Sunday, 8 September 2013

Edward Trencom’s Nose: A Novel of History, Dark Intrigue and Cheese

by Giles Milton

I found this book entertaining enough, albeit not as much as According to Arnold. The problem is, I couldn’t care less about its protagonist. In spite (or maybe because) of his obsession with his dead ancestors, he is just plain boring. I loved the language though.

I was not able to check whether all the cheeses mentioned in the book really exist. At least toulomotyri appears to be genuine. But I was sorely disappointed that neither majorero nor any Finnish cheese were in Edward Trencom’s cellar.

Elizabeth had an absolute abhorrence of impinging on other people’s territory. Indeed, there was a side to her that was peculiarly English — not in the patriotic sense of flag-waving and hymn-singing and cabbage that’s been boiled for so long that it’s no longer green. It was more the fact that she valued more than anything else in the world the much underrated virtue of respecting one another’s space.

She fully understood why commuters on the train to London liked to hide behind the vast acreage of The Times. After all, she thought, didn’t everyone have the right to a few snatched moments on the way to work, simply enjoying the privacy of their own company?

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