Kafka's Soup by Mark Crick

A complete history of world literature in 14 recipes

By Tricia Brown
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Kafka's Soup by Mark Crick

Kafka's Soup by Mark Crick


If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have dinner with Franz Kafka, Jane Austen, or Raymond Chandler, this is your chance to find out.

Literary ventriloquist Mark Crick, a photographer based in London, presents fourteen recipes in the voices of famous writers, from Homer to Virginia Woolf to Irvine Welsh. In fact, it's a book to read aloud, and in character, by way of setting the scene for the meal you're about to serve.

Marvellously, the recipes actually work, but the real joy of this quirky little book is Crick's ear for literary parody.

Lamb with Dill Sauce à la Raymond Chandler is first in the book and for me, the best. So perfect is the style I want to dye my hair blonde and take up smoking (only joking). "I needed a table at Maxim's, a hundred bucks, and a gorgeous blonde; what I had was a leg of lamb and no clues. I took hold of the joint. It felt cold and damp, like a coroner's handshake. I took out a knife and cut the lamb into pieces. Feeling the blade in my hand I sliced an onion, and before I knew what I was doing a carrot lay in pieces on the slab. None of them moved."

From 'Jane Austen' there's a recipe for Tarragon Eggs: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that eggs, kept for too long, go off. The eggs of Oakley Farm had only recently been settled in the kitchen at Somercote, but already Mrs B–––– was planning a meal that would introduce them to the neighbourhood with what she hoped would be universal acceptance."

Rich Chocolate Cake à la Irvine Welsh sounds divine and in the 'must try' category but reading the recipe made me laugh out loud. Welsh from Scotland is an acclaimed and often controversial novelist probably best known for Trainspotting. Choose your company if you want to read this one out loud!

Other writers include Homer, Chaucer, Graham Greene, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, John Steinbeck, The Marquis de Sade, Marcel Proust, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges and Harold Pinter.

Each recipe is illustrated by the author in the style of an appropriate artist: Egon Schiele, Warhol and De Chirico rub shoulders with Hogarth, Matisse and Frida Kahlo.

Kafka's Soup is guaranteed to delight lovers of food and literature as these witty pastiches will keep you so entertained in the kitchen that you'll be sorry when your guests arrive.

Anyone who prefers their recipes to be a simple list of foolproof instructions should look elsewhere!


Kafka's Soup written and illustrated by Mark Crick is published by Wakefield Press (2006, RRP A$20.95). 

VisitVineyards.com subscribers receive a 20% DISCOUNT when buying this book directly through Wakefield Press. Details and link here »




  • United Kingdom - all (UK)

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June 12th, 2011
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