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Soul Kitchen: A Novel Paperback – July 25, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, the protagonists Rickey and G-man and are as lovable as ever and it's their sweet, subtle relationship that keeps me going back for more. Brite never fails to deliver with wonderful interaction between them that can go from making me cry to going all warm and fuzzy (multiples times with the same book, in some cases) with these two. Soul Kitchen delivers on that mark.
I also liked the aspect of racism and homophobia and the way that they are viewed from both sides. All of her characters offer diverse insights and the book makes you think about your own stance on certain issues from time to time, or at least it made me think. But don't worry, it's not preachy by any means. The "have gays suffered the same way black have" issue is still one I'm not 100% sure how I feel about. It's new territory for a Brite novel, so congrats on pushing forward rather than backtracking old ground PBZ. =)
The plot was good, the new crooked villain was not quite as interesting as Prime's but not as annoying as Liquor's. I've read before that people think her villains often lack luster, and being a big villain fan I should probably care, but overly intruiging bad guys would most likely take away from the heart of the series, so I'm not complaining.
There was the obligatory "is there going to be any cheating going down" factor that appears throughout the series (when I speak of the series, FYI, I'm including TVOX and the stories in TDYK), which always makes me uneasy. It's good that she can write so convincingly that I actually deeply care whether or not fictional men practice fidelity or not, but still it gets a little tired. I hate it when characters cheat and even the slightest possiblity of it occuring puts me on edge. ><
Though I loved this book and I love the entire Liquor continuity, the reason that I knocked the rating down to a 4 was largely in part to all of the recapping. I understand that a lot of people may be new to the series and reading it out of sequence, but it seems like there's recapping of something that happened in one of the other books (and at least once that I counted that happened in TDYK) at least once per chapter. For the avid Liquor reader, it gets repetitive kinda quickly.
As per the food aspect of the book, I must confess I'm completely ignorant of 90% of ANYTHING having to do with the food mentioned in the series. I kind of feel like a kid watching a grown up movie. I can really love it and enjoy it, but a lot of stuff goes right over my head and I don't "appreciate" it the way that a knowledgable person would. In Soul Kitchen though it talked about a lot of new concepty food and stuff that was really fascinating, and I'm sure anyone would get a kick out of it regardless of prior cuisine experience.
Anyways, on the whole, this book is an excellent addition to the series and I eagerly await D.U.C.K and Dead Shrimp Blues. . . Just with a little less summarizing next time.
The Rickey and G-Man series, now in its third or fourth book (depending on to whom one talks; there has been debate for what seems like ages about whether The Value of X can be soncidered the first book in the series or not), continues on apace, and as fine as it's ever been. Liquor has now been a going concern for three years, and is still on top of the world, despite what seem to be neverending problems, both personal and professional, for the pair (Rickey more so than G-Man, natch). This time, the problems start when Milford Goodman, an ex-con framed for the murder of his last employer, comes in looking for a job. Rickey remembers him as a brilliant chef, and hires him-- much to the chagrin of a number of prominent townsfolk. When one of Rickey's regulars approaches him with the idea of consulting for a restaurant the regular is planning on opening on a floating casino, Rickey nominates Milford as the head chef. All well and good, until they find out one of the place's silent partners is connected to Milford's last employer's death.
None of the above is a spoiler, by the way, though it takes you about halfway through the novel; it's no more than you'll find out reading the back cover copy. Brite has once again given us a fun plot, some wonderful new characters, subplots to complicate things, and a smash-bang climax that will have you alternately laughing and cowering, but what she really has offered us in this series, what really makes it worth reading, is a stable of complex, well-drawn characters going about their daily business (what Maureen Corrigan calls a "work novel," at least in part). And that daily business is very, very interesting. If you like food-- and who doesn't?-- you're going to get a kick out of these books. Brite's descriptions of the food itself are little short of orgasmic, and you may even find yourself wanting to try stuff you never thought you'd like. (With me, it was the foie gras-stuffed burger from Prime.) When you combine food writing this good with characters this real, you can't not have a winner on your hands. ****
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love G-man and Rickey- both individually as extremely well-drawn and...Read more