Although he does discuss Eastern cultures, his focus is on European and American food interests. If I had one beef with Allen's tone it's that it does verge on disrespectful at times. Overall, this is an enlightening, funny, and entertaining book. I would definitely recommend it to readers interested in learning more about food, culture, and how the two are inseparable from each other and from our psyches. Dec 02, Lisanne rated it did not like it Shelves: There are not many ways you can make me very angry to the point where I start screaming at my book, but man, this one found some of those ways.
I'm not even going to finish this. If you want to write about sex, please do but don't make it into a 'I've done a lot of research on food and this is all very true'-book. Just write about Spartan juice in a completely honest way, okay? If you want to write about your travels to exotic places, write a travel book. Do not combine said topics and pretend i There are not many ways you can make me very angry to the point where I start screaming at my book, but man, this one found some of those ways.
Do not combine said topics and pretend it's just about food. I can see there's a pretty extensive bibliography here, but where are the footnotes? Where are the references? Give this man access to Google or you know, a Roman culture for Dummies book. Also, I would prefer it if women are not referred to as 'sluts' and 'whores' and homosexuality is not frowned upon by the author or used to shock or as comic relief. Really, this is not necessary.
This is just unacceptable. I hope the author chokes on a slutty tomato before he attempts to write another book like this.
Dec 05, Laurie rated it it was ok. Author Allen sets out to give the history of foods as they pertain to the seven deadly sins- lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, greed, blasphemy and anger. But I had the feeling that some things were more myth than fact; when he got to a bit about absinthe, I knew he was flying blind. He said that absinthe Author Allen sets out to give the history of foods as they pertain to the seven deadly sins- lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, greed, blasphemy and anger.
He said that absinthe is clear and turns green when you pour it over sugar. In reality, it starts green and turns milky when poured over the sugar and mixed with water. This is an interesting read about different forbidden foods throughout history, which bases its structure on the seven deadly sins. It's entertaining and sensuously written. There are a number of factual inaccuracies however, despite what looks like a fairly extensive bibliography a "vomitorium" is not a room where Romans went to throw-up their food at the end of a meal so that they could eat more After noticing a few blatant falsities being paraded as truth, I decided that I couldn't actuallly trust anything that this book told me.
Which is a bit of a shame considering it's meant to be non-fiction. It is an entertaining read though. Well-written and it had some pretty unusual and fun recipes dotted throughout. Jun 13, Abhishek Ganguly rated it it was ok. In the Devil's Garden will amaze your dinner guests", they were clearly judging the book by its cover. If I shared any of the so called 'witty' annecdotes from this book with my dinner guests, I would be assured that they would never return to my table with a very strong possibility that I would not be invited to theirs either, anytime soon.
There is nothing delightful to mention in 'In The Devil's Garden'. For an ardent fan of Microhistories and Food Writing, most of the narrative in this one seems unbelievable, increduluos and very largely revolting. Most of the food taboos seem more like folklore going extinct than actual facts. Stewart Lee Allen's 'research' yes, quotes intended on Indian cuisine and history makes it seem so medieval, uncultured and largely exaggerated that I am inclined to think that his description of the cuisine and food habits of cultures across the globe are just as exaggerated and fictional and not even a good one.
Clearly, this book is written with the sole agenda of entertainment. Having said all that, not everything is wrong with this book. The break up of the text into chapters related to the 7 Deadly Sins, the content of each chapter being more or less relevant to the corresponding sins, the menus preceeding each chapter some descriptions are vomit inducing add to the charm of the book.
The book cover design is quite intelligent exceedingly good for a paperback. To say that 'In The Devil's Garden' falls short of expectations will be an understatement. Apr 05, Brooke rated it really liked it Shelves: This book combines three of my favorite reading topics: Totally impressed with Allen's anthropological approach and keen eye to historical detail regarding the dialogue between people and their relationship with food over the ages.
Highlights for me include: Jun 16, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: Interesting concept, and the writing style fit nicely with the subject matter. The prose is sensual, almost lurid at times. The red of a sinful tomoato is described as "slut-red;" no one ever just "cuts" with a knife, when they can thrust it into something.
I kind of felt like I needed a cigarette after reading a couple of these sections. I'm not sure I loved this way this is arranged according to the seven deadly sins--clever idea, but a little haphazard. View all 4 comments. Apr 21, Viktoria rated it it was amazing Shelves: While at times sacrificing compete and full accuracy for a more engaging narrative, this is an interesting book.
The author chose to make it an easy read, rather then an academic tome. It has cuisine and culture from six continents, rather then just a eurocentric approach. I cannot speak to the recipes, as I did not try any, but they looked tasty. For once, I recommend reading the endnotes, as they are as witty as the rest of the book. Aug 08, Laura rated it did not like it. Had a few interesting stories, but on the whole seemed poorly researched and fact-checked. The author takes a "who knows" attitude to a lot of well-known facts and makes insultingly sweeping generalizations, assumptions, and ethnocentric statements.
Also, the editor should be horsewhipped for letting so many misused words slip through. Alla fine ti vien voglia di leggere Camporesi e Montanari per qualche "storia di cibo" quadrata e storiograficamente ineccepibile. Jun 16, David Szatkowski rated it liked it. The book is fun, the recipes are interesting. However, at times the author uses a bit too much for my taste, pun intended of hyperbole. Also at least in Catholic theology and history, he does not really hit the mark which makes me wonder about his other theological statements.
While I sympathize with trying to keep the book humorous and readable, some of the mistakes are rather glaring if you're more conversant with the topic. That said, it is a fun read, great for summer or beach, it also w The book is fun, the recipes are interesting. That said, it is a fun read, great for summer or beach, it also when read in the context of other books of the history of food, gives some colorful insights into what we eat as a species and how we relate to food.
Apr 10, John Varner rated it liked it. Really entertaining, to the point that I read it in one sitting, with a lot of interesting stories from history, but a number of the theories presented here seem like kind of a stretch and there are enough factual mistakes in the stories I was already familiar with to make me take the other stories presented here with a major grain of salt. Definitely still worth reading if you're interested in food, culture, taboos, history, or any intersection of those topics. A few interesting sounding recipe Really entertaining, to the point that I read it in one sitting, with a lot of interesting stories from history, but a number of the theories presented here seem like kind of a stretch and there are enough factual mistakes in the stories I was already familiar with to make me take the other stories presented here with a major grain of salt.
A few interesting sounding recipes were included too. Sep 10, Sooyoun rated it it was amazing. So much fun, so many hidden meanings behind of food. That was pure joy to read this book! Mar 11, SR rated it did not like it. While brilliant in concept, In the Devil's Garden falls very flat, strays way too far from it's main idea, and our adventuring author is super annoying. Mar 09, Louise Davy rated it did not like it Shelves: Anticipation from the title but a huge disappointment. Dec 29, Sasha rated it really liked it. Strange but for once the book about food did not made me run to the fridge, in fact it had quite opposite effect and literary killed any notion of appetite.
The subject is fascinating - food as taboo trough the history - with all different and colourful anecdotes Bill Bryson usually throws out of his sleeve but this author is not Bryson and he kind of enjoys more in gleefully presenting oddities and nastiness about what people considered delicacies at various points trough centuries. The sheer vo Strange but for once the book about food did not made me run to the fridge, in fact it had quite opposite effect and literary killed any notion of appetite.
The sheer volume of noted bibliography shows that Allen took his obsession very seriously - there are countless stories about societies being suspicious of new unknown objects, adamant of what is proper to cook, how to prepare the meals and even with whom its supposed to dine with. The unfortunate Spanish lady Beatriz Lopez who got burned on a stake while church chorus sang along to drown out her screams because she used oil gasp in her cooking is just one example of how ridiculously fussy and unforgiving our ancestors were - after reading this, I feel guilty about poring olive oil on my salad and lucky that Spanish inquisition can't see me I'm sure they would have found thousand and one reason to burn me anyway.
Though not really as exciting as I hoped it would be, the book still kept my attention to the end and somewhere along the lines pointed at two interesting ideas. This is something that has been mention only in passing but I remember thinking about it: Once the climate changed and vegetation became rare, survival depended on proteins and first blood was shared - killing not to protect the territory but to feed changed inhabitants of Earth forever and effectively started the whole chain reaction that led to humans becoming hunters and inventing a whole bunch of things in order to get that meat.
Sep 25, Kmorgenstern rated it liked it. Quite possibly the most disgusting book I ever read about food. It was difficult to really like this book even though it is not bad. Stewart Lee Allen has a particular style - he mingles facts with rampant imagination, which makes for colourful in this case often 'dripping' descriptions but it is hard to know which bit actually contains the morsel of truth to his tales, unless one is willing to read the entire bibliography on which he draws to tell the story.
In the Devil's Garden has ratings and 98 reviews. Margitte I was wondering with whom I can share SOME OF the information in this book. I imagined the. The Devil in Mexico by Murder By Death, released 13 October well i'll take two shots said the devil to the man and layed a little book on the bar of nothin' but piss and vinegar and his boots have trampled more than you lit the fires inside your belly full of medicine and whiskey the aspirin, valium.
I also thought that the structure Quite possibly the most disgusting book I ever read about food. I also thought that the structure of the book, based on how foods and food habits relate to the seven mortal sins and various food taboos associated with these across any and all cultures, was a little bit too far fetched. Perhaps I lack the religious enculturation associated with food taboos and the concept of sins, but to me that structure just did not really work. The stories were often interesting, but I couldn't always follow the mental leaps required to match one with another under the same category of sin.
The flippant language, while contemporary and entertaining, distracts from the more profound insights and content he is trying to relate. So, in all, I found it quite entertaining but couldn't take it seriously, and at times quite often it made my stomach turn upside down. May 15, Caroline rated it liked it. This is a fairly whimsical exploration of food taboos throughout history, organised around the principles of the Seven Deadly Sins - lust being aphrodisiacs, for example, or chocolate, raw meat under Wrath.
It ranges from Roman 'vomitoriums' to the modern day banning of pate foie gras, from Jewish and Muslim dietary strictures to cannibalism and the Roman Catholic Mass - and includes a number of relatively exotic recipes, to boot. It's an entertaining enough read, although I could have done with This is a fairly whimsical exploration of food taboos throughout history, organised around the principles of the Seven Deadly Sins - lust being aphrodisiacs, for example, or chocolate, raw meat under Wrath. It's an entertaining enough read, although I could have done with more scholarly references, as I had to cock a somewhat sceptical eye at some of his historical claims - like the figures for Aztec human sacrifice, or the Tudor food fights.
These things may be accurate, but I'd like to be certain of that! I certainly found his ideas about the links between the rituals of the dinner table and the rituals of the various world's religions to be interesting - in eras when the struggle for food was much more urgent than it is now, at least for the majority of the Western world, I can believe that food would play a huge role in religious ceremony. Oct 29, Lizzy rated it liked it Shelves: There's a lot to like about this book; the stories of fascinating, horrifying, and sometimes depraved food traditions keep you turning the page.
However they are flung out too quickly and without any strong organization so it can feel like mental whiplash. Usually the author's back story to get them to fit There's a lot to like about this book; the stories of fascinating, horrifying, and sometimes depraved food traditions keep you turning the page. Usually the author's back story to get them to fit into his chosen category sound a little I also found myself getting annoyed at reading multiple times about foods that weren't truly "forbidden," but just seen as icky tomatoes , peasant food rye bread , or very indulgent chocolate.
Basically, the book could have used a real paring down in scope and perhaps a rethinking of the organization. The seven chapters based on the sins weren't necessary, and again, kind of fell flat. I would have preferred more depth on fewer subjects. Sep 22, Rashida rated it it was ok Shelves: I think it started out really well, mostly a kind of travel journal with forbidden food facts thrown in; but it felt like it naturally flowed.
However as the chapters went on, it lost the sense of flow, and each little piece was rather shallow and they didn't connect very we 2. An expression meaning keeping an expression on one's face that doesn't reveal your playing cards or your intentions. Practice what you preach. Preaching to the choir. Putting the cart before the horse. An expression meaning to jump ahead, to do one thing before taking care of what should be done first. An exchange of gifts or services, you do something for me, I'll do something for you.
Rain on your parade. An expression meaning to dampen someone's mood or bring up something sad or upsetting. Means to be upset or be a trouble-maker. Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, Abel. An expression meaning a risky or complicated move that could land you in trouble. Reached the boiling point or boiled over. Reap what you sow. You control the outcome based on your actions, this originated as a farming term that you harvest whatever you planted.
Someone who is an assistant, helpful, or a partner who knows what to do without needing to be told. Rob Peter to pay Paul. Biblical reference, taking something from someone to give to another, without any real gain. An expression meaning traveling up and down, scary or unpredictable situation. Roll with the punches. Rude shocks await those who take credit from others. Don't take credit for someone else's work. The Ass Carrying the Image. Running against the clock. An expression meaning to run out of time or struggling to get something done in the shortest period of time possible.
Running against the grain. An expression meaning to do something differently than others, or that may cause discomfort. Runt of the litter. The smallest or most vulnerable, often the expression is used to describe a smaller sibling who needs extra help. Saving something for a rainy day. A verb meaning to be in a hurry. See you later alligator, in a while crocodile. You do exactly what will get you into the position you are trying to avoid. Self-help is the best help God helps those who help themselves.
Rather than relying on others for assistance or guidance, do it yourself. Someone is too overwhelmed to act or move like if you survived a bomb shell. Someone who has the energy, guts, or drive to continue without stopping or giving up. She's got a bun in the oven.
Shit or get off the pot. Shooting a fish in a barrel. Shoot yourself in the foot. Sick as a dog, dog tired. Sight for sore eyes. An expression meaning something or someone you missed after they return, and you are happy to see. Someone who speaks eloquently or in a pleasant way to get someone to do what they want. When thrown into an unknown situation, you have to figure out how to survive on your own.
An expression meaning to put your napkin in your lap, perhaps originating in Australia. An expression meaning to do the bare minimum, rather than exerting full effort. Sleeps with the fishes. Slip of the tongue. Slow and steady wins the race. Don't give up, keep trying even if it takes you longer than others who might finish sooner. The Tortoise and the Hare. Snap out of it!
Describing someone who acts more important or thinks they are better than others. So hungry I could eat a horse. A compliment meaning the person keeps you steady or helps you avoid drifting or getting off-track, a boat reference. Something is in the bag. Say things or show something to impress others, often to try to avoid confronting what really happened or to make it sound better than it really is.
Demeaning or insulting something when you realize you can't do it or it's too difficult. The Fox and the Grapes. Spaz short for spastic. A expression for someone who is hyperactive or "spastical" exuding more energy than is appropriate for a situation. Speak of the devil. An expression meaning that the person about whom you were just speaking arrives or makes their presence known.
Speak softly and carry a big stick. Use non-aggressive or cautious actions, but make sure people know there's a threat of violence or punishment if they don't go along.
The phrase was made famous by President Theordore Roosevelt. Sqeaky wheel gets the grease. Square peg in a round hole.
An expression referring to a couple so in-love, they can't take their eyes from eachother or be apart. An expression meaning to remain focuses on pursuing your goal, without distraction. Stick in the mud. An expression referring to someone who is boring or not interesting, literally behaving like a stick "stuck" in mud. Straw that broke the camel's back.
In a chain of events, it's the very last event which may be just the thing to destroy or ruin a situation. Strike while the iron's hot. Do something while you have the chance or while the opportunity is at its best. An expression meaning someone can each almost anything or witness blood and guts without fainting or throwing up. Take care of the little things sweat the small stuff and the big stuff will be easy.
An expression meaning to take care of the little things, the big things will fall in place.
Take it with a grain of salt. An expression meaning you have to accept some bad stuff along with the mostly good stuff you are getting. Take one for the team. Talk the talk, walk the walk. Do what you say, say what you mean. The Young Crab and His Mother. Take a small gain over a large promise. An expression meaning to get a sure-thing, rather than wait for something that's just a chance. The Fisherman and the Little Fish. Teach a man to fish, you'll feed him for a lifetime. An expression meaning to teach someone to be self-sufficient, rather than have them rely on charity.
Tell-tale or telltale sign. An indicator or sign that explains something. Thank your lucky stars. Be grateful for your circumstances, based on a superstition to receive good luck by wishing on a falling or shooting star or first star of the night. Star Light, Star Bright. That's lame lame joke, or lame-ass. That's nuts, you are a nut-job. That's the way the cookie crumbles.
That was a blow-out, they won by a landslide. The outcome of a competition was completely dominated by one side, no contest. The calm before the storm. The devil made me do it! A classic defense to deflect blame or responsibility for one's actions or claim the insanity plea! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat other people in the same way you want to be treated. The grass is always greener on the other side. An expression that means you are envious or want something you don't or can't have.
The mice will play while the cat's away. An expression meaning doing things that might not be permitted because an authority figure isn't present. The Tale of Two Bad Mice. The only thing that's certain: Benjamin Franklin's expression of the only things you can count on. The pot calling the kettle black. The tail waging the dog. The consequences of something are taking the lead, instead of the root cause. Be thoughtful and think through the consequences before you act. The Frogs and the Well.
Third time's a charm. This is no picnic. Thorn in my side. Three strikes, you're out! A baseball reference, if you don't get it in three attempts, you're done or should stop. Casey at the Bat. Three ways to Sunday. Ticking crocodile or the croc is ticking. A "Peter Pan" reference of the crocodile Captain Hook would always hear as a warning. It's a reference to time, the beginning or ending of a human life. Tiger by the tail. An expression meaning to take on a dangerous situation and underestimate or be unprepared to fight your adversary. Time flies when you are having fun! An expression meaning that time feels like it's passing quickly, usually when someone's busy or having fun.
Time to pay the piper, or Time to face the music. Expressions meaning to admit the truth, divulge and pay for the consequences of the damage or injury. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Time to rock and roll. Tip of the iceberg. An expression that means that something is just a small sample of a larger phenomenon or problem.
Tip-toe around something, or tread lightly. To beat the band. To call the question. In the British Parliament, it's a motion to stop debate. Used casually, it means stop arguing and make a decision! To kill the goose that laid the golden egg. An unprofitable action motivated by greed. The Goose and the Golden Egg.
An expression meaning you can't use the right words to be understood or express your thoughts clearly.
Too big for your britches. Someone who has taken on responsibilities or a situation beyond what they can manage. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Not having a plan, trying something, making a mistake, then trying something else until you get it right. Someone who is apt to over-react or make a move prematurely or shoot before being ordered to do so.
An expression meaning to get back at someone or do what they did back to them. Turkeys Turning the Tables. Two birds of a feather. Someone who is not genuine: The Fox and the Crow. Two peas in a pod. An expression describing two people who are compatible, get along or fit together well.
An expression meaning dating or seeing two people simultaneously, most likely without their knowledge. Up in the air. An expression meaning nor clearly defined. Up to your eye balls. An expression meaning overwhelmed by too much work or an overwhelming situation. Vote with your feet. Waiting on pins and needles.
An expression meaning you are eagerly awaiting something to arrive or happen. Wait till it boils over. An expression related to being punished, reference to the pirates' practice of how prisoners were punished. An expression meaning someone who doesn't participate, but stands by the side and watches what's going on.
Wash your hands of it.
Waste not, want not. Benjamin Franklin's expression to remind us to use our resources wisely.
Become increasingly verbose and romantic in speech, go on-and-on using beautiful words. Way the ball bounces. We paid for it or, we paid the price. The little we gave cost us a lot in the end. The Trees and the Axe. What big ears you have! A popular quote from the fairy tale when the big bad Wolf dresses up as the girl's grandmother.
This song is the set-up for the whole album. The intro tells the general story; The Devil is drinking away the night at a local bar and he is talking up a shitstorm, lying his face off and being the cocky bastard he is.
Basically, before the sun comes up, some local has had enough so he pumps him full of lead. The song kicks in and begins with The Devil dying in a hospital bed. He is physically bleeding crude oil from his wounds, and some greedy people in the town have begun to put pails beneath him to collect the oil to sell. So, like a chick getting naked in a horror movie, they're pretty much fucked. Ol' Satan vows to wipe out the town where he got shot.
He lays there in bed, still talking shit, making threats, empty promises, feeling sorry for himself. He is very bitter. There are tiny hints that the guy who shot him was actually in league with the Devil, but he betrays him and "shoots the plan to Hell". The part about the slivers of lead in the food is a reference to a bizzare situation of a poisoning that we read about. The Judas character who betrays Satan starts to realize that even though he has turned to the light, he isn't going to make it out alive, and starts to drink and overdose himself to death. The end of the song, the part that goes "Someone say a Hail Mary for this house" is about the shit hitting the fan.