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If this is the last we get from Harrison, it serves as a fitting memorial.

A celebration of eating well and drinking even better as a recipe for the good life.

This posthumous collection of food pieces (very broadly defined) by the award-winning novelist serves as a sequel of sorts to The Raw and the Cooked (2001), which documented his insatiable hunger for food, from the mundane to the exotic to the exquisite, and so much more. The linchpin of a collection that holds together surprisingly well is the title piece that he wrote for the New Yorker in 2004, an essay that scandalized some readers in its embrace of excess. “Is there an interior logic to overeating, or does gluttony, like sex, wander around in a messy void, utterly resistant to our attempts to make sense of it?” he wonders. “Not very deep within us, the hungry heart howls, ‘Supersize me!’ ” Some of the other essays also reference this piece, in its vivid description of its 37 courses, along with his ironic complaint that only 19 wines accompanied it. He later writes, “I have often thought that if I received an early warning that I would pass on sooner than later, I’d get myself to Lyon and eat for a solid month, after which they could tip me from a gurney into the blessed Rhone. Maybe I’d swim all the way downstream to Arles for my last supper.” In the latter half of the collection, Harrison proceeds through just the kind of extended warning that the author had suggested, with the thoughts on the way he has lived his life underscored by the ravages he is experiencing. Along the way, the author waxes wickedly funny over matters of art, politics, spirituality, sex, and the commingling of all of them. His advice: “Your meals in life are numbered and the number is diminishing. Get at it.”

If this is the last we get from Harrison, it serves as a fitting memorial.

Pub Date: March 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8021-2646-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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