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Chop Chop

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CHOP CHOP Simon Wroe

Chop Chop

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
78052
publisher:
The Penguin Press
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Kitchen Nightmares has nothing on the horrors of the Swan, the fancy London restaurant in Wroe’s darkly comic novel. In the eyes of our unnamed narrator, a student-turned-novice chef, the Swan’s kitchen is a torture chamber — but also a sanctuary for its staff of oddballs, who thrive on filthy potshots. (”You’ve got the fattest arse I’ve ever seen. We should get your arse in a pan and render it.”) Plot isn’t Wroe’s strongest suit; the story hinges on a shadowy, underdeveloped villain known only as the Fat Man and his cultlike dinner club. But brightly drawn characters and delectable writing (a frazzled chef’s head is said to look ”farther away than ever, pushed out of the top of his body like toothpaste from a tube”) make this debut a first course worth savoring. B+

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