In the Kitchen stars Gabe Lightfoot, an executive chef overseeing an eclectic kitchen staff - and dealing with a dead porter and an intriguing young lady from Belarus.
©2009 Monica Ali; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"Gabriel Lightfoot has a lot on his plate. As executive chef at London's luxurious Imperial Hotel, he must contend with demanding customers, a bully of a general manager, and a kitchen staff that runs the gamut from bellicose to perverse. So when a Ukrainian porter is found dead in the restaurant basement, Gabe knows his already challenging life is about to become even more so. Shortly after the porter's demise, Gabe encounters Lena, an eerie, ethereal young woman from Belarus who is clearly harboring secrets about the deceased....Fans and new readers alike are sure to embrace this talented novelist, who possesses a wise and original voice." (Booklist)
I have been with Audible about 4 years; 2 books a month + some sale books - the point is - dozens upon dozens of Audible books. I love Audible. It's changed my life. Driving, cleaning house and yard work are now engaging! I'm an avid reader, listener, and professor/academic. Even though there have been a couple books that I wish I had not bought; this was the crowning glory of horrible listens. I have NEVER taken the time to write a review, but this book was so awful - I just couldn't sleep if I didn't write a review for someone who might be foolish enough, like I was, to be sucked in to the title and description. It was THE MOST boring, pointless, failed and foolish story line (if you could call it that), with flat, colorless, trite and psychotic characters EVER! I can't imagine any publisher paying for this diatribe, and even worse - anyone at Audible wanting it in their repertoire! What were they thinking? It's so bad I want to complain to the management that I deserve a replacement book! (Please?!) I just kept thinking, surely there will be a point to this madness and in the end it will surprise me and be at least somewhat purposeful. Sorry to say - the ending was even more pointless than all the hours I'd spent hoping for a respite. NOT. NADA. NUTT'N. Is there some quality control out there? I beg you - don't download! If I could have submitted this without even 1 star I would have.
Another reviewer complained of superficial characters in In the Kitchen, begging that Audible offer a refund, yet this book was on the short list for the Man Booker award. So, as my book club chose this as an optional reading last month, I was admittedly intrigued. While the characters may indeed be superficial and not very likable, I would argue that they are well developed. My bigger criticism for this book is that the plot drags unbelievably and one is left wondering if the effort of getting through the whole book was worth it because the ending is quite unsatisfying. And maybe the problem is in "believability." The protagonist doesn't seem particularly realistic in the way he dwells on issues that don't seem like they would figure so prominently. Additionally, his recurring dream is just downright confusing rather than illuminating. Not a book of action and though I really wanted to like this book, I just felt it was not well done. Disappointing.
I "read" quite a bit. Although I really enjoyed "Brick Road" by Monica Ali, "In the Kitchen" was so boring, I quit "reading" it after an hour or so. It was so dull that I wasn't willing to continue through in hopes of it getting better. Not completing a book is very unusual for me. Sorry, Ms. Ali.
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