Possible triggers– Animal slaughter. Sex scenes. Loss of virginity. Violence. Murder. Birth. Death. Children with birth defects.
I was really looking forward to read this book, since the day, I held it in my hands for the very first time. Sicilian kitchen, traditions and the way of life- all sounded very promising, but I was wrong. This book was awful. I think it was the worst book I read this year. There are three words for it-
Twisted Food Porn.
It was written in such a way, that it kept me in constant state of disgust, for many pages. I suppose, I must admit, that author is very skilled with words and has excellent imagination. I found many interesting and weird quotes in La Cucina.
Here is a weird one-
Crimson paper lined the walls, the colour of the inside of an eyelid.
This quote about wishes coming true, is the one I am curious about, I think there is some truth in it (found on page 73.) I also think it is my favourite quote in this book –
Sometimes it is better for our wishes not to be granted. Our dreams should remain dreams for our own good. Our prayers are only answered by a jealous God. When we get what we want most it is a sure sign our troubles are about to begin in earnest.
Book starts with the names of the characters. I was quite intimidated with the list, it was so long and Sicilian names sounded foreign and hard to memorise.
But in the end- it did not matter, I should have skipped the list to avoid confusion.
After that we get a glimpse of what is to come, I must admit, I was fascinated…
Little did I know, that before I get to this point (when she lies naked on the table), I will be ready to throw up with disgust, moreover- the scene on the table is repulsive, there is absolutely nothing sensual about their parody of lovemaking.
Rosa Fiore is a librarian. She loved the boy once, but he was murdered. So great was her suffering, she resigned herself to the loveless life for 25 years. But one day she meets a foreigner, who teaches her the art of lovemaking (twisted kind) and she teaches him the art of cooking Sicilian style. Together they reach the heights of pleasure, and waste enormous amounts of food in the process… (At some point, she is was fully covered in spaghetti and sauce, as he licked it of her and wraps spaghetti in her hair… Sick, no? + what a waste of good food)
There are funny moments in this book, but they are outweighed by sad , embarrassing, silly and disgusting moments. All the characters were flawed in either appearance or behaviour.
Bank manager– peeping Tom.
Siamese twin brothers three legged guys, who are also greedy people.
Mother– sex addict and a murderer.
Priest– dirty minded man. One of the confessions will make you cringe.
Hero, L’Inglese– we are talking sex machine, who is turned on by food, but, his appearance is not one of the macho types- Huge belly, thinning hair, moustache and yellow teeth. (Why bad teeth? Who likes bad looking hero? There is nothing at all attractive about him. He even laughs like a horse- page 147. )
One eyed guard– One of the few decent people in this novel. I think, he was a good man, but what I really want to mention (unrelated to this book) is the fact, that every time I choose a book, I find a hero (or situation) in it, which resembles previous book I read, the hero in previous book also only had one eye. It happens so often, I really should write separate post about it.
There is another issue about this book, apart from disgusting sexual activities, that I found unsettling, and it is animal slaughter. Descriptive and brutal animal murdering is not something I enjoy reading about, as I read for pleasure. I think vegetarians should never touch this book. The heroine not only slaughters animals- pigs and cows and chickens, but she also takes pleasure in it, which I find distasteful. She actually enjoys walking around with fresh blood dripping of her hands. At some point, when she was going through depression, she acted like a maniac, and I was convinced she is a madwoman around pages 46-48.
The woman even kills her own pet. And is not at all frightened, when Mafia leaved head of her dog as a warning, she just throws it in the fire and keeps cooking…
Her mother shoots the guy right between his buttocks, so we know what kind of people we are talking about here…
What else could I add? There are some ruthless Mafia activities, feeding of the corpse, baby being born with full mouth of teeth, adoration of calve brain sandwich… And after struggling to get through the book you are faced with uncertain abrupt ending…
I still do not understand was it happy ending or just another weird daydream. (you will get plenty of those)
I imagine there are some people who would enjoy this book… Who are those people, let me think… Lovers of weird books and food play (sitophilia- a form of sexual fetishism in which participants are aroused by erotic activities, that involve food. ). So anyway, if you are intrigued by this book, you can buy it here
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Thanks for reading.