Gourmet Rhapsody - Muriel Barbery


In arguably the finest food capital of the world, Paris, we find our main character Monsieur Pierre Arthens dying.  He is a renowned food critic who has made many friends and enemies along the way with a simple wave of his pen.

 Now, in his dying days, he is determined to find that one taste that eludes him.  He cannot describe it exactly or know if he has tasted it before but he will know it when he tastes it.  His dying wish is just one more bite.

 A trip down memory lane begins for our arrogant critic.  We see him in his childhood, already appreciative of good food.  He watches his grandmother and Aunt create masterpieces of taste like no other.  He recalls how the best chefs use all their senses, not just eyes, nose and tongue.touch too.  We go on a journey of taste, essence and gluttony and arrive back in Paris at some of the most revered restaurants in the world.

 In the end, it wasnt that one taste that would have saved him, his illness wasnt in the stomach.  In the end, it was his heart that failed him because his heart did not use its senses.  Perhaps his heart did not have any.


A Feast for My Mind by the Madame Maxine 


Food For Thought….Gourmet Rhapsody was a good read.


 A dying man tries to figure out what that one last taste is that he needs, and forgets about the rest.  I hope he never has to eat his words.

 I found the main character, Pierre Arthens, a real arrogant snob, however, that is what makes him one of the best food critics in the world.  He knows good food and he demands it.

 While I found many parts of this story overwritten and wordy, it did encourage me to stop and appreciate what I am putting in my mouth.  The way he describes the flavours and tastes made my mouth water.  Be wary, I gained a few pounds while reading.

 This story is also very sad.  Each chapter allows a person close to Arthens to say their goodbyes.   We learn that he has not fostered any of these relationships nor appreciated many of the people in his life.  In the end, his heart gives out because of lack of use!!!!!

Book Boutique Rating:81/100



Stella’s Rhapsody


‘Gourmet Rhapsody’ is dessert for my literary palette!

For me this book was a perfect summer read. At 156 pages it is a short read. Perfect for sitting out on the patio in the morning, coffee in hand for ‘Flavor’ and ice tea for ‘The Illumination’.

I enjoyed every morsel of this book. As I read about Pierre and his situation I couldn’t help but feel pity for him. His tireless quest for a flavor to satisfy his palette being all consuming in his final hours. I felt compassion for the three children forced to love a father that shows no love to them. For Anna, I feel nothing. She chose her path, loving a man that does not treasure her. I will not judge her.

The words and detailed explanations for the simplest of foods are necessary for making this book such a delicious read.

My literary palette feasted well on Ms. Barberry’s ’Gourmet Rhapsody’.

I look forward to returning to Paris while reading ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’

Book Boutique Rating:85/100



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