Read The Food Chain by Geoff Nicholson Online

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From Kirkus ReviewsKinky food and sex games are the stuff of this high-energy black comedy from the British Nicholson, his fifth novel but first US publication. Virgil Marcel is flying to London as a guest of the ancient and mysterious Everlasting Club. Virgil is the obnoxious, spoiled rotten son of Frank Marcel, founder of the Golden Boy chain, Howard Johnson-like restaurFrom Kirkus ReviewsKinky food and sex games are the stuff of this high-energy black comedy from the British Nicholson, his fifth novel but first US publication. Virgil Marcel is flying to London as a guest of the ancient and mysterious Everlasting Club. Virgil is the obnoxious, spoiled rotten son of Frank Marcel, founder of the Golden Boy chain, Howard Johnson-like restaurants in California; the only work he's done since college is to revamp his father's one fancy restaurant, now the last word in L.A. chic. In London, a black chauffeur, Butterworth, drives Virgil blindfolded to the club, where his host Kingsley, an upper-class twit, explains the club's tradition of ``indulging in excess.'' Virgil eats and drinks with the same swinish abandon as the other members, all male, but gets into trouble when he French-kisses the naked girl who is the motionless table decoration. So begins this story of gastronomic and erotic debauch; Nicholson cuts between England (where Virgil will be kidnapped by the sexy dinner-table centerpiece, then rescued by the God-fearing Butterworth) and California, where Frank, in the course of investigating his wife's supposed infidelity, discovers his prized chef Leo ejaculating into the sauces. Nicholson sustains a tone of campy menace (by now there's a whiff of cannibalism in the air) as he brings all these characters to London in a plot that zigs and zags entertainingly, though with increasing improbability. Even more troubling, though, are the factual accounts of gastronomic and other excesses interspersed throughout. Aside from the borderline tackiness of linking those notorious modern cannibals, the Andean crash survivors, to the high jinks of the club, these passages suggest authorial obsessions run amok. Spicy fare, though some may find the aftertaste disagreeable....

Title : The Food Chain
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780753812631
Format Type : Hardback
Number of Pages : 506 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Food Chain Reviews

  • Kasia
    2018-10-01 12:05

    The vagueness of what is going on makes this book stand out from others; the reader is kept in the dark about the present but gets the past woven in through the chapters to build up the story. I felt like I took a journey with Virgil Marcel, his invitation to the secret Everlasting Club in England wasn't traveled alone, it was a trip taken with the reader deeply immersed in with everything that was going on. For a foreigner such as himself the food was strange sure, but the real food that was served and created for the club was a mixture of disgusting combinations, fancy pairings, secret meats and an overabundance of liqueurs, not to mention the naked woman lounging on the dinging room table...Virgil has no idea what he has gotten himself into, spoiled, rich and young he takes advantages of what the club has to offer but unknowns to him its not as simple as it seems. Something dark and secret and mysterious is happening and the members who belong to the club are no ordinary people. Sadists freaks, gluttons and weirdos with insatiable strange fetishes have feasted there for the past three hundred years and they have no intentions of changing their bizarre, dark rituals and feasts. As Vrigil gets tangled up deeper into the nets of despair and simply walking away is not an option. Half the fun was reading about the history of the members and the other was worrying what was happening to the guests, the chapters go back and forth giving more glimpses of what this club is really into.The writing was silky smooth and flowed easily, it never bumped around my head like a blind critter and the ideas and theories the author included were not too foreign, but it was unusual to see crazy things one can make up in their head or simply know in print, staring them in the face. Nicholson's charm lays in his descriptions, the amount of food in this book is staggering, most of it doesn't come close to anything I would be able to eat, a creature put together on a silver platter with a shark's head and octopus tentacles, claws and other weird parts is not your daily fare, yet it was something that The Everlasting Club was known for and the reader gets to experience it all.The bizarre meets gruesome and perverse in this strange but wonderful tale, and the ending was great, I felt scared that this thin book will end before thing get really ugly but it was all tied up wonderfully. Full of twists and turns this book doesn't shy on taking the deep plunge into the deep end of the psyche!- Kasia S.

  • Kasia
    2018-10-02 12:59

    The vagueness of what is going on makes this book stand out from others; the reader is kept in the dark about the present but gets the past woven in through the chapters to build up the story. I felt like I took a journey with Virgil Marcel, his invitation to the secret Everlasting Club in England wasn't traveled alone, it was a trip taken with the reader deeply immersed in with everything that was going on. For a foreigner such as himself the food was strange sure, but the real food that was served and created for the club was a mixture of disgusting combinations, fancy pairings, secret meats and an overabundance of liqueurs, not to mention the naked woman lounging on the dinging room table...Virgil has no idea what he has gotten himself into, spoiled, rich and young he takes advantages of what the club has to offer but unknowns to him its not as simple as it seems. Something dark and secret and mysterious is happening and the members who belong to the club are no ordinary people. Sadists freaks, gluttons and weirdos with insatiable strange fetishes have feasted there for the past three hundred years and they have no intentions of changing their bizarre, dark rituals and feasts. As Vrigil gets tangled up deeper into the nets of despair and simply walking away is not an option. Half the fun was reading about the history of the members and the other was worrying what was happening to the guests, the chapters go back and forth giving more glimpses of what this club is really into.The writing was silky smooth and flowed easily, it never bumped around my head like a blind critter and the ideas and theories the author included were not too foreign, but it was unusual to see crazy things one can make up in their head or simply know in print, staring them in the face. Nicholson's charm lays in his descriptions, the amount of food in this book is staggering, most of it doesn't come close to anything I would be able to eat, a creature put together on a silver platter with a shark's head and octopus tentacles, claws and other weird parts is not your daily fare, yet it was something that The Everlasting Club was known for and the reader gets to experience it all.The bizarre meets gruesome and perverse in this strange but wonderful tale, and the ending was great, I felt scared that this thin book will end before thing get really ugly but it was all tied up wonderfully. Full of twists and turns this book doesn't shy on taking the deep plunge into the deep end of the psyche!

  • Petra X
    2018-10-04 11:01

    I brought this book home from the shop mostly because I read Nicholson's What We Did on Our Holidays last week, one of the funniest, nastiest books I've ever read. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this one, so I thought I would just read the first couple of paragraphs and take it back if they didn't grab me. They grabbed me, I snorked coffee, I dripped snot and knocked the popcorn bowl off the table more or less as the protagonist (I don't know if he's going to be the hero yet) did with the wine and peanuts in his seat in First Class. I'm flying Business Class tomorrow so I'll read this and look at the hostess in a knowing, sideways kind of way and if she's read this book, she'll probably give me a filthy look back. Can't wait... (She didn't. The man in the seat next to me did, but only because I had the window seat and was travelling on a free upgrade and he had paid for his. Oh dear.. poor man, having to sit next to badly dressed but well-travelled me).The book didn't disappoint but wasn't as funny as What We Did on Our Holidays. It would make an excellent spoof movie though as the plot if full of twists and turns, lots of sex, perverted and otherwise, violence and even snobbery and racism. I'd really really like to go out to dinner with the author, I'd bet he'd be fantastic company.

  • Emilie
    2018-10-19 16:02

    I really don't understand what everyone is on about in relation to this book. I am giving it one star because I can't give it any less but I didn't dislike it, I loathed it. I thought it was crass, sick, gratuitous, badly written and absolutely depraved. The characters are all assholes (which is the point I guess), sexual degenerates and utterly underdeveloped. The dialogues are strained and pathetic, the premise could have been explored in so many other better ways and overall is was a waste of my time. I hated the caricature of English men and food, it was completely off and clearly written with American ignorance and clich├ęs in mind, perhaps serving to further reinforce these stereotypes.It is going to the second-hand bookshop today, I am not embarrassing myself by having that shit on my bookshelf.

  • Hippystick
    2018-10-07 12:07

    Let me start by saying that this book is for broadminded adults only. It's strange, challenging, quite gross in places and altogether odd. It's definitely not for everyone.Virgil Marcel is the darling of the LA restaurant scene - young, unconventional, achingly hip. When he accepts an out of the blue invitation from the Chief Carver of London's Everlasting Dining Club, he has no idea what to expect. Taken blindfolded in a limo by the enigmatic chauffeur Butterworth, he's blown away by the wild revelry he witnesses. The party at the club has been going on night and day for over 300 years and inside the closely guarded dining room there are no limits - gluttony, drunkenness and sexual excess are all tolerated and encouraged. Comparisons are drawn to the Hellfire Club, and to the antics of the Marquis de Sade. Having survived one crazy evening at the club, Virgil is "kidnapped" and taken on a gastronomic tour of Britain by Rose, last seen lying naked on the dining table surrounded by food. Hel finds himself whisked from one orgiastic situation to another, days and nights of food, drink and very weird sex until he doesn't know if he's coming or going. At one point he wonders if this woman is trying to fatten him up. To say any more would be to give too many clues about the book - are these people cannibals? Sadists? A Masonic cult? Why have Virgil's mother and father found their way over to the club (where women members are VERY rare). And why does religious maniac Butterworth suddenly turn on the Chief Carver and try and burn the place down?Other storylines are going on in the background - Virgil's parents' horrible relationship breakdown, an LA chef doing unspeakable things with the food in his kitchen. It's confusing and a little nauseating at times - certainly not comfort reading. I'd love to hear others' opinions on it but if you hate it, don't say I didn't warn you.

  • Stephen
    2018-10-01 10:01

    This is a horrible book but it is horrible by design. In turns gross, blasphemous, repugnant, disgusting, it is also fascinating from beginning to end. Geoff Nicholson incarnates bits of William S. Burroughs, Tom Robbins, Franz Kafka and James Beard. In a story which is both bizarre and compelling, he describes the restaurant business in California and a mysterious exclusive club in London. There are no recipes contained in this book; no one would want any. But it is culinary from start to surprising finish. If one can overcome the horror, it is also funny. Not for every reader, nor even for most, readers who enjoy Burroughs, Robbins, Kafka and Beard (all four, not two or three) will likely enjoy this novel.

  • Frank
    2018-10-10 14:05

    Once I started reading this one, I was compelled to go on. It's hard to describe this book--at times disgusting--but you can't help but want to read more. The theme of food and sex are by no means original. I kept thinking of the movie "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" which touches on many of the same things. All in all, I found the book to be very readable and interesting and for good measure it threw in some morbid information about de Sade, Aztec blood rites, Fritz Haarmann: The Butcher of Hanover, the Andes plane crash involving cannabilism, and the Earl of Sandwich. I will probably be reading some of Nicholson's other books in the future.

  • Scheherazade
    2018-09-25 08:42

    This book began as a fascinating treatise on consumption and lust. Teasing and repulsive in turns but keeps your interest throughout. Its one fault is its ending, at least as far as I was concerned. I feel that a book can be as exciting as possible but if the ending lets you down then I feel cheated. The end was predictable and I felt the author could do better. and yet I enjoyed the book up to that point, so do read it and see if you agree.

  • Greg Allan Holcomb
    2018-10-14 10:48

    The writer used only one voice for many different characters, and for most of them the voice was above the character. This was a book about appetites, Food and Hunger, sex and boredom, attention and loneliness; and people's ways of filling it. A little twisted, a little obvious, but enough of a page turner to get me to read something else by Geoff Nicholson. WARNING- Nekkid Lady Art on the cover.

  • D.S.
    2018-10-05 08:08

    This book, like all of his work, is for bad people or those who aspire to be bad. It tells a story of human corruption of a rather unique and metaphorical sort, but is always captivating and clever even when you know you should be appalled. Eating clubs, history and England are putatively topics but you are better off knowing nothing whatsoever about this book when you read it.

  • Jules
    2018-10-15 08:59

    After reading Flesh and Blood, I thought this would be an interesting fictional work around the idea of cannibalism. I was wrong. It is a raunchy and poorly ordered romp through a sexy kitchen. Don't even go there!

  • Kelly
    2018-10-19 12:43

    Geoff Nicholson is highly underrated in the US. This is by far my favorite of all his books and I love the research on food and the inner story on the "Everlasting Club" is brilliant. Interesting to the very end, which will surprise you!

  • Rosie
    2018-10-01 09:46

    A cute romp through disgusting culinary and sexual details. You figure out what's going on halfway through, but there are a few surprises. Don't read right after eating.