Picks and Pans Review: Gourmet Rhapsody

UPDATED 09/14/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/14/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Muriel Barbery |

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As food critic Pierre Arthens lies dying, he recalls a lifetime's worth of perfect treats: tomatoes from an aunt's garden; sorbet made by an ex-mistress. Just beyond reach, though, is one singular flavor. If he's to die in peace—an iffy proposition since his arrogance has alienated everyone—he knows he must identify the flavor and its source. A stylish, provocative novel about food's power to shape our experiences.

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