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John Saturnall's Feast Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408805960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408805961
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 3.8 x 16.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 650,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A brilliant, erudite tale of cookery and witchcraft in 1681 (A.S. Byatt Guardian, Books of the Year)

Lawrence Norfolk is a genius (Louis de Bernieres)

Glorious ... The whole book is an extended fantasia on the idea of taste itself. Like all the best historical novels, John Saturnall's Feast is not just a novel set in some point in history ... but a novel about how histories infect stories (Stuart Kelly The Times)

Lawrence Norfolk is just about ahead of everyone in his generation of English novelists (Observer)

As vivid as it is mouth-watering ... This glorious, multilayered banquet of a book is clever and finely wrought, and the prose, steeped in the arcane language of 17th-century cuisine, brings it vividly and sensually to life (Metro)

Scrumptious foodie tale of a low-born master cook and his survival (Boyd Tonkin Independent Books of the Year)

In Norfolk's skilful hands, there is no danger of verbal indigestion. John Saturnall's Feast is the most accessible of his works. A grown-up fairy tale ... Fantastical architecture and weird botany are a vivid background to the bloody conflict and swooning romance. Norfolk is an expert on obscure sources as well as sauces. His blend of horrid history and oddly credible fantasy deserves to be consumed by the masses (Sunday Telegraph)

Witchcraft, cookery and war in seventeenth-century England ... from the master of the historical behemoth (Guardian)

A lyrical tale of historical havoc set in the English Civil War, with cookery as salvation. Class, war and folk tales are the themes of this ambitious, elegant novel (Marie Claire)

A fabulous novel. I was totally wrapped up in it, reading it on planes and trains and automobiles when it really should be read in front of a roaring fire with a huge mug of claret. It does what he has always done, which is wrap you totally into a world; utterly convincingly into that world ... extremely, extremely moving (Alex Preston BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review)

A triumph of technique but it's also a very affecting work, a magical one, a banquet for the thinking reader, a sensuous delight. Lay hands on a copy and read it as soon as you may and you'll find something truly worth savouring - every image, every detail, inspired, its full and fascinating depths inviting exploration and providing pleasure of the most satisfying kind (Cornflower Blog)

On the cusp of an autumn glut, the publication of a novel about a sublime cook in a great house 380 years ago is perfectly timed ... The kitchen vocabulary is rich, and Norfolk relishes it ... the feast itself is a triumph (The Lady)

One of the finest novels of the Nineties ... Lemprière's Dictionary is a novel quite comparable in scale, intelligence and literary playfulness to the work of Thomas Pynchon or Umberto Eco (Malcolm Bradbury, The Modern British Novel 1878-2001)

A welcome return from one of the deepest historical novelists around ... it sings ... delectable (Hermione Eyre Evening Standard)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of Lemprière's Dictionary, Lawrence Norfolk is back with an astounding new historical novel

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on 22 August 2017
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on 4 September 2012
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 September 2012
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