11 Nov 2010

THE FOOD TASTER.

THE FOOD TASTER by PETER ELBLING.


Ugo DiFonte is the duke's food taster: the duke loves Ugo's daughter, the daughter loves the cook and Ugo alone can save them all, though any bite could be his last.
...... From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: For years after my mother hanged herself, I wished I had been older or stronger so that I could have stopped her.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: A small ball of light glowed between us. It was filled with memories of what might have been - two boys playing together, two young men, their arms linked in friendship, two brothers, companions in life. Then it was gone and an emptiness overcame me.

Ok, I confess, I largely picked up this book because of the cover - well, the blurb on the back cover was giving very little away.

A bawdy read in places (I was only 5 pages in and Ugo was talking about doing unmentionable things with a sheep) but very sad in others - The Food Taster mainly read like a comedy of errors.

The plot was so-so. More a 'high Renaissance romp' than a 'fairytale for grown-ups' - both of which were used to describe the book by one reviewer.

As for the characters? Unusual for me but I cannot think of even one character that I really liked, not one I really warmed to. They were all either rather dull and left you wondering why they had been included in the story at all OR not very nice, bordering on being the type you would avoid at all costs. Well written I give you, just not the type of character who will remain in my memory for any length of time.

So, was I right to judge a book by its cover? Being ex-library stock and costing only 25p it was a risk I was willing to take. Not without its merits -  it was quite funny in places,  even laugh out loud in one, possibly two - I cannot say it was a 'bad' book, just not a book I will be reading again.

20 comments:

Mary said...

Well, the price was right, I guess. I find it difficult to keep reading when I don't like the characters.

Vivienne said...

Sheep? Really! They do get some bad press, don't they?

Misha1989 said...

It doesn't seem like a book I would read. If I don't like the characters, its impossible for me to appreciate the book even a little. Thanks for the review!

budh.aaah said...

Ok going by your review of the book, I am not going to read it.

And that back at my place (or blog if you please :) would be like a good read for/at a funeral..now that you mention it.

But I wrote it with love on my mind
Maybe passing away of my dearest Dad is what makes it a sad read desppite being a love poem..

Stranger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stranger said...

Doing things to a sheep... some people have such vivid imagination.. When ever I read books more than the book I think of the author.

Any idea why that is so? You made me think of the author of this book too. your reviews are as good as reading the book partly...

GMR said...

Had much the same experience with a recent read....minus the humorous moments. Sometimes chances taken pay off, other times not so much, but in the end they were all usually worth the risk. Happy reading!

Willa said...

Too bad that it didn't tick all boxes but at 25p you at least haven't used up your book allowance this month :-) I love the name of the "hero" btw. Ugo DiFonte sounds like a highstreet menswear brand :-)

naida said...

Thanks for the honest review. Poor sheep.

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Nina said...

Ouch. Well than be glad that it only cost you 25p. :)

Jenners said...

I can't imagine having a job where I taste food to see if it is poisoned. Talk about job stress!

Dorte H said...

Sounds a tad too sheepish for my taste. And I don´t care much for books with no proper characters.

Lynda Young said...

It's probably a book I'd avoid ;)

Kelly said...

Well, at least it didn't cost you much. I liked the cover, too.

Nikki-ann said...

When is tarted reading your post I thought this might be an interesting read... not so sure now! Still, 25p is a bargain! :)

Suko said...

Probably not my cup of tea, either. . . .

A said...

PW,

Thanks for the review. Got the point - avoid the book.

I like your style of writing. Yours is unique among all the blogs I read.

It is awesome style for me.

Melissa Gill said...

Hmm, makes me wonder what it would have been like to be a food taster, kindof like playing Russian Roulette everyday. But I'd rather see it in more of a suspensful rather than comedic format.

Alison said...

Too bad it was just so-so. The food tasting part reminds me of Poison Study by Maria Snyder.

dr.antony said...

One good thing is that you save the valuable time of many others!
and save them from many writers too