Book: The Last Banquet
Author: Jonathan Grimwood
Published: 2013 (Europa Editions)
I’m gonna go ahead and spoil the ending of this because it’s the best part, meaning the only real coherent part, and it will tell you more than reading the three hundred pages before it anyway: after dude has finally satisfied a curiosity as to what human flesh tastes like, he gets his pet tiger to eat him as the French revolutionaries are closing in on his aristocratic-ass house and life.
Bam. Done. The rest is quite literally summation. During the FRENCH REVOLUTION.
I don’t know if my tolerance has gotten lower for SHOW DON’T TELL as I’ve started thinking more about the act of learning and teaching creative writing, but Jesus Christ on a chariot-driven sidecar, this guy goes through the weirdest shit and painful personal tragedies and one of the most dramatic upheavals in history, and all we get is a wordy shrug equivalent of “Eh, yeah, that happened. Here is what I ate.”
I did like the food bits, although I had to put aside my vegetarian instincts because holy hell does he like to eat anything that moves (I think he actually articulates that as his goal at one point) and also they boil an owl at one point. I CAN’T with that one.
So, yeah. There’s really not much else to tell you. Even the tiny collections of meditations on the nature of food as fuel and ceremony and ritual sacrifice never came together into one climaxing profundity, tiger meal notwithstanding, and oh my god if it turns out your frame is your main character is writing this as some sort of document, MAKE SURE HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY ADMIT IN THE DOCUMENT ITSELF THAT HE HAS NO IDEA WHY HE’S WRITING ALL THIS DOWN. That just makes me go, “Yeah, I agree with this guy. Why was this written again?”
Back to the library. Technically, it’s overdue, but we aren’t open today, so it should be all good, right? Yes! I don’t want to have to pay anything for this book because it’s kind of shitty.