- File Size: 771 KB
- Print Length: 83 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Cheeky Frawg Books (March 25, 2011)
- Publication Date: March 25, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004TYZK6W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year’s best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Book Review.
―San Francisco Book Review
A handsomely illustrated collection of imaginary creatures, this is actually a Kosher cooking guide for those with fantastic palates. A demented homage to cooking, Judaism, and monsters, this is pretty much the perfect book for your coffee table.”
Aims to do for kosher food what Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials did for animal guides what The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy did for...well, the galaxy.... And the thing is: It really does the job.”
Jewish Humor Central
This slim and silly volume is the ideal gift for anyone who has tried to make a saving throw vs. petrification using a dreidel.”
Amusement, amazement, and culinary benefit.... It’s fun, it’s funny, it has a monster on just about every other page.”
The Agony Column
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The choice of beasts is rather random and often obscure but I would like to have seen either many more included in this small format, or a more interesting and substantive discussion of the application of Jewish practice to each creature. If the book included the latter it would be a really fun way to learn and reinforce the practices of kosher, and would be a cool addition to otherwise often dry Hebrew school classes.
As it is, it's a fun novelty for a gift or your coffee table, along the lines of Jewish Haiku, but I was hoping for more to, you should forgive the pun, chew on.
After a couple of very brief prefaces, the bulk of the book is made up of an alphabetical listing of fantastic creatures. There are 34 total, each with a two-page spread. Squeezed neatly into those two pages is a charming black and white illustration of a critter; a colorful description of its history, origin, habitat, etc.; and the "Evil Monkey Dialogues." Despite the bizarre name, this is simply a little light kibbitzing between husband and wife authors Jeff and Ann VanderMeer on the presumed kosherness of said creature. She's a member of the tribe, he's the Evil Monkey.
Of the 34 creatures covered, I was familiar with about a dozen of them. Some were as basic as a Dragon or Mermaid or Sea Monkey, but other creatures were exotic beasts from far away lands and cultures like the Jotai, the Encantado, and the Abumi-Guchi. I'm fairly positive at least one, the Borges, was made up entirely in the authors' imagination. As it happened, that was my favorite listing in the book.
After the creature listings, the final section of the book was discussion with chef/baker Duff Goldman about how one might prepare these creatures, kosher and treyf alike. Now I've never seen his TV show, Ace of Cakes, but he must be an entertaining guy because he's got a delightful sense of humor and a whimsical streak a mile wide. Not only does he discuss the creatures featured previously in the book, but he improvises with other imaginary animals. In fact, he may be a closet sci-fi fan, because he proposes recipes for a Chewbacca and a Tribble, which, let's face it, is pretty much a hairy Rocky Mountain oyster.
My copy of this book had a delightful bonus. Tucked inside were three postcards that the publisher had used for promotional purposes. They were recipe cards for the preparation of Mongolian Death Worm and other culinary delicacies.
I'll tell you what, this little tchotchke is the perfect gift for the person in your life who could use a little more whimsy, a little more magic, and a little more laughter--even if that person is you. I can only hope there's a second volume on the way!