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Stanley Park

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,003 ratings  ·  134 reviews
A love story wrapped in a murder mystery.

Jeremy Papier is a Vancouver chef and restaurateur who owns a bistro called The Monkey's Paw. The novel uses a "Bloods vs. Crips" metaphor for the philosophical conflict between chefs such as Papier, who favour local ingredients and menus, and those such as his nemesis Dante Beale, who favour a hip, globalized, "post-national" fusio
Paperback, 436 pages
Published September 25th 2003 by Counterpoint LLC (first published January 1st 2001)
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,003 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
So Timothy Taylor’s *Stanley Park* was on the list of books recommended to me when I moved to Vancouver. Not surprising, perhaps, as the book spends a lot of time describing the city: the disparity between rich and poor, the exceptional natural beauty, the pretension of the foodie-hipsters who live here and then, in great detail, the landscape of the largest park (and biggest tourist attraction), Stanley Park.
The protagonist, Jeremy, is an idealistic young chef who owns a hip restaurant and coo
I'm not going to finish this. I don't care about the protagonist, the oh-so-passionate chef who wants to serve "high end rubber-boot food." (Seems like that describes about about half the chef population, but this is painted as some sort of laudable, novel goal.) I don't care about the secondary characters, especially his father, who lives in a public park as part of an anthropology project on the homeless and is enigmatically remote and weird. Pages and pages of description about how the author ...more
Amanda Leduc
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
On the surface, Stanley Park is a simple, albeit fiendishly entertaining, story. Chef Jeremy Papier runs an up-and-coming restaurant in Vancouver -- a restaurant that's devoted to local food, and local atmosphere. The 100 Mile Diet shoved into a little place in Crosstown. He's head chef, and his good friend (and potential romantic interest) Jules Capelli is his sous chef, pastry chef, and restaurant partner in crime. Life is hectic (what life isn't, when restaurants are involved), and there's a ...more
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, food
Love food? Love Vancouver? Love gentle-to-moderate satire? Read this book. The main character's split of the food world into Crips (fusion-fancy-tower of exotic ingredients) vs. Bloods (local-rustic) is alone worth it.
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite books of all time. It captures the local food culture of Vancouver and changed the way I think about cusine, eating and the art of cooking.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wish I could give a 4.5. It was really, really good. Wonderful to be able to really "see" the places in Vancouver, and think about a Stanley Park that I've never seen. Definite recommend.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really struggled to get into thjs novel. I found the story arc strangely stunted and difficult to engage with over a long period of time. It took me a week to stick it through in the end and it was the kitchen scenes more than Stanley Park which the book is named for that I enjoyed.
Robin Riopelle
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rewinding the clock a little, I dove into Timothy Taylor’s Stanley Park after having read his brilliant and compelling (and later) Blue Light Project. Written in 2001, but set a few years earlier, Stanley Park is much more grounded in reality – until it isn’t.

Set in post-Expo, pre-Olympics Vancouver – a time when I also lived in the city and was deeply involved in civic history projects – the novel circles around notions of rootedness. Following the string of connectedness back to whatever it’s
Maayan K
Nov 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
I basically hated this book by the end of it. There's a lot of potentially interesting thematic stuff in it (homelessness in public parks, foodiness, groundedness/sense of place, Vancouver itself), but the whole thing is a hot mess that had me skimming just to get to the goddamn end by final quarter.

Jeremy Papier is a young and talented chef trying to make a farm-to-table restaurant float in crosstown in the late 90s when this was still a new thing. His father is an eccentric anthropologist livi
After the first few chapters I thought for sure that this book was going to be a struggle to finish. It was bizarre and crazy. But somehow those weird characters, strange ideas and curious happenings turned into an enthralling read.
The author really knows Vancouver. He caught the attitudes of the hippie vs. hipster vs. corporate vs. homeless that made it obvious he's lived and been a part of this city.
The entire story revolves around the son and his cooking. Which kind of makes it sound like a
Rogue Reader
Hilarious satire on the sustainable food movement with a dark mystery thrown in. The Monkey's Paw Bistro is wildly successful but a financial disaster - there's no cost consideration in sourcing or presentation. The protag is forced to sell out, and therein is the tale. The narrative is accelerated by the protag's father, an academic who loses himself studying the homeless of Stanley Park where the natural extremes of locavore living are the norm.

"Dark, slightly crazed, and black-and-blue funny,
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When about half of the way through this book I would have given it a 3-star rating but an interesting (if somewhat predictable) ending bumped my score up a bit. The novel, a Canada Reads selection in 2007, is about an innovative young Vancouver chef's financial struggles, his eccentric anthropologist father - currently living in the city's famous Stanley Park investigating the Vancouver homeless and a mysterious murder from the 50's - and a number of other interesting characters. Other reviewers ...more
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot, but then I'm a foodie myself. We had some good dining experiences in Vancouver when we visited several years ago (time to go back!), though none quite as the penultimate one depicted in this novel. Some good characters drawn, such as Dante Beale and the Professor, but I was left feeling that the motif of the two murdered children was forced and left dramatically unresolved, not that I was expecting the murder mystery to be explained further or anything ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Due to our recent weekend in Canada, I came home with several new books by Canadian authors or stories set in Canada, including this one: Stanley Park. If we hadn't had such a great time visiting Vancouver and Stanley Park, then I might not have enjoyed this story as much as I did. There just wasn't enough excitement, mystery, romance or adventure for my taste, and the food descriptions sometimes made me feel ill. Oh well, check it out, if you love Vancouver, BC.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Since I see this book on the to-read list of a few of my friends here, I will recommend skipping it. I found it disappointing and hard to follow the whole second plot line on the "babes in the woods" and his father in Stanley Park. In reading other reviews, it seems this reaction is common.
Diana Sandberg
Sep 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Dark and somewhat convoluted, I found it very enjoyable. I confess to not quite getting all of the part about the hero’s father and the park, but I really liked the restaurant part and the whole arc of that story. Highly entertaining.
Jan 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book to read. Timothy Taylor has a way with words and can really make you feel like you're in a situation. This isn't the best book I ever read, but it does have some very thought-provoking moments and some really interesting characters.
May 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charlotte by: Miriam Martin
It took me awhile to get into this one but then I really enjoyed it! Very different writing style. Lots of layers and character development. Surprising. Worth reading.
Glen Davidson
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great fiction from Vancouver author Tim Taylor. Read this book and you will want to be a cook and find how you connect to the world.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It really spoke to me as a small business owner and someone who appreciates other entrepreneurs just trying to do their thing in a Starbucks world.
Ruth Seeley
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Please tell me that someone is going to make a film of this book - the climactic scene when Jeremy opens his new restaurant is just begging to be filmed.
Steven Buechler
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A interesting read. I had trouble with following some of the tangents the writer moved the plot to but the whole success/failure/success narrative made it a good read.
Cara M
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This book took me a few years to read which led to a rather disjointed effect, and in the end, what I was told by the person who recommended it was that 'it's one of those odd Canadian books that I quite enjoyed by the end' turned out to be a perfect description.

Yes. I did quite enjoy the end of this book, but it was rather slow going until about pg 325.

My main issue with it was that the main POV, Jeremy, was very anodyne. Described by an external POV as a merry prankster made me go -- what????
Janet Barclay
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
I've been working on a Canadian Reading Challenge, and wanted to find a book set in BC or by a BC author. This one was on the shelf at my local library branch, and it sounded pretty interesting, so I decided it would work.

I enjoyed both of the main story lines, the one about Jeremy and his restaurant, and the one about Jeremy and his father, but they seemed so unrelated that I couldn't imagine how it was all going to come together in the end. The way they did was beyond my wildest imaginings!

I c
Donovan Richards
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

Although I am an American, I consider myself, equally (if not more so), a Cascadian. Culturally speaking, I feel a closer affinity to British Columbians than Americans residing on the Eastern Seaboard. Even if my national allegiance lies with a New Yorker, my culinary tradition, weather, and regional tongue align with a Vancouverite.

Given the regional connections between Seattle and Vancouver, I thoroughly enjoyed Timothy Taylor’s novel, Stanley Park.

Culinary Crips versus Bloods

Set in
Alex Zarycka
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was mostly a character review, as said by some people in a book club I was in. It's true. It mostly focuses on describing the characters and the food, and the murder mystery part was pointless. It could have been a different story on it's own, the part with the murder mystery. I thought it would be just a murder mystery, so I was fooled. Others in the club I was in thought that too. Overall, it was not enjoyable, although I like the writing style somewhat. I could not even finish it.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
My friend Ellen sent me this book. The initial appeal was that this book was about Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada -- a city I lived in for 25 years. The book is about a chef and his relationship with his father.
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really fascinating book -- I will certainly never visit Stanley Park and feel the same way about it again. I enjoyed the main character's experiences with good and the restaurant world. This may have been Timothy Taylor's best book.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was slow and boring. I live in Vancouver so I thought it would be interested in the location, but it could have been set in any city and would have felt the same to me. So glad I can move on from this one.
DNF. I'm halfway through and realized I'm reading out of obligation and not because I'm enjoying it at all. It's not a terrible book, and at another time, I might have enjoyed it. Not this weekend, though. There are other intriguing books waiting for me, so this one gets shelved.
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Timothy Taylor is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. Born in Venezuela, he was raised in West Vancouver, British Columbia and Edmonton, Alberta. Taylor attended the University of Alberta and Queen's University, and lived for some years in Toronto, Ontario. In 1987 he returned to British Columbia. Taylor currently resides in Vancouver.

Taylor's short story "Doves of Townsend" won the Journe
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“Natural for you, perfectly natural,” the Professor whispered. “Natural to refuse the key that is given. To be blind in the darkness of knowing. To be filled with a dark light that we must shine on the people around us. A light that makes us weep and pull down our own houses.” 1 likes
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