The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Pimply Youth With A Carving Knife

The Cook by Wayne Macauley is told in the first person narrative voice of a teenage boy. I found the writing style a little off-putting for the first page or two but quickly came to be charmed by it. It reads very smoothly but I suspect that each sentence took some time to get just right.

It follows Zac through his time at Cook School (a program for wayward teens designed to teach them cheffing skills and then get them decent work), and then to his first job as a cook. It was another read-in-a-day book for me; Macauley makes small moments compelling. The device of his naive narrator sheds new light on old ideas and keeps the reader keen.

There is a twist that I did not see coming at all; I actually threw the book down and had to stop reading for a bit. I didn't want to touch the book until I had calmed down. It was quite disturbing, and got under my skin for several days. Four and a quarter lamb carcasses out of five.

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