Amy's Reviews > The Debt to Pleasure

The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
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's review
Oct 23, 2010

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bookshelves: 2009

Shamefully, I bought this book years ago and never got around to reading it but I'm glad now that I finally have - especially as I have honestly never read anything quite like this book. It's a satire and a memoir and a confession and a cook book, all in one!

The Debt to Pleasure is about Tarquin Winot, a gloriously self-indulgent foodie who quite simply thinks that he is the bees knees. The over-the-top writing is deliberately try hard from the very beginning but the information given is genuinely learned and impressive. I admit that at first - although I could appreciate that it was written satirically - I found it hard to get into, but it was definitely worth persevering with, as the plot that gradually emerges through all boasting, instructions and vanity is deceitful, sly and deliciously creepy. It's a finely tuned novel that gives away its clues slowly, carefully and most importantly, satisfyingly. Tarquin is quite, quite insane - and really rather brilliant, too.

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