SEVENTEEN WAYS TO EAT A MANGO by Joshua Kadison

SEVENTEEN WAYS TO EAT A MANGO

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Singer-songwriter Kadison, who’s sold three million records since his Painted Desert Serenade debut album in 1993, proves himself a more-than-capable fabulist-illustrator in his first book aimed at the adult and young-adult markets. Hand-lettered on faux weathered brown wrapping paper, the slim tale passes itself off as the journal of J., a genetic engineer who, disguised as an entomologist, is visiting a tropical island to investigate the possibilities of setting up a large-scale mango industry there. After renting a hut, he goes out to look things over, only to meet a seated Buddha-like figure, the potbellied Katchumo, who seems to know everything about him, including his fears and desires. Katchumo points the path to wider knowledge. At the outset, he tells the narrator that there are 17 ways to eat a mango. In the passing days, he reveals these ways, and each relates to J.’s human character. For example, a sour mango, rather than be cursed, can be mixed with sweetenings, vinegar, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, and so on to make delicious sour mango chutney. Generally throughout, the mango lends itself to a mystical understanding of human nature. Not much story but rich in feeling, delightful. As movie folk say, looks as though it has legs. It may last for years as a bookstore perennial. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 5th, 1999
ISBN: 0-7868-6457-5
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1999