Synopses & Reviews
In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, the greatest food critic in the world is dying. Revered by some and reviled by many, Monsieur Pierre Arthens has been lording it over the world’s most esteemed chefs for years. But now, during these, his final hours, his mind has turned to simpler things. He is desperately searching for that singular flavor, that sublime something once sampled, never forgotten, the Flavor par excellence.
Thus begins a charming voyage that traces the career of Monsieur Arthens from childhood to maturity across a celebration of all manner of culinary delights. Alternating with the voice of the supercilious Arthens is a chorus belonging to his acquaintances and familiars—relatives, lovers, a would-be protégé, even a cat. Each will have his or her say about Monsieur Arthens, a man who has inspired only extreme emotions in people. Here, as in The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery’s story celebrates life’s simple pleasures and sublime moments while condemning the arrogance and vulgarity of power.
“Narrated beautifully . . .”
—Library Journal Library Journal
“The moment of revelation pack[s] a mighty wallop.”
—Providence Journal Providence Journal
“A chorus of talented voices alternates in delivering a stark portrait of this master of French cuisine.”
—AudioFile [Earphones Award Winner] AudioFile
This prequel to the New York Times bestseller The Elegance of the Hedgehog tells the story of another occupant of the posh apartment building in Paris: the great food critic Pierre Arthens. As his life draws to a close, he reflects back on its many flavors, and on a singular sublime something, once sampled and never forgotten.
About the Author
MURIEL BARBERY is a French novelist and professor of philosophy. Her second novel L'Élégance du hérisson
(translated into English as The Elegance of the Hedgehog
) topped the French best-seller lists for 30 consecutive weeks and is an international bestseller.BARBARA CARUSO is an American graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She enjoys a rich acting career which has included Broadway, off Broadway, and many theaters across the country. On those stages she has performed in plays by Shakespeare, Chekov, Williams, O'Neil, and Neil Simon, to name but a few.
Spoken word audio is an important part of that career. Her countless recordings include the works of Edith Wharton, Margaret Atwood, Maeve Binchy, Louisa May Alcott, Willa Cather, and children's classics. AudioFile magazine has chosen her one of their Voices of the Century. She's won numerous Earphones Awards, including for her narration of The Year of Magical Thinking (an Audie® Award finalist) and The House of Scorta, both published by HighBridge. She is the recipient of the Alexander Scourby Award, presented by the American Foundation for the Blind.ELIZA FOSS has appeared in numerous theatrical productions, regionally and in New York. Having narrated over thirty audiobooks and short stories, Eliza was featured in AudioFile magazine as one of "audios hottest romance narrators."PETE LARKIN has wide and deep voiceover and on-camera experience and has worked in virtually all media. In addition to his extensive narration and theater work, he has served as the public address announcer for the New York Mets from 1988-1993 and as a radio personality in Baltimore, Washington and New York.PAULA PARKER is an award-winning audiobook narrator. Off Broadway she has worked with the Public Theatre and has appeared in various regional productions as well.