human hors d’oeuvres for a dynasty of ghouls; by night, he pushes pencils for the Ten Chinese Hells. Of course, it never seems to be enough to buy him a new car—or his res
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Abaddon
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Pouting Always
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rupert Wong was destined to damnation until he cut a deal with the gods of the Chinese underworld to work some of his bad karma off. Doubling as a cannibal chef and part time pencil pusher, doing who knows what well not him, he has his hands full. Too bad he's so good at his job because now a Dragon King is enlisting his help and he can't refuse because it is the only way his ghost girlfriend Minah can be granted a chance at reincarnation. Unknowingly though Rupert gets caught up in a scheme to ...more
Oh lordy. When it comes to genre mashing, I'm usually first in line and chortling with glee when it comes to the wild and the wacky. Coming into this one relatively free of any expectations other than knowing it was a group read with some friends, I blanked my mind and began it.

First impressions: Oh! Chinese gods, the underworld, a damned chef and the problem of keeping the ghouls happy with their meals. Oh! Godfather. Oh! This is GORY. Oh! Rupert has one hell of a snark going on and even if I d
Rupert Wong, former bad dude, is paying his karmic debts. He's a chef to ghouls, coming up with the most delicious ways to prepare human flesh (mostly hapless European tourists to Kuala Lumpur: "Scottish rump roast is exactly what you're imagining"). He's also a clerk/union agent/gofer for the Ten Chinese Hells. In his spare time, he relaxes with his girlfriend Minah, a langsuir. Nope, his life is nothing like normal.
And neither is this book. Wow, it is utterly gruesome and slightly disgusting
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Rupert Wong wears many hats. His day job is as a gourmet chef preparing food for a family of rich ghouls, mainly out of human meat. The remainder of his time is spent as the Chinese Hells' seneschal in Kuala Lumpur. His family life revolves around his girlfriend who's a flesh-eating spirit with a demon baby.

In the first novella of this volume Rupert gets a visit from Ao Qin, the Dragon King of the South Sea with a promise of riches in return for an impossible job. Ao Qin's little task soon sees
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
“I used to wonder if death kills your sense of humour. It does.” (Loc 72)

Rupert Wong, “cannibal chef,” prepares food for gods and ghouls. Sometimes he is the food. He used to be a triad and has a dark past he’s not proud of. These days, he’s just trying to make enough for him and his girlfriend to get by, as well as keep the right gods and monsters happy enough to keep him out of hell. That’s hell with a capital “D” or “Diyu”, the Chinese realm of the dead.

“The holy man didn’t tell me anything
Between the violence and gore, and Rupert Wong’s flippancy and selfishness, I wasn’t sure if I could keep reading after the first few chapters. But Cassandra Khaw can write, and past the pus and viscera were some beautiful word choices. And Rupert’s commentary on various situations was funny, at times. Though I felt kind of wrung out by all the violence in these two stories, I want to check out book one of her Persons Non Grata series eventually.
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is actually two short stories hanging together, and they're messy, sprawly, bizarre and gore-filled ickfests - but quite fun! It's not a perfect book, with constant the smart quips and crazy similes sometimes feeling like they overloade the narrative, but at many other times, they actually do make me snigger.
It's also a very bloody, messy book that feasts in entrails, blood, violence and viscera. The first half was originally published as "Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef" and this is a lot
As other reviewers have said - this is not a book, it's two; and they're both fantastic.

Cassandra Khaw's writing is always exceptional, and there's no change here. This is beautifully written and utterly horrifying - often cringe-inducing, and only early Stephen King has ever made me actually squirm with his descriptions of physical pain before. But chalk this one up, because such evocative writing is sometimes used to really make the reader wish that the author was, perhaps, just slightly less
Katelyn (Lost as Alice, Mad as the Hatter)
The Chinese have a lot of hells. And karma is a b***h.

Rupert Wong is a chef for ghouls and older, less benign gods. It seems he is also a sort of trouble shooter and all around jack of all trades for them. How did he get in this predicament? Well, Rupert Wong used to be a very,very bad man. The kind of bad that leaves a mark on a soul. And he would like to work off his bad karma rather than die owing the devil (or in this case, King) his due.

“Trivia time, ang moh. The Egyptians were right abou
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Last year I first read Cassandra Khaw’s work and was absolutely astounded by the quality of her writing. It seems she can turn her hand to anything, whether it is the intensity of Breathe, the dexterity of Speak or the weirdness of Hammers on Bone. She has so far not got anywhere near as much attention as she deserves, so hopefully this fabulous book will help change that.

In the Rupert Wong stories she creates a wonderfully strange world that we are thrown into head-first. Landing straight on th
Heidi Ward
This version is a combo-model, consisting of entries 1 and 2 in the Rupert Wong series: Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef, and Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth. They form something of an over-arching tale, so I might as well rave about them together.

Rupert Wong is no hero; in fact when we meet him, he's a human working off certain damnation one meal at a time, preparing gourmet repasts of his fellow-man for snooty ghouls as part of a deal he's struck with the Ten Chinese Hells. Who sometimes contr
You could summarise this book as a recipe (and I can't imagine I'm the first to think of that): one part recipe book, one part mythology, one part Harry Dresden, one part Lovecraft. But like any good dish, it ends up being completely a thing of its own.

Rupert is an engaging character, flawed as he is, and you're on his side from the start. His world is complex, layered, and real - there's a wonderful sense of place, and you feel like you could step through the pages of the book to join him. Alt
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: HPL fans
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, horror
Rupert Wong, cannibal chef and fixer for hire. Working in the food industry can literally be hell, with a fillip of outer cosmic horror. A very snarky and violent trip into the bowels of supernatural cooking and warring gods. An original and amusing read that combines two earlier works.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The premise of the book was interesting, the myths were fun. I liked learning about the Kuala Lumpur culture, all the foods and customs. But the writing style was not for me and the main character was really annoying.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the second book that I've read by Cassandra Khaw - the first being Hammers On Bone - and there are a few similarities, although the protagonist is different. Both draw on Lovecraft without reproducing the racism which totally underpins the original. And both, curiously, prominently feature Croydon. It's sort of flattering in a way, and I think the idea of Croydon has a lot of potential for this sort of story, although both books have a few geographic discrepancies which could become grat ...more
Adam Heine
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
What if the American Gods mythos was reimagined by a foody with a gift for Lovecraftian horror and Gene Wolfe-style allusive prose?

This. This is what would happen.

And it's glorious.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wound up really enjoying this. It's a fast paced supernatural mystery with a wisecracking cannibal chef. What's not to enjoy?
Colin Hardy
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rupert Wong may have been human once but mixing with Gods and demons and feeding their less than savoury appetites has made him something more…or less. It is a quirky journey through Southeast Asian and Western mythologies made real and set initially in a modern-day Kuala Lumpur.

The first part, Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef, is not always an easy read unless you are familiar with the region and its mythology, as terms are frequently not explained. In addition, the author has Rupert make asides to a
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: authors-of-color
TW for gore, violence, cannibalism, and general hopelessness. It was very interesting, but it wasn't fun.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. It had all the elements of a fantasy novel I would enjoy, mixing Constantine with Cthulhu. The writing is, sometimes, quite good. But too often it felt like a lot of very finely crafted sentences strung together without reason, and the greater story made no sense. Why was a chef under the employ of an undead mobster acting as a private investigator to a greater deity? Or being shipped off to spend some time with the Greek Gods for unknown reasons (I still don't ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The first half > the second half. What exactly was the point of sending this unique story from Malaysia to over-done fictional London?
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I think that if this was ever made into a t.v series, the series would be better than the book. I'd love to see what television does with Rupert :-)
Duane Gosser
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the story but was bewildered by number of mythological creature names and Ruperts vocabulary so much that I had phone in hand to look up creatures and words. I thought I new some Asian mythology but definitely no enough to keep up with this story. Will admit that this took the shine off the book for me but will not keep me from trying additional books by C. Khaw.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book. The premise sounded interesting, even humorous, but, for me, the execution just did not work. Originally published as two separate books, this version joins them together as the adventures of the Cannibal Chef Rupert Wong in Kuala Lumpur and then in London. He cooks humans for the gods; initially the Chinese gods of the orient, then the Greek gods who for some reason are now domiciled in London. I just couldn't get into the book..... I have tried to analyse why exact ...more
Whitney Altine
Interesting. Disgusting, as you might imagine, but in the good visceral way. What bothered me is that the plot was sometimes hard to follow, the narration jumped in time and glossed over events in between that probably should have had more exposition.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror, novella
It was confusing. I like the first story better than the second. Maybe I'll reread it one day and it will make more sense. Maybe.
Morgan Dhu
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve been enjoying most if the work of Cassandra Khaw, particularly her dark fantasy. So it was with some curiosity that I picked up her Rupert Wong stories: Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef and Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth, two novellas which I read packaged in omnibus format and titled Food of the Gods. I’m not entirely sure how to categorise these stories. Not exactly horror, though certainly full of horrific things. Not humorous, really, although the main character does use humour to deal ...more
Spencer Hughes
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Cassandra Khaw literally makes me sick...with envy!!!

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I won't do that again.

Food of the Gods is a 100-mph runaway rollercoaster of a book, sometimes even too fast for its own good. It adheres to a fairly traditional thriller layout--short chapters, ample twists and turns, high-octane action--which gives it a kind pro-and-con situation relative to other, slower-burning contemporary fantasy. Really, the book's greatest weakness is that not everything feels finished or entirely
Travis Anderson
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who knew a novel about a cannibal chef would be so funny?

I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up Food of the Gods because I assumed there would be much more human cookery than there actually was. Don't get me wrong, there are a number of scenes with just that, each as disturbing as you can imagine, but they are not the bulk of Khaw's book. The plot focuses around Rupert Wong, the aforementioned chef, and his involvement with a murder investigation that, as so often occurs, reveals itself to
Joanne Hall
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy, horror
Former triad turned cannibal chef Rupert Wong earns a living cooking the flesh of the dead for the delectation and culinary delight of the various ghouls of Kuala Lumpur. Rupert owes a debt to the Lord of Hell that he’s working to pay off, but he also takes meticulous pride in his work, until the day he’s dragged into a war between rival pantheons and has to take on both the old gods and the new.

Rupert shouldn’t be a likable character. He really shouldn’t. Anyone who loving describes how to cook
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Sirens Conference: Food of the Gods 1 5 May 25, 2018 11:36AM  
Cassandra Khaw writes horror, video games, tweets for money, articles about video games, and tabletop RPGs. These are not necessarily unrelated items. Her work can be found in professional short story magazines such as Clarkesworld, Fireside Fiction, Uncanny, and Shimmer. Cassandra's first paranormal rom-com Bearly a Lady releases this year. She hopes no one will be very startled by A Song for Qui ...more

Other books in the series

Gods and Monsters: Rupert Wong (4 books)
  • Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef (Gods and Monsters: Rupert Wong #1)
  • Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth (Gods and Monsters: Rupert Wong #2)
  • The Last Supper Before Ragnarok: GODS  MONSTERS
“Human is very similar to pork, after all.” 1 likes
“The world is made up of rituals. From the way you brush your teeth to how you show obeisance during religious ceremonies, it’s an endless list of interlocking behaviours seared into your unconscious self, charms against the madness of reality.” 0 likes
More quotes…