The late, and much lamented, A.A. Gill, who shared a birthplace in common with your correspondent (Edinburgh), but lamentably little else, is immortalised in Britain for his unparalleled journalism, irrepressible humour and the sheer sharpness of his pen.

His fame in the U.K. was legendary. Through a succession of books, any of which would be worthy of mention here, one in particular stands out; and as the most feared, albeit revered, reviewer of restaurants in England, his journalism in The Sunday Times alone proved required reading for over a decade. “Table Talk” is the memorable result: an indispensable anthology of his most entertaining columns on the follies of food, both at home and abroad.

Anyone capable of addressing the dubious qualities of yak’s milk on the one hand and Egyptian restaurants on the other is enough to make one sit up and take notice; but to have done so with tongue firmly in cheek throughout is a gift. Ever sardonic, but never vindictive, with Wodehousian humour front and centre, this frothy tome and its several brethren is worth its weight in gold, whether one knows his venues or not.

A book to dabble in. Highly entertaining.






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