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The continued escapades of the authors of The Decadent Cookbook (not reviewed), who hit the road in search of adventure.

After a police raid closed down the Decadent Restaurant (whose “Circe Room”—in which tethered naked clients would eat “overpriced pig swill” from a trough—proved too much for the local authorities), Lucan and Gray had to flee Edinburgh with creditors in hot pursuit. Exile and rootlessness are in perfect accord with the ideals of decadent living, of course, so the two embarked on a “florid and debased” tour of the world’s most decadent cities (as judged by the level of “perversion and depravity” to be found there). In St. Petersburg, Gray procured an illegal colonoscopy from a corrupt medical professional; in Naples, they witnessed an orgy in a Catholic church; in Cairo, they reminisced on decadent travelers long past and experimented in astral travel; in Tokyo, they recounted a surprisingly innocent story of the “Ghost children of Japan”; and in New Orleans, Lucan channeled an indescribably foul experience of a famously decadent forebear involving three days at a peephole in a women’s bathroom in the South of France. The authors’ gross escapades are, unfortunately, neither comic nor erotic and fill up a disappointing number of pages between occasional displays of genuine wit (for instance, a panegyric on the virtues of dying decadently). Little effort is spent, either, in developing the characters of the two authors beyond expounding their debauchee statuses; this, along with the shallow and repetitious nature of their experiences, provides little foothold for becoming involved in their excursions—presuming, of course, that one would even want to.

A cesspool of a travelogue that few will be likely to wade through.

Pub Date: March 29th, 2001
ISBN: 1-873982-09-7
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Dedalus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2001