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The Epicure's lament: a novel

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For ten years, Hugo Whittier, upper-class scion, former gigolo, failed belle-lettrist has been living a hermit's existence at Waverly, his family's crumbling mansion overlooking the Hudson. He passes the time reading Montaigne and M.F.K. Fisher, cooking himself delicious meals, smoking an endless number of cigarettes, and nursing a grudge against the world. But his older brother, Dennis, has returned, in retreat from an unhappy marriage, and so has his estranged wife, Sonia, and their (she claims) daughter, Bellatrix, shattering Hugo's cherished solitude. He's also been told by a doctor that he has the rare Buerger's disease, which means that unless he stops smoking he will die--all the more reason for Hugo to light up, because his quarrel with life is bitter and an early death is a most attractive prospect. As Hugo smokes and cooks and sexually schemes and pokes his perverse nose into other people's marriages and business, he records these events as well as his mordant, funny, gorgeously articulated personal history and his thoughts on life and mortality in a series of notebooks. His is one of the most perversely compelling literary personalities to inhabit a novel since John Lanchester'sThe Debt to Pleasure, and his ancestors include the divinely cracked and eloquent narrators of the works of Nabokov. As snobbish and dislikable as Hugo is, his worldview is so enticingly conveyed that even the most resistant reader will be put under his spell. His insinuating voice gets into your head and under your skin in the most seductive way. And as he prepares what may be his final Christmas feast for family and friends, readers will have to ask, "Is this the end of Hugo?" The Epicure's Lamentis a wry and witty novel about love and death and family, a major contribution to a vein of literature that the author Kate Christensen has dubbed "loser lit." It more than fulfills the bright promise of her lavishly praised previous two novels, and gives us an antihero for our time--hard to like, impossible to resist.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 8a4df335-fb38-3f9b-28e7-3fe2b15b9219
Grouping Title epicure s lament
Grouping Author christensen kate
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-01-20 22:55:42PM
Last Indexed 2019-01-20 00:38:26AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Christensen, Kate, 1962-
author_display Christensen, Kate
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Fiction

Hugo Whittier--failed poet and former kept man--is a wily misanthrope with a taste for whiskey, women, and his own cooking. Afflicted with a rare disease that will be fatal unless he quits smoking, Hugo retreats to his once aristocratic family's dilapidated mansion, determined to smoke himself to death without forfeiting any of his pleasures. To his chagrin, the world that he has forsaken is not quite finished with him. First, his sanctimonious older brother moves in, closely followed by his estranged wife, their alleged daughter, and his gay uncle. Infuriated at the violation of his sanctum, Hugo devises hilariously perverse ploys to send the intruders packing. Yet the unexpected consequences of his schemes keep forcing him to reconsider, however fleetingly, the more wholesome ingredients of love, and life itself.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Kate Christensen's Blue Plate Special.

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id 8a4df335-fb38-3f9b-28e7-3fe2b15b9219
isbn 9780307484338, 9780767910309
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itype_catalog , Book
last_indexed 2019-01-20T06:38:26.163Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog Fiction Christe
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780767910309
publishDate 2004, 2009
record_details ils:CARL0000216685|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Doubleday,|2004.|351 p. ; 22 cm., overdrive:0676f90f-f52c-434b-81ca-b482d3bd34b3|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2009|
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Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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ils:CARL0000216685 35192023959657 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
subject_facet Cooking -- Fiction, Hudson River Valley (N.Y. and N.J.) -- Fiction, Recluses -- Fiction, Rich people -- Fiction, Smoking -- Fiction, Suicidal behavior -- Fiction, Thromboangiitis obliterans -- Patients -- Fiction
title_display The Epicure's lament : a novel
title_full The Epicure's Lament, The Epicure's lament : a novel / Kate Christensen
title_short The Epicure's lament :
title_sub a novel
topic_facet Cooking, Fiction, Humor (Fiction), Literature, Patients, Recluses, Rich people, Smoking, Suicidal behavior, Thromboangiitis obliterans