The Debt To Pleasure
Tarquin Winot, voluptuary and supercivilized ironist (and snob), sets out on a journey of the senses from the Hotel Splendide, Portsmouth, to his cottage in Provence, his spiritual home. With his head newly shaved and his well-thumbed copy of the Mossad Manual of Surveillance Techniques safely stowed, Tarquin elegantly introduces his life, itself a work of art, through the medium of seasonal menus.
'Coruscatingly, horribly funny . . . a cunning commentary on art, appetite, jealousy and failure. Tarquin is a splendid creation, genuinely learned (the scholarship is dazzling), poisonously bigoted and wholly mad' John Banville, Observer
'A fully achieved work of art . . . a triumph. You have to salute the real thing. The Debt to Pleasure is a major work, a supreme literary construct that's also deliriously entertaining. Even the recipes are gorgeously seductive; several pages of my copy are flecked with stains of ragu and ratatouille to mark the moments when I could stand temptation no more' John Walsh, Independent
'Reading between the lines to discover what Tarquin is up to is enormous, sinister fun . . . dazzling, languidly brilliant, his verbal flourishes are irresistible' James Walton, Daily Telegraph