Last night I headed into Bath for a reading at Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. The guest writer was a chap called Jonathan Grimwood, whom you lot probably know better as Jon Courtenay Grimwood, IMHO one of the most under-rated science fiction authors around. The reason that Jon is masquerading under a new identity almost as cunningly disguised as Iain M. Banks is that he has a mainstream novel out. It is called The Last Banquet, and it is getting rave reviews.
The book tells the life story of Jean-Marie d’Aumout, and impoverished orphan nobleman in pre-revolutionary France. Jean-Marie turns out to have a sense of taste comparable to Mozart’s ear for music, and with the Enlightenment encouraging scientific exploration he sets out to discover all that there is to be known about taste. His quest is made somewhat easier when he is put in charge of the Royal Menagerie.
Oh dear me yes. This is a cookery-themed novel with recipes for such things as flamingo tongue and wolf’s heart pickle. It being Jon, it will be beautifully written, and I suspect that in places it will be very funny. I hope it does really well for Jon.