Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Shelf Control #7: Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Shelf Control
is a weekly feature created by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. Since early January 2023, Shelf Control has moved base to Literary Potpourri.

As I was browsing for a Christmas e-book or two to read next month, I found this book I forgot I've ever bought, how long ago has it been on my shelf?

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Summary from Goodreads:
"In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Pierre Athens, the greatest food critic in the world, is dying. Now, during these his final hours, his mind has turned to simpler things. He is desperately searching for that singular flavor, that sublime something once sampled, never forgotten, the Flavor par excellence. Indeed, this flamboyant and self-absorbed man desires only one thing before he dies: one last taste.
Thus begins a charming voyage that traces the career of Monsieur Arthens from childhood to maturity across a celebration of all manner of culinary delights. Here, as in The Elegance of Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery’s story celebrates life’s simple pleasures and sublime moments while condemning the arrogance and vulgarity of power.

I have almost read The Elegance of Hedgehog for Paris in July this year, but I got bored at first chapter, and so didn't continue. I wonder whether Gourmet Rhapsody would better suit me. I like food-theme stories, and it might add charm to this book. So, I think, I'll keep it a try!

Have you read this book? Do you think it's worth reading?


  1. I did read it! But I don't remember it all, which isn't a very good sign.

    1. Oh oh... it's not a good sign, indeed. But I've read some relatively good books before which I forget now, so there might be slight chance I'd find this one fun.. ;)

  2. I haven't read this but I do like the sound of it because of food and food-memories, which was the theme of another book I read recently The Kamogawa Food Detectives. Based on the description, I would give it a try.

    1. Agree, the food-related theme might help me liking a book, too. *fingers-crossed*

  3. it's good, but very short and not as good as The Elegance of the Hedgehog (OMG, you need to try it again!). There's one character in common with the two books by the way.
    I fell in love with another more recent book by Barbery. It's short (English translation is 160 pages) and so so beautiful. A gem
    A Single Rose:

    1. I think I read Elegance at the wrong time, I surely want to give it another try. Thanks for the encouragement, Emma!
      I'll check A Single Rose right away, it sounds perfect for next year's #NovNov! :D


What do you think?