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Cooking With Fernet Branca

Cooking With Fernet Branca [Kindle Edition]

James Hamilton-Paterson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


"'Wickedly witty... Anyone who does not add this hilarious divertimento to their summer reading list should be put on a forced diet of Gerald's inimitable Alien Pie.' Michael Dibdin, Guardian; 'A deliciously nasty farce set in [Hamilton-Paterson's] adopted Tuscany... Cooking with Fernet Branca had me laughing out loud and uproariously. All Tuscanites should read it, preferably over a plate of stewed otter chunks in lobster sauce.' Sunday Telegraph; 'Larded with bitter satire and piquant wit, at the expense, often, of its readers and their dreams of Italy... I laughed out loud several times a chapter.' The Times"

Product Description

Gerald Samper, an effete Englishman, lives on a hilltop in Tuscany. He is a ghostwriter for celebrities, and a foodie, whose weird tastes include 'Mussels in Chocolate and Garlic' and 'Fernet Branca Ice Cream'. His idyll is shattered by the arrival of Marta, a vulgar woman from a former Soviet republic now run by gangsters, notably male members of her family. She is a composer in a neo-folk style who claims to be writing a score for a trendy Italian film director. The neighbours' lives disastrously intertwine. The entourages of the rock star and the director come and go; mysterious black helicopters bring news of mayhem in Voynova, Marta's homeland; and along the way the English obsession with Tuscany is satirized mercilessly.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 619 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571220916
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction (19 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051T22ZQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,521 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a witty send-up of the Tuscan idyll 3 May 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is written as alternating chapters by the two protagonists, describing their own view of the same bizarre events. Gerry, effete,witty,with a well-developed sense of the ridiculous, but takes himself and his culinary work rather seriously. Marta is an eccentric Eastern European, living amongst the beautiful Tuscan hills in happy squalor, whilst she tries to come to terms with modern technology to help compose a film score. You can't help but grow fond of these two characters as they merrily score points off each other.Very cleverly written, like watching a good film.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Death Roe" and other recipes 20 Jun 2011
By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER
No, dear reader, this is not a recipe book. Oh, what fun I`ve had browsing some of the reviews on this page, bemusedly aghast at how some people will always miss the point. If how funny a book is can be measured by how much laughter it evokes, then this is the funniest novel I have ever read, and I`ve read it twice, and am `saving it up` to read a third time.
James Hamilton-Paterson is one of Britain`s best kept secrets, a truly original novelist who never writes the same book twice, so to speak - until he hit upon the premise for this series of comic novels - and whose work ought to be far better known. (His novels Gerontius, The Bell Boy and Loving Monsters are wonderful. He lives abroad and doesn`t play the publicity game, so you often have to seek out his books.)
Gerald Samper, in all his campery, is a brilliant comic creation, as is his exasperating neighbour Marta, an East European from a fictitious country, and an equally hilarious figure, impervious to the tantrums and cynicism of her opera-caterwauling neighbour Gerald. These opera arias, which he sings in full voice while cooking his revolting, baroque recipes - which get more outlandish in each chapter - are from wholly made-up operas. I was fooled for a while, then realised that the author was having some glorious fun at my delighted expense.
I repeat: this is not a `serious novel`, a travel book, or a book of recipes. It`s an uproariously
funny pastiche of the "Under A Tuscan Son" (one of many witty puns in the book) type of travel book, and a comic novel the like of which I thought writers had forgotten how to write any more.
The follow-up, Amazing Disgrace, is quite funny, but not a patch on this highly original, utterly mad, laugh-out-loud farce.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and highly entertaining! 23 Jan 2005
By A Customer
I was given this for Christmas, and found it an excellent antidote to the January blues! The narrative flow from two points of view, with overlaps, is a terrific comic device. Gerald is a great character, in both senses of the word, with a truly witty turn of phrase and some hilarious one-liners. I loved his attitude towards his ex-pat bachelor lifestyle, and of course his outrageous cuisine (don't worry - it's not a cookbook!). Marta is perhaps slightly less rounded as a character, but it doesn't matter too much as the whole book is such fun to read. Deep and meaningful it isn't, but if you've done the demanding bit and it's time for some light relief, this is for you. I'll really miss it now I've finished it. More please!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last... 8 May 2008
What a treat to read a book where the story line is driven by highly developed characters. This surely is one sign of a skilled writer. It's a bit like watching a play with no props where only the skill of the actors keeps the audience spellbound. In an era of special effects and melodrama, this is a simple story well told.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic 18 Jan 2006
By Sam Allenby VINE VOICE
This is one of the funniest books of the last ten years - a modern classic to be read alongside Evelyn Waugh and PG Wodehouse. Anyone who fails to be amused probably has no sense of humour and should be exiled to a desert island with the collected works of Jeffrey Archer, or the man himself.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud 22 Jan 2006
It is rare that a book makes me laugh out loud and this one did, almost all the way through. The two main characters are brilliant; Gerry is almost hateful but we can't help liking him. I can't recommend this book highly enough,it's a must-read for anyone with a sense of humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Different .. 20 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wickedly funny, I had to ration myself , so as not to read it all in one sitting! I haven't dared try the recipes yet,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, well worth a read 1 Sep 2013
By Sonia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A delightfully funny story. Made me laugh out loud in places and I was thrilled to find the story continues with Amazing Disgrace and Rancid Pansies. I loved them all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 13 hours ago by Mrs. mavis rudge
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very entertanining
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. V.J. Howson
4.0 out of 5 stars One trick pony
Cooking With Fernet Branca was long listed for the 2004 Booker Prize and won the BBC's "People's Booker" title. Read more
Published 5 months ago by MisterHobgoblin
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Deleted this one quite quickly just not my thing despite sounding promising, I am sure some people would enjoy it just not me
Published 7 months ago by Ginnie's mum
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it
Gave up on this book not funny . I lost the plot or did the author when they were writing a supposedly funny book, no very disappointed. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. Jane Hopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny
A great laugh, utterly ridiculous and enjoyable. The characters are great, the story is well written and very entertaining. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Hana Makin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabufreakingtastic
Having read all three of the Samper series I am safe to say that the author is a genius! I don't like to write reviews because my idiocy in relativity to the authors work might be... Read more
Published 11 months ago by reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth putting on the menu
This was thoroughly entertaining and pretty well completely ludicrous. Innovative dietarily speaking, enough fantasising and action to keep this reader interested, when I could... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Miss J.D.P.Soper
4.0 out of 5 stars Mad Book!
This was a funny and barking mad read :)

Certainly different, but appealed to me.

Two main characters, both eccentric and 'snobby' in their own way -... Read more
Published 12 months ago by antoinette
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I thought this book would be funny and a good holiday read. I'm afraid I stopped reading partway through; the characters aren't likeable and the humour didn't appeal to me. Read more
Published 12 months ago by LH, England
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