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The New Yorker: "The story of his life is far richer than its gastronomic eccentricities: he is a fully realized protagonist, at once sober, self-reliant, and inventive."

Date: 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 obsession with food against the currents of the time; both Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin consider him a fellow Enlightenment philosophe. D'Aumout's culinary experiments include loris, tiger, raven, flamingo, and cat (recipes are included), but the story of his life is far richer than its gastronomic eccentricities: he is a fully realized protagonist, at once sober, self-reliant, and inventive.