Cooking with Fernet Branca has ratings and reviews. Richard said: Rating: * of fiveThe Publisher Says: Gerald Samper, an effete English s. Cooking with Fernet Branca, by James Hamilton-Paterson. A comedy of menus high up in Tuscany. Christopher Hirst; Monday 26 July Cooking with Fernet Branca. by James Hamilton-Paterson (Europa; $). In this comic novel, two expats try to live on the same Tuscan.

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It is difficult to write a humorous novel, but this author seems to have mastered it completely. Although you get the feeling that ‘acquired taste’ in this case is a bit of a euphemism eg. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Each one has also assured by a sleazy real estate agent that their property will afford them utter peace and quiet.

Cooking With Fernet Branca

His style is to juxtapose ingredients that are not normally admixed fednet produce a totally new taste sensation. And then ag Snobbish cookihg pretentious guy with crazy recipes somewhere in Italian pastoral mythical rural land. Gerard and Marta are incredibly well-drawn characters, from her pidgin English and lovingly frazzled appearance to his fastidious mannerisms and constant stream of sarcastic inner monologue.

As someone with the good fortune to be amorously paired with an ambitious cook though happily not quite as ambitious as GeraldI have picked up enough familiarity with the world of haute culinary fantasy that Hamilton-Paterson is parodying to have a sense of how well done this is.


But Samper deprecates with good reason the specialties his neighbor offers him, delicacies delivered direct from the former Soviet republic of Voynovia. I liked the prospect of a novel narrated by his-and-hers unreliable narrators, and the Italian setting was another lure for me off-piste Italy, as well, high in the Apuan Alps behind Camaiore, north of Lucca.

There can be something hectoring about someone trying constantly to amuse you. Feb 15, Issicratea rated it liked it Shelves: Alone and crazy enjoying his silence. Gerald Samper, British biographer to the rich and famous, buys an old villa in need of repair in Tus Whatever else we can say about James Hamilton-Paterson, he is a very funny man. You might overlook some of the well-placed punches he throws while falling around around laughing.

Dec 14, Skay rated it did not like it. It helps, but is not necessary, for the reader to ferrnet somewhat knowledgeable about Pier Paolo Pasolini, East European mafia, gourmet c Hamilton-Paterson flawlessly folds Into this souffle folded many ingredients seemingly disparate, resulting in hilarity and desire for more.

It is this dynamic that drives Hamilton-Paterson’s delicious comedy of errors. And what of Fernet Branca?

Strange brew

Meet a Brit ghostwriter for celebs who settles in Tusc to write and cook in peace. She speaks both a pidgin English and a pidgin Italian. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

The two main characters alternate every few chapters in telling the story. Refresh and try again. As the film director explain ‘There is a deeply bourgeois streak in green idealism’. Interspersed with recipes that get progressively more and more insane, and I think they all include a bit of mankind’s most vile aperitif — fernet branca.


But the principal icon of strangeness is named in the title. That they are neighbours at all is what sets the plot rolling, for each had been assured by the slimy fixer who sold them their remote houses high in the foothills of the Apuan Alps that the adjacent property was only occupied for one month a year.

Cooking with Fernet Branca

She is Marta and comes from an ex Soviet Republic. I got the britcom humor in the scene where Gerald nails himself to the fence, but that’s about it.

It is a spiced liquor similar to ‘Gammel Dansk’ and to a lesser degree the German ‘Jegermeister’. Fernet Branca is an Italian specialty.

Sep 08, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: She happens to have a gangster brother. View all 5 comments. He has purchased a villa in northern Tuscany that is relatively isolated so that he can concentrate on his writing. And the things he cooks are