Edible Stories

I'm not always a fan of short stories, or really any type of written word that doesn't offer me the opportunity to become fully invested for more than a mere few minutes. So I wasn't sure that I would enjoy Mark Kurlansky's Edible Stories. Much as I consider myself a foodie and could read gastronomic fiction day in and day out, short stories just don't always move me the way I'd like. But Kurlansky's book is tagged "a novel in sixteen parts" so I gave it a fighting shot and was much pleased.

It's a simple enough little piece, one that I'd analogize as a food-lover's "Love Actually" or "Paris Je'Taime" in book form. The various stories interweave in ways that are at times imperceptible and at others blatantly obvious. Each part revolves around a certain food item which plays a vital role in that particular story (so I guess the analogy works best with "Paris Je'Taime" since the love of food serves the same role as the love of Paris in the film). At turns relatable, hilarious, and sentimental, the novel is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia in any reader whose memories are strongly and irrevocably tied to food (as mine most certainly are).

It's hard to categorize this pieces or place it within the strict confines of a specific genre. I would most accurately describe this effort of Kurlansky's as a relatively stimulating food-lover's beach read. But it would be a wonderful book to curl up with come fall after enjoying a Thanksgiving feast or in the spring and early summer when fruits are finally ripening and the first tastes of fresh strawberries, juicy peaches, deep dark cherries, and backyard tomatoes are still fresh on your lips. Anyone with a passion for food can find something to enjoy within Edible Stories and I found myself quite pleasantly satisfied when I completed this one.

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