A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand

Jim Harrison. Grove, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2646-7
The late poet and novelist Harrison (Legends of the Fall), known for sagas of frontier existentialists, was also a devotee of fine and not-so-fine dining, and his gusto sparkles throughout this collection of magazine essays on food. Harrison writes of a vast range of meals and foodstuffs in disparate settings: fresh-caught rattlesnakes; a dinner of “artisanal salamis, lamb and duck prosciutto” flown in for a fishing trip; innumerable sojourns through France eating at bistros and ogling women; the title feast, an 11-hour, 37-course, 19-wine lunch featuring three centuries of French delicacies including poached eel with chicken wing tips and testicles in a pool of tarragon butter. Woven around the food descriptions (complete with a recipe for bear-meat cubes) are the author’s rambling ruminations and poems on just about everything, including the similarities of wine criticism and literary criticism, Wall Street’s odiousness, Buddhist moral lacunae, and death and dying. As his aging body succumbs to diabetes, shingles, kidney stones, and other afflictions, food becomes a last redoubt of sensual pleasure amid waning physicality. Harrison treats all these subjects with his usual earthy wit and delighted curiosity; the result is a tasty nosh for foodies with a literary bent. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-0481-2
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-8021-8944-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-0483-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8021-2766-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-0482-9
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