Eating Crow NPR coverage of Eating Crow by Jay Rayner. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
NPR logo Eating Crow

Eating Crow

by Jay Rayner

Hardcover, 292 pages, Simon & Schuster, List Price: $23 |


Buy Featured Book

Eating Crow
Jay Rayner

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Book Summary

Apologizing to the widow of a chef who committed suicide after receiving a bad review, restaurant critic Marc Basset so enjoys being forgiven that he decides to apologize to everyone he has ever wronged.

Read an excerpt of this book


NPR stories about Eating Crow

Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: Eating Crow

Eating Crow

A Novel

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2004 Jay Rayner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7432-5059-1


I am sorry you bought this book. If it was givento you as a gift, then technically I am notrequired - or even entitled - to apologize toyou. My apology should go to the originalpurchaser and they, in turn, should say sorry.To be honest, though, I can't be bothered withany of those rigid laws and rules anymore. I cansee they are needed for diplomatic exchanges,and as a onetime exponent of the art of theinternational apology - the leading exponent, Isuppose - I was constantly grateful that theProfessor had gone to the bother of formulatingall the laws in the first place. But they havetheir time and their place and this isn't one ofthem.

The point is, I'm sorry this book was bought.Somewhere along the line somebody has beenconned by the smart-ass cover art which the artdirector obviously thought would set it apartfrom all the other guff on the bookshop shelves(and which, admittedly, did the trick, or itwouldn't be in your hands now). Beautiful treeshave been destroyed needlessly to make thepaper. Then there's the grievous waste ofoil-based ink. And we mustn't forget theobscenely large cash advance paid on thisinsidious doorstop which will, inevitably,result in the publisher having to spend itsremaining money on banal, dead-certainbestsellers to the exclusion of anything new,interesting, or challenging. Finally, of course,there's the waste of your time, should you beone of those people who insist upon finishing abook once they've started it, and I know thereare a lot of you out there.

I admit - and under the Professor's first law,I am required to admit - that I am not sorryabout absolutely everything in this book.There's some pretty good writing between pages129 and 133. I like the descriptions of myfather, which are honest, and I always will havea warm place in my heart for the tasting menu ofchocolate dishes in chapter 29. It really was asgood as I make it sound.

As for the rest of it, I think you probably getthe idea by now. I'm sorry. I'm just so bloodysorry.