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Stanley Park


Stanley Park Cover

ISBN13: 9780676973099
ISBN10: 0676973094
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A young chef who revels in local bounty, a long-ago murder that remains unsolved, the homeless of Stanley Park, a smooth-talking businessman named Dante — these are the ingredients of Timothy Taylor's stunning debut novel — Kitchen Confidential meets The Edible Woman.

Trained in France, Jeremy Papier, the young Vancouver chef, is becoming known for his unpretentious dishes that highlight fresh, local ingredients. His restaurant, The Monkey's Paw Bistro, while struggling financially, is attracting the attention of local foodies, and is not going unnoticed by Dante Beale, owner of a successful coffeehouse chain, Dante's Inferno. Meanwhile, Jeremy's father, an eccentric anthropologist, has moved into Stanley Park to better acquaint himself with the homeless and their daily struggles for food, shelter and company. Jeremy's father also has a strange fascination for a years-old unsolved murder case, known as "The Babes in the Wood" and asks Jeremy to help him research it.

Dante is dying to get his hands on The Monkey's Paw. When Jeremy's elaborate financial kite begins to fall, he is forced to sell to Dante and become his employee. The restaurant is closed for renovations, Inferno style. Jeremy plans a menu for opening night that he intends to be the greatest culinary statement he's ever made, one that unites the homeless with high foody society in a paparazzi-covered celebration of "local splendour."

About the Author

Timothy Taylor is the recent recipient of a National Magazine Award Gold Medal and the only writer ever to have three stories selected and published simultaneously in the Journey Prize Anthology. His short fiction has appeared in Canada's leading literary magazines and has been anthologized in such publications as Best Canadian Stories, Coming Attractions and Islands West. His novel, Stanley Park, was a national bestseller and a finalist for The Giller Prize. He lives in Vancouver.

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GDuperreault, December 26, 2012 (view all comments by GDuperreault)
Chef and struggling restaurant owner Jeremy Papier has a dream. He wants his restaurant to bring the hyper-industrialized, homogenized, world back to its roots: food, specifically, that which is grown locally.

And so he gets his dream when, through struggling to find his own family's roots, he begins to cook the wildlife of Vancouver's Stanley Park: the squirrels, starlings, ducks, geese, raccoons. His first park repast was with his father. They dined on the duck that his father had caught. Eventually Jeremy began to feed a collective of the homeless living in the park. His father, 'The Professor,' is a social anthropologist who, in doing this project, his last, has gone back to finish where he began his career. He is exploring his own and the city's roots by choosing to live amongst the homeless who reside beneath the forest's canopy, hidden from the city's eyes that are too busy to see them. He is exploring what it is that are the ties, the roots, that bind people to homelessness. During the course of the book, this sub-theme comments that, in some ways, these people are more closely connected to their environment, more alive if you will, than the grasping many who have big houses, but spend most of their time feeling alienated and disconnected from their lives.

But the protagonist is Jeremy, and his dream falls apart when his self-destructive impulse purchase of a $3000 knife cuts the final threads of his credit card kiting. With creditors hounding him, he turns to the international coffee czar to save him and his dream. But a czar doesn't live the dreams of others, and in an elegance only a wealthy thug can envisage, he steals Jeremy's dream and twists it into an ungrounded international smorgasbord.

What would any creative and daring Chef do to see his dream survive beneath the tyranny of the condescension of wealth?

And so Taylor writes a complex and elegant fugue that explores the roots of family and food. This is an engaging delightful and complex read. I highly recommend it.
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Product Details

Taylor, Timothy
Vintage Canada
General Fiction
Edition Number:
Vintage Canada ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
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8 x 5.15 x .85 in .75 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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