Cooking with Fernet Branca has ratings and reviews. Richard said: Rating: * of fiveThe Publisher Says: Gerald Samper, an effete English s. Cooking with Fernet Branca, by James Hamilton-Paterson. A comedy of menus high up in Tuscany. Christopher Hirst; Monday 26 July Cooking with Fernet Branca. by James Hamilton-Paterson (Europa; $). In this comic novel, two expats try to live on the same Tuscan.

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See, they hate each other. You’ll meet funny creatures, even some mob and boy bend celebrity with traumatic surreal experience. An exciting, evocative first-in-series noir novel set in Glasgow, a city on the cusp of a heroin epidemic, featuring detective Harry McCoy. If so, the Branca group got a far better bargain. The film they are making is about a group of environmentalists setting up a fishing commune and how they turn racist when an immigrant fisherman fails to follow their ways.

You know, Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood fame? The peace and quiet is therefore branda broken. branfa

Oddly, this book slowly descended from four stars to three as I continued reading nranca. Gerry is a writer of celebrity biographies and Marta a composer currently involved in creating the score for a new film by a famous Italian film director. It’s an easy-read – the plot is negligible, but the characters are funny and the dual first-person narration is delightfully bookish and chatty.

Strange brew

The book is first and foremost a comedy, and a very successful one at that. It helps, but is not necessary, for the reader to be somewhat knowledgeable about Pier Paolo Pasolini, East European mafia, gourmet cooking.

As you might have guessed, the two neighbors are immediately like oil and water. Two crackpot neighbors are thrown together in Tuscany — a hotspot of distilled lunacy. There were awesome pellets like miniature doughnuts wrapped in candied angelica leaf and injected with chili sauce. Gerald’s idyll is shattered by the arrival of Marta, on the run from a crime-riddled former soviet feernet.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.


And the chapter where each one finally realizes that the other’s seemingly preposterous stories are actually true is wonderful and worth the price of the book. To me this book was a victim of the author’s need to be too witty. View all 7 comments. Dec 23, Kasa Cotugno rated it really liked it Shelves: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. I have been told by friendly cognoscenti that I have a pleasant light tenor, and I am just giving a Rossini aria a good run for its money when suddenly a voice shouts up from near my ankles: He has purchased a villa in northern Tuscany that is relatively isolated so that he can concentrate on his writing.

The whole bizarre crew Their experiences of living as neighbors differ depending on who does t Hilarious. Su Bristow Sealskinpp.

Review: Cooking With Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson | Books | The Guardian

An extra pleasure for those with Anglomane tendencies. Gerald’s idyll is shattered by the arrival of Marta, on the run from a crime-ri Gerald Samper, an effete English snob, has his own private hilltop in Tuscany, where he whiles away his time working as a ghostwriter for celebrities and inventing wholly original culinary concoctions — including ice cream made with garlic and the bitter, herb-based liqueur of the book’s title.

A Betty Trask Award Winner. Alan Parks Bloody January qith, pp. What is crucial to a piece like this is tone of voice, and with both Gerald and Marta we know that we’re in safe hands from the beginning. That they are fernett at all is what sets the plot rolling, for each had been assured by the slimy fixer who sold them their remote houses high in the foothills of the Apuan Alps that the adjacent property was only occupied for one month a year.

They do predictable things, yet Hamilton-Paterson’s deftly ironic, cruelly flensing eye and word processor cause readerly glee instead of readerly ennui to ensue.

Mar 01, Pam rated it really liked it Shelves: It may be entangling, and may, after all, be the end of all you hold dear. It’s no coincidence that the Italian words for “strange” and “foreigner” are cognate.


The typical British holidaymaker, vegetarians, environmentalists and boy bands are all subject ferne James Hamilton-Paterson’s sharp but seriously funny pen. This novel is both literate and comic. Ugodna knjiga puna dosjetki i humora.

Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson

Gerard and Marta are incredibly well-drawn characters, from her pidgin Cookint and lovingly wtih appearance to his fastidious mannerisms and constant stream of sarcastic inner monologue. Feb 15, Issicratea rated it liked it Shelves: The two of them have lots in common, including curiosity and a strong liking for Fernet Branca. Marta, a composer from Eastern Europe, and Gerald, a ghost-writing ex-pat from England, live in mutual disharmony, misdirection and misunderstanding on a Tuscan hilltop.

I agree with other reviews that it doesn’t totally sustain itself all the way through, but then it’s not especially long either.

Gerald Samper’s cooking, using Fernet Branca in anything from ice cream to smoked cat, is according to Marta, the other main character in the book, also an acquired taste.

Overall, it’s a book that is easy to pick-up, easy to put-down, but likely to be picked-up again. James Hamilton-Paterson is a reasonably prolific author and has written books in almost any genre you care to mention.

You get the feeling there is more of a thought through argument, though, in the way the film director explain the plot in his film to Marta. Gerry provides the dessert — Garlic and Fernet Branca Ice Cream — created to discourage Marta from becoming habitual in her visitations to his habitat. Fernet Branca is however more of an acquired taste then its two siblings. He lives in Italy. I didn’t manage to read this in Mexico, though I was told it would be the perfect smart-person airplane book, but I did pick it up as soon as I got back, and it was very much as promised: