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Jonathan Grimwood

© Charlie Hopkinson

Jonathan Grimwood

Jonathan Grimwood has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent and numerous other magazines and newspapers. The Last Banquet is his first work of literary fiction. He divides his time between London and Winchester.

All Jonathan Grimwood's books

Latest reviews

  • Jonathan Grimwood’s debut novel, The Last Banquet, takes us to France during the mid-1700s, when the gap between the haves and have-nots widened and set the stage for revolution. The landscape is surreal, with bands of roaming citizens scouring the countryside for food—it’s...
    — Apr 4 2014
  • "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." So professes Jean-Marie d'Aumout, whose pursuit of epicurean adventures takes him from an impoverished childhood to Versailles in the waning days of the French monarchy. In this vividly evoked novel, Grimwood sets d'Aumout's...
    — Dec 16 2013
  • "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." So professes Jean-Marie d'Aumout, whose pursuit of epicurean adventures takes him from an impoverished childhood to Versailles in the waning days of the French monarchy. In this vividly evoked novel, Grimwood sets d'Aumout's...
    — Dec 16 2013
  • Recommended by Jean Zimmerman, book critic and author of The Orphanmaster, she says "Foodies and Francophiles alike will relish this debut novel." Grimwood's novel was also selected in sublists of the larger list, including "Tales From Around The World," "For History Lovers,"...
    — Dec 9 2013
  • Recommended by Jean Zimmerman, book critic and author of The Orphanmaster, she says “Foodies and Francophiles alike will relish this debut novel.”  Grimwood's novel was also selected in sublists of the larger list, including "Tales From Around The World," "For History Lovers,"...
    — Dec 9 2013
  • Some might read this quotation as a symbolic statement by a person who has found rays of hope for a bright future in the midst of horror or degradation. In this case, however, the statement by Jean-Marie Charles d’Aumout must also be taken literally. The novel opens with...
    — Nov 19 2013
  • Food, passion, war, friendship — “The Last Banquet” is a delight that has it all. Grimwood tells an engrossing story of pre-revolutionary France through the eyes of an orphan whose “taste” for the undiscovered brings new meaning and devotion to the culinary arts,...
    — Nov 19 2013
  • The Last Banquet is a novel set in the fading days of ancien regime France; Jean-Marie d'Aumont comes from an aristocratic line but his parents are dead, starved to death because the law forbids them to work. He has been placed in a school for the aristocracy, where he mixes...
    — Oct 30 2013
  • Now the weather has turned colder, what could be better than curling up somewhere cosy with a good book? Sophie Morris presents the literary experts’ top choices. The Independent's Review: This is Jonathan Grimwood’s debut novel, although it isn’t. He’s perhaps...
    — Oct 25 2013
  • "My earliest memory is sitting with my back to a dung heap in the summer sun crunching happily on a stag beetle...." That's Jean-Marie Charles d'Aumont, recalling a meal he ate as a 5-year-old in the barn on the property of his family's tumbledown château. He's eating the...
    — Oct 19 2013
  • "My earliest memory is sitting with my back to a dung heap in the summer sun crunching happily on a stag beetle….” That's Jean-Marie Charles d'Aumont, recalling a meal he ate as a 5-year-old in the barn on the property of his family's tumbledown château. He's eating the...
    — Oct 19 2013
  • "Our lives are built almost entirely on a foundation of events colliding." Who would expect a novel about food and 18th century matters of state to be a page turner? But The Last Banquet is--and it is a tasty repast. It is bawdy, too. The hero, a picaresque...
    — Oct 1 2013
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    — Oct 1 2013
  • As Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Jonathan Grimwood is a well-known author of fantasy and science fiction. Set against the backdrop of Enlightenment France, his first mainstream novel, The Last Banquet, is shocking, at times verging on disgusting, but always compelling. We meet...
    — Sep 13 2013
  • From the moment he is discovered scavenging dung beetles by a passing nobleman, Jean-Marie d’Aumont leads a charmed life. Patronage elevates him to privilege and this, coupled with some happy accidents, brings him fame and riches, a beautiful wife and political influence.
    — Aug 26 2013
  • Jean-Marie d’Aumout is a liberal, democratic Frenchman obsessed with flavor whose life, narrated in an elegant debut, lays bare the extreme contrasts of pre-Revolutionary France. First encountered at age 5, eating beetles from a dung heap, his parents dead in their run-down...
    — Aug 17 2013
  • With his parents dead, young Jean-Marie d'Aumont is found eating beetles on a dung heap and sent to a school for the "sons of destitute nobles" in Enlightenment-era France. He likes school fine, but he didn't mind the beetles either (brown are sour, black tasty), and as far...
    — Aug 2 2013
  • With his parents dead, young Jean-Marie d'Aumont is found eating beetles on a dung heap and sent to a school for the "sons of destitute nobles" in Enlightenment-era France. He likes school fine, but he didn't mind the beetles either (brown are sour, black tasty), and as far as...
    — Aug 2 2013
  • Jonathan Grimwood‘s “The Last Banquet” comes garnished with superlatives, so much so that I’ll promise to avoid serving up more stale double entendres about “a feast of a book.” Suffice it to say that this life story of Jean-Marie Charles, Marquis d’Aumout, from...
    — Jul 31 2013
  • The protagonist of this novel is an orphan, Jean-Marie Charles d’Aumout, whose parents have died of hunger: they were aristocrats, but for the debts everything had been taken from them. After their death, little Jean-Marie lived by himself, alone, eating insects and herbs,...
    — Jul 30 2013

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