Book Review: The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft

The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian FlitcroftThe Reluctant Cannibals: What it is about

The publisher says: “When a group of food-obsessed academics at Oxford University form a secret dining society, they happily devote themselves to investigating exotic and forgotten culinary treasures. Until a dish is suggested that takes them all by surprise.

Professor Arthur Plantagenet has been told he has a serious heart problem and decides that his death should not be in vain. He sets out his bizarre plan in a will, that on his death, tests the loyalty of his closest friends, the remaining members of this exclusive dining society.

A dead Japanese diplomat, police arrests and charges of grave robbing. These are just some of the challenges these culinary explorers must overcome in tackling gastronomy’s ultimate taboo: cannibalism.

The Reluctant Cannibals: What I thought

A very British book! The story takes place in Oxford, and the characters are all professors or students of the university. The book is written in a style that these professors would likely approve of. It’s over the top, but funny, too.

The main story of the book is a very odd request of what should be done with his body after the pending death of one of the members of the secret dining society. Another story line deals with a student, who, together with his snobbish room mate, investigates the existence and the members of the dining society. The society feels threatened when it becomes known that a Japanese diplomat died at their table. They try to stop the publication of the story in the school newspaper.

The story becomes especially exiting when there is talk of a new kind of dish to be prepared for one of the coming dinners. I wanted to read on, but I also, I didn’t want to know about this dish. The preparations and the dinner became more imminent with each chapter…. I didn’t want to know! But I read on, and hey, I’m still here and enjoyed the book very much!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)

Number of pages: 256

First published: 2013

I got this: from Legend Press via Netgalley (ebook)

Genre: contemporary fiction

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

11 Responses to Book Review: The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft

  1. Laura says:

    Sounds interesting!

  2. Nadine Nys says:

    Sounds like a great read, Judith, I might try it. Thanks!

  3. Oooh, this sounds bizarre and more than a little awesome!

  4. Trish says:

    I have to admit that I’m intrigued by this one after reading your thoughts! Especially after just listening to a book called Stiff in which there is a chapter devoted to Cannibalism. Eeep! Glad you had fun with it.

  5. Tesney Ap says:

    It sounds really interesting. This should be fun for me to read🙂

  6. vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas) says:

    Oh, this does sound like fun – I love books about food (though maybe not that sort of food!).

  7. First time i’ve come across this title. Very original, and the Oxford academic setting sounds like a great place to set oddball behaviour😉

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