Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
|Print List Price:||£8.99|
Save £3.30 (37%)
The Debt To Pleasure: Picador Classic Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
'I myself have always disliked being called a 'genius'. It is fascinating to notice how quick people have been to intuit this aversion and avoid using the term."
I was hooked from the first chapter where Tarquin so brilliantly recalls taking lunch at his brother's boarding school (which 'my father described as"'towards the top of the second division" ').
As we follow Tarquin, his thoughts on life (some brilliant, some quite mad), his recollections of childhood - parents, artist brother and servants - and much more, we start to see a lot more to him than was at first apparent...
Truly brilliant writing, Lanchester never lets Tarquin's personality for a moment. Like nothing you've ever read - well, maybe our narrator, Tarquin, has a passing (but sinister) resemblance in his pomposity to Ignatius in 'Confederacy of Dunces'
Tarquin Wynot, the narrator, is an erudite, snobbish, foodie, psychopathic murderer. Sounds a bit 'Silence of the Lambs'? Not really. Wynot bumps people off for a variety of reasons but never just for fun. His fun he gets from the food and wine he so meticulously describes throughout the novel.
Like Tarquin's cooking, the prose is a fanciful, indulgent, and showy. Often fantastically funny, with a swift pace that still takes time for plenty of impressive asides, I found this unputdownable not necessarily because I wanted to know what happened next, but because I was enjoying myself too much. It is the literary equivalent of a meal in a very good but self-consciously experimental restaurant. You may not want to eat there everyday, you may think some of the combinations were a bit over the top, but you have to admit it was dazzling.
Finally, it is telling that when Lanchester published 'Capital' to much critical fanfare in 2012, this was the book, despite being his first novel and published in the nineties, that several reviewers held up as the measure of his full abilities. Unfortunately, I don't think he's lived up to the potential of 'The Debt to Pleasure' so far, but then it's a very high standard to have set yourself! If you enjoy 'The Debt to Pleasure', the meatier, more homely 'Mr. Phillips' is not a bad second course.
For the expansion, take one novel closely related to cooking and read. Do try the recipes, but proceed with care. Cook things right through before committing to taste. John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure is my recommendation. It's a highly original, highly informative cookbook written by one Tarquin Winot, an expert in the field.
In one of the most original books I have ever read, John Lanchester creates a real anti-hero. Too often the concept is ironed onto a character who is just a naughty boy doing naughty, often repulsive things, the concept of "hero" being often ignored. Tarquin Winot, the anti-hero of The Debt to Pleasure, is a brilliant and learned cook. He is also highly creative, using ingredients that only those who might cook with a purpose would choose to use. He is also something of a psychopath, perhaps. That is for you to judge. But he has survived to write his cookbook and apparently savours his retirement, courtesy of those he has fed.
The Debt to Pleasure is a superb novel. Tarquin's narrative draws the reader, perhaps unsuspecting, into his world, evoking an empathy with and for the character. That we have as yet only partially got to know this brilliant cook only becomes apparent as we proceed through his life, a life he has peppered with his personal peccadilloes. But above all, Tarquin Winot is both a planner and a perfectionist. His culinary creations are thought through, drafted like dramas to provoke particular responses, to achieve pre-meditated ends. They are also successful, appreciated by those who consume his concoctions, and eventually they succeed in precisely the way that he plans and executes.
Throughout, John Lanchester's prose is a delight, as stimulating to the mind as his character's creations might be to the palate. Florid and extravagant it might be at times, perhaps too much butter and cream for some diets. But The Debt to Pleasure is a satisfying, surprising and eventually fulfilling read. Tarquin fulfils both aspects of the anti-hero and ultimately we are left to grapple with the nature of self-obsession and selfishness.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
- Books > Fiction > Literary Fiction
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Literary
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Action & Adventure
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Classics
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense