Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Book - 2002 | 1st U.S. ed.
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Baker & Taylor
Overwhelmed by debts despite the success of his Pacific Northwest restaurant, Jeremy Papier agonizes over turning control over to a family friend who would bail him out of his troubles despite the firm objections of his chef, a situation that is further complicated when his eccentric father involves him in an urban murder mystery.

Blackwell North Amer
Jeremy Papier, the new Alice Waters of the Vancouver food scene, is fast becoming known for his radically rear-guard cuisine - tradition-steeped dishes that celebrate the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. His restaurant is always booked, and his Fraser Valley duck breast and Saltspring Island lamb are the talk of the local foodies. The Monkey's Paw Bistro is unquestionably an artistic triumph. Pity it is something less than a well-run business.
Far too costly ever to turn a profit, The Paw is kited on dozens of Jeremy's maxed-out credit cards. An old family friend, Dante Beale, founder of a worldwide chain of cookie-cutter coffee bars, is willing to bail the restaurant out - on condition that he become majority owner. It's a business proposition made in hell, one strenuously opposed by Jeremy's pretty young sous-chef, the incorruptible, plainspoken Jules Capelli.
Jeremy's problems deepen when his eccentric academic father - an obsessed, half-mad "participatory anthropologist" - loses himself among the homeless in Vancouver's Stanley Park. He lives as they do (he's especially adept at catching and roasting starlings) and soon involves Jeremy in researching a "cold case" crime, the real-life murder of two children in the park in the late 1940s.

& Taylor

Overwhelmed by debts despite the success of his Pacific Northwest restaurant, Jeremy Papier agonizes over turning control over to a family friend who would bail him out of his troubles, while his eccentric father involves him in an urban murder mystery.

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Counterpoint, 2002.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781582432076
Characteristics: 423 p. ; 22 cm.


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Apr 01, 2015

After the first few chapters I thought for sure that this book was going to be a struggle to finish. It was bizarre and crazy. But somehow those weird characters, strange ideas and curious happenings turned into an enthralling read.
The author really knows Vancouver. He caught the attitudes of the hippie vs. hipster vs. corporate vs. homeless that made it obvious he's lived and been a part of this city.
The entire story revolves around the son and his cooking. Which kind of makes it sound like a foodie story but I found it good even though I am not usually a fan of food descriptions (I don't cook and don't care to learn, thus not making me very interested). The characters include the homeless (maybe crazy), a corporate bigwig, chefs, a librarian and lots of credit (trust me it's almost a character).
The nemesis Dante, his business and his attitude were a favorite part for me. He's a successful creep and I wonder who he's based on because he kinda reminds me of Chip Wilson (lululemon founder).
Somehow a jumble of people and stories managed to be cohesive and engaging.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

Stir in a little mystery, a big dollop of humour, use only local ingredients, visit the homeless in Stanley Park, eat at the finest restaurants, and watch chef Jeremy Papier create a night to remember. This is a truly amazing debut novel from one of Vancouver’s hottest young authors.

Apr 14, 2014

This novel seemed so promising with a link to the mystery of two young children murdered in Vancouver's Stanley Park in the 1950s. The story focusses around a chef, Jeremy, and his father, an Anthropologist doing his fieldwork by living among the habitants of Stanley Park. The Professor's main drive is to figure out the mystery of the murders, but this fascinating story gets pushed back when the author spends too much time detailing restaurant menus.

Reviewed: 9 June 2005

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 22, 2013

Vancouver writer Taylor takes a meat cleaver to mystery fiction by packing this novel with backroom culinary politics, an unusual father-son relationship and some moralizing on the outrage we should feel about the wastefulness of bourgeois society. With just the right amount of angst, social conscience and humour, this is an entertaining look at the perils faced by a creative and well-intentioned young chef.

Jun 09, 2012

Mixed feelings about this book. It started off so slowly I thought for quite a while I'd just give up on it. But I'm glad I kept slogging through the preamble, because the action heats ups! It turns into a fascinating read on what makes a good chef tick, the business side to running a business, and what it takes to succeed in the restaurant trade. The ending is hilarious and true to the character of Jeremy - very satisfying. If you are at all interested in the world of food this makes a good read. P.S. From the nonfiction books I've read about the lives of real chefs and the twists and turns their lives take, this book is pretty well right on the mark for realism and more interesting to read than nonfiction (IMO).

abird Apr 30, 2010

Q&Q Can Lit Canon pick (April 2010)


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