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3.7 out of 5 stars96
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 9 October 2014
Great story and well written. JR draws a good story and the foodie elements were appropriate to the story.
Quite plausible and amusing scenarios but... Fell flat at the end. The last scenario felt rushed and the outcome was somewhat unsatisfactory.
Sorry jay Rayner, I love your wit and panache but on this occasion it didn't quite work for me.
A bit like the pomegranates on one of the dishes in masterchef!!!
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on 21 October 2014
Jay, no need to apologise, I didn't pay for it and as soon as I realised it was going to be a watered down version of Portnoy's complaint, I stopped reading it too. Which is a shame, because the first bit was very funny indeed.

I've given this book three stars because it is well written, but not my cup of tea.
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on 17 October 2014
Now this is a surprisingly engaging novel. At first I took it quite seriously, but very soon I realised that it is little more than a satire on our obsession with social media and our obsession with the
lives around us. It is a great read that reminds us what we share online will always come back to haunt us
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on 29 October 2014
Rayner has found a clever, original theme and plot - a bit like a new restauranteur coming up with a novel "fusion" concept - but his writing style doesn't make best use of those golden ingredients. Whilst I did enjoy the novel, I was left convinced that a more talented writer would have added a lot to the "meal". Shallow characterisation, speedy plot jumps and little left to the imagination. The afterword was probably the best written part - an old foodie trick trying to rescue the meal with the dessert ;)
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on 12 June 2004
I had always thought Rayner a good restaurant critic. He's an even better novelist. the Apologist works because it feeds the stomach and the head. The food writing is superb, as you would expect, but there's so much more here: great characters, engaging plot plus the x factor. It's a big entertaining novel which also manages to contain real ideas and in Marc Basset he has come up with a real figure for our times. I read it in one sitting and when I finished the last page I had that feeling of dismay and loss you get when you finish a great book. more please.
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on 14 June 2005
I felt that after reading the glowing review I had to bring a more realistic focus to this 'summer read'. I have just returned from a sunshine holiday and found this novel perfectly acceptable for this purpose - but not alot more! There are indeed familiar entertaining food references to savour. The action and ending are predictable and so unlikely as to be uninspiring. My partner is now reading this as he is a fan of farce and to this end, this novel is effective. Don't give up the day job, Jay!
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on 10 January 2015
I'm a big fan of Jay Rayner's food writing and I thoroughly recommend his Greedy Man in a Hungry World. I also enjoy his weekly reviews of restaurants I'll never visit. So I bought this at a reduced price on the strength of that. Maybe it's because I want to read about food that the plot just didn't engage me. It wasn't a thriller, no real action, characters not heard from in years conveniently turn up near the end. Again, maybe it's my interest but the book only really perked up during the descriptions of food ( a similar problem when reading any Anthony Bourdain fiction as opposed to his food writing.)

It may have some credit as satire in these days of social media trolling people for every mildly expressed slight but, in keeping with the theme of the book, I'm sorry, I just didn't like it.
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on 14 November 2014
A mediocre read which I wouldn't willingly pay full price. For 99p I persevered to the bitter end.

On the plus side the character Marc Basset was very believable albeit quite emotionally flabby, self centered and at times cringeworthy. For the fact that I had an emotional reaction, negative but emotional, I'd say that part was well written. However the story lost credibility at the UN stage. I like to be absorbed into a story but at times of unbelievable I found myself being popped back out into the world of reality and reminded that it was JUST a story.

As for Jay Rayners self congratulatory bit at the end, well what can I say................
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on 18 December 2014
It seems odd to write a review about a fictional reviewer that was itself wtitten by a reviewer ! I like Jay Rayner in his role as food critic and was intrigued to read a fictional book written by him. I have to say that it was quirky enough for me to read it all the way to the end and I did sort of enjoy it. Every time I thought it was going to be more of the same, he changed the direction of the story and consequently kept me needing to know what happened next ! It's different and quite quirky but oddly enjoyable. It will stay on my Kindle as I might just read it all over again sometime or other !
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on 12 January 2015
I enjoyed a lot of this book. Some of the underlying plot and characters were well-written and readily identifiable. And there were a lot of really excellent passages that were funny or emotional.

For me though, the book didn't quite hang together. It didn't quite work. I'm a real fan of the author's non-fiction, and there was much of that coming through in an enjoyable way, but I found myself struggling to retain interest, and I was ultimately glad to finish.

Hopefully Jay Rayner will write more fiction in future that I'll enjoy as much if not more.
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