Wednesday, March 26, 2014

'Chop Chop'

Rough, emotional times call for a book that contains:

  • Sarcasm
  • Craziness
  • Drugs
  • Murder
  • Cooking food
  • Coworkers who constantly make inappropriate sexual references/actions
  • Nicknames that shall remain nameless
  • A fat man
So, after suffering a tremendous loss last week, I found myself escaping into a book that is brilliant, hilarious, somewhat tender, and lacking in social graces.

Of course, I have to recommend it.  'Chop Chop', the first novel from Simon Wroe, is exactly what I needed.

I laughed my butt off while reading one passage, and then found myself wondering just who the Fat Man really is.

Our narrator is fresh out of college, ready to take on the world and write the biggest bestselling book the world has ever known.  But reality smacks him in the face:  Soon two months behind in rent, he takes a menial job in the kitchen of The Swan, a once-grand restaurant that is now struggling to survive.  Having never worked in the restaurant business (and not knowing a knife from a spatula), his new coworkers hassle, torment, and give him the nickname, 'Monocle', because of his useless English lit degree.  But Monocle assimilates quickly (although he still fumbles with knives and cooking in general), and the sadistic head chef, Bob, soon finds a new victim of his cruelty, a cruelty that knows no bounds and sets the wheels turning.

But a darker tale begins to unfold when the mysterious Fat Man appears.  While Monocle and his coworkers plot to overthrow Bob, Monocle's deadbeat dad comes to stay, and his mere presence sets off a thrilling, dark, and ruthless conclusion.

Wroe's brilliant descriptions of his characters and his talent for expressing impending doom perfectly bring about a great ending, one that totally surprised me.

It's safe to say that I could barely set this book down, although I have three other books waiting.  I just couldn't stay away from 'Chop Chop'.  When this book is released, buy it for friends/family who are in the restaurant business.  Buy it for someone who loves dark comedy.

Buy it for someone who is going through a sad time.  It takes a great talent to make someone laugh through their tears.

And Simon Wroe has it.

'Chop Chop' will be released in April 2014 by The Penguin Press.  Book Hog thanks the publisher for the advance copy!

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