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The Food Taster (2002)

by Peter Elbling

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1858117,346 (3.35)4
When a starving peasant is appointed as the duke's foodtaster, he can't believe his salvation. But it's a hazardous job for poor Ugo DiFonte who must learn to contend with the duke's enemies and palace intrigues, all the while trying to protect his beautiful daughter from the eyes of powerful and dangerous men.… (more)
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English (5)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 5 of 5
A tale of renaissance intrigue and family drama, interlaced with ribald humour, mouth-watering food and a little drop of poison!
Ugo, a widower and unloved second son, becomes food-taster to the local Duke in order to save himself and protect his young daughter Miranda. But as he progresses in the Duke's retinue, she grows up to be a beautiful young woman, and other problems arise... To compound it all Ugo's nasty older brother appears on the scene.
I liked the way the author used Italian euphenisms for all the dirty bits which made the book seem more 'Carry on...' rather than 'Decameron' which definitely made it smutty rather than downright rude and much funnier.
Great fun and a real page turner. ( )
  gaskella | May 29, 2008 |
отл,твердая,286 ( )
  mi4ur | Jun 26, 2007 |
A wonderfully bawdy page-turner. ( )
  inflytur | Apr 1, 2007 |
I don't usually read this kind of book but I took an effort when a friend suggested it for me to read and somehow I'm glad I did get myself to read something different than I usually does. This isn't much of a page turner for me, but it's a good book to read if you have time to spare.

This is the story of a man named Ugo DiFonte, the youngest son of a nasty farmer back in the 16th century, who had a long challenging life. This book is written in his first point of view in English and occasionally Italian blurps here and there, mostly to shield the reader from a bit of light obscenities. He has a daughter named Miranda, (who taught him how to write) whom he cherished most and a brother, Vittore; he disowned somewhere in his life, whose pressence is a plain nightmare for Ugo.

In a short time when Ugo and Miranda spend together in one of their lowest moments, they were taken in as the official Duke Federico Basillione DiVincelli, who's parnoid about food poisonings, which elevates his position from a mere peasant to a sort of official. Nevertheless, the same position endangers his life, but anything for his beloved Miranda. Ugo went through lots of miraculous, the plague and households dramas and not to forget him question if God has forsaken him somehow. ( )
  lisa211 | Feb 28, 2006 |
As the second, disregarded son with a dead wife, no prospects and a daughter, Udo has to survive, and this survival leads him to becoming the food taster for the cruel Duke Federico, who fancies his daughter. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Oct 11, 2005 |
Showing 5 of 5
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For Dimitri and Simon
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March 1534
For years after my mother hanged herself, I wished I had been older or stronger so that I could have stopped her.
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When a starving peasant is appointed as the duke's foodtaster, he can't believe his salvation. But it's a hazardous job for poor Ugo DiFonte who must learn to contend with the duke's enemies and palace intrigues, all the while trying to protect his beautiful daughter from the eyes of powerful and dangerous men.

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