The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
A Novel

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An impeccable, Epicurean Englishman and lifelong Francophile recounts his past pleasures in Provence, in a meditation on food, vodka, and restaurant-going that becomes a dark satire on hedonism. 75,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. First serial, Granta. Tour.

About John Lanchester

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John Lanchester was the deputy editor of the London Review of Books and the restaurant critic for the London Observer. He is the author of a second novel, Mr. Phillips, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker. He lives in London.
Published January 1, 1996 by Henry Holt. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A world-class chef and scholar extraordinaire (he calls himself an artist) of food and cuisine (not to mention manners, lore, and history in general), Winot hasn't lived a life that could be called underprivileged: With an ex-actress mother and an international- businessman father, both Winot and...

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Publishers Weekly

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But what lies between the lines gives the narrative its insidious fascination, for in his casual references to the accidental deaths of servants, a neighbor and various family members, Tarquin gives away his true character, suggested by his early statement that ""[t]here is an erotics of dislike....

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Entertainment Weekly

In the excruciatingly arch novel The Debt to Pleasure, the author — former restaurant reviewer for the London Observer John Lanchester — tries to eat his cake and have it, too.

Apr 05 1996 | Read Full Review of The Debt to Pleasure: A Novel


The book opens innocuously on the eve of snobbish epicure Tarquin's Channel crossing to France, as he begins describing the first of the seasonal menus around which this story is structured.

Aug 05 1996 | Read Full Review of The Debt to Pleasure: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Under the guise of completing a cookbook, Winot is in fact on a much more sinister mission that only gradually comes to light.
A gorgeous, dark, and sensuous book that is part cookbook, part novel, part eccentric philosophical treatise, reminiscent of perha...

Jun 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Debt to Pleasure: A Novel

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