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Eating Crow

by Jay Rayner

Marc Basset has a well-deserved reputation as a pitiless restaurant critic. When he writes a devastating review of a celebrated restaurant, the chef commits suicide, roasting himself in his own fan-assisted oven, with Basset's review pasted to the door. Suddenly Basset is moved to do something he has never done before: apologize. Startled by the widow's forgiveness and absolution, he feels unexpectedly euphoric. In an effort to maintain this newfound state of bliss, he decides to gorge himself on contrition by apologizing to every person he has ever done wrong. And that's just the beginning. After a series of virtuoso expressions of regret, word of Basset's mollifying power spreads, and he is tapped to become Chief Apologist for the United Nations. His job is to travel the globe in his own Gulfstream V private jet, apologizing for everything from colonialism through exploitation to slavery. It is a role that brings him fame, wealth, and access to a lot of very good chocolate. But in a world overdosing on emotion, does Marc Basset really have the stomach to become the sorriest man in history? Built of delicate layers of heinous crime, forgiveness, and outrageous gastronomy, Jay Rayner's hilarious new novel is an arch comedy of modern appetite and etiquette.

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