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Appetite Hardcover – 9 May 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409142795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409142799
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 4.2 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

This intense, sprawling and addictive page-turner filled with often sensuous prose engages all the senses and is a triumph of energy and colour which brings medieval Italy to life. If you like an intelligent, engaging and exquisitely written story as a change from the drab brutality of modern crime, settle down with a good bottle of wine and enter Nino's world. (CRIME REVIEW UK)

A celebration of the senses: what Patrick Suskind's Perfume did for scents, this does for flavours. A love story which will also appeal to fans of Joanne Harris' CHOCOLAT . . . The ultimate foodie version of Perfume, this is an addictive page-turner filled with lavish literary gastro-porn. (Viv Groskop RED)

Kazan's rich, sensuous prose is always a pleasure. (SUNDAY TIMES)

APPETITE by Philip Kazan has had me salivating. Yes Kazan writes good food . . . [Florence] is wonderfully evoked . . . Delicious stuff. (BIG ISSUE)

Ambitious and engrossing . . . a novel of exceptional energy and colour (BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE)

Kazan brings medieval Italy to life with an astonishing degree of historical detail. Appetite has the vivid colours of Tracy Chevalier's Girl With a Pearl Earring and the sharp odours of Patrick Süskind's Perfume . . . Readers will certainly come away with an appetite for more. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

Intense, sprawling and most convincing (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD)

A delicious and mouth-watering read, this is a novel which engages all the senses. (NEW BOOKS MAGAZINE)

Book Description

Florence, 1466. A lust for life, a passion for power and a taste for adventure . . .

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Champollion VINE VOICE on 28 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It really is not often that you are fortunate to experience a book that brings to life not just a place in time but also all of the senses from the pleasant to the not so pleasant. Philip Karzan's "Appetite" is a book about Nino Latini, the son of a butcher in fifteenth century Florence. He is a draughtsman and is not only friends with Sandro Botticelli, but also has an uncle who is the priest and painter Filippo Lippi.

So what is the special skill that Nino Latini possesses? His expertise is that he is a chef with exceptional talent and he uses that skill to advance in the dangerous times of Renaissance Italy. Graduating from a humble taverna to the kitchens of the might Lorenzo de Medici, he is quickly recognised for his ability to please his master and excite not only the taste buds with his delicious food but also the eyes with his beautiful presentations.

His star is ascending, what could possibly go wrong? Tessina Albrizzi, his childhood love is dramatically paired with an ally of the Medicis and he is further insulted when he is on the receiving end of a joke designed to humiliate him. He leaves Florence for Rome and becomes chef to cardinals and ultimately the Pope.

Whilst in Rome, he demonstrates his creative skills by not only preparing scintillating flavours but also dramatising the whole event with an elaborate costume drama with sexual undertones.

His story would not be complete though without a return to Florence to try and win back the love of his life and defeat his enemies.

The author skilfully and meticulously paints a Florence, riddled with corruption, intrigue and violence and it is against this background that the story of
Nino Latino emerges.

Written with verve and a kaleidoscope of the senses, Philip Karzan has written an excellent book and deserves a wide readership.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sensible Cat on 20 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a book to savour. Philip Kazan knows his history and knows his food. His descriptions of medieval Italian meals will make your mouth water, and his description of the blood, guts and filth of the place and time will occasionally make your stomach heave. There is nothing wishy-washy about this novel. Never was a book so aptly named. Everything about the Florence of the Medicis was full on - the noise, the violence, the pace of life, the beauty of its art, the racket of the heaving streets and most of all, the extremes of conspicuous consumption. And just when you think you can't take much more, the action moves to Rome and everything goes up a level. The description of an army of cooks in a great man's kitchen stripping off after an exhausting shift and dancing drunk and naked in the light of the great cooking fires sounds like something out of Dante's Inferno. The revelation that the Borgia kitchen was equipped with early hotplates and piped water is equally fascinating.

At the centre of all this is Nino, a genius with food and Florentine through and through. Outwardly, he seems to live a charmed existence as his precocious talent brings him a series of high-profile jobs in the kitchens of the great, and wealth and luxury beyond his imagination. But in his heart, Nino is consumed with longing for two things he can never have - a return to his beloved Florence, from which he is exiled, and his childhood love and soulmate the beautiful Tessina.

Nino is no saint. Far from it. He is self-centered, arrogant, foolish and vain. His redeeming quality, however, is that he has learned the hard way. This is, at heart, a moral fable - the story of a man's descent into dissolution and excess, and his eventual redemption.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JoMaynard VINE VOICE on 13 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fabulous book.

It has been compared to Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and it is very similar at least to begin with, as it focuses on one sense and has a central character who has a special gift with that sense. However the first major difference is that the central character in Appetite has been brought up by his mother and has had a pretty healthy start to life.

The other book that Appetite immediately brought to mind is Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way, which is a clear explaination of just how crucial a sense of taste is to a cook.

Appetite starts off being set in the Florence of Lorenzo de Medici and Leonardo da Vinci, both of whom appear in this novel, along with Rodrigo Borgia. The central character is a young man, Niccolaio Latini, the son of a butcher and nephew of an artist. He is born with a unique gift, a massively heightened sense of taste. As a child he has to taste everything, and every taste brings a complex assault on his senses.

The story that follows is of him first dealing with the death of his mother, and then of him growing up and finding his fortune. Intertwined is the love story, of his love for his childhood friend Tessina, who is snatched from him as he just begins to realise his love for her. Will these two every be together?
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