Do you know how hard it is to write an engaging book of a life, based on taste? Yet, Muriel Barbery does it extremely well in this short, tasty morsel of a book.
This one expands on the life of the despicable food critic Monsieur Arthens who makes a brief but interesting entrance and exit in The Elegance of the Hedgehog
. In this book, it is Arthens last 48 hours on Earth and through his voice and the voices of his family, friends, coworkers, and pets the reader gets his whole life described in various ways from various perspectives; as he searches for one last taste before he passes. However, the parts I liked the most are the glorious descriptions of all kinds of food that have impacted the life of Arthens.
My most favorite one was about the tomato, where on page 63 it is written The raw tomato, devoured in the garden when freshly picked, is a horn of abundance of simple sensations, a radiating rush in one's mouth that brings with it every pleasure. The resistance of the skin - slightly taut, just enough; the luscious yield of the tissues, their seed-filled liqueur oozing to the corners of one's lips, and that one wipes away without any fear of staining one's fingers; this plump little globe unleashing a flood of nature inside us: a tomato, an adventure
This book certainly spoke to my inner foodie, made me think of my own gastronomic attachments, and got me thinking how would I describe my own life through taste? I'm going to have to try and write it.