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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Macabre Subtlety

I had never heard of Stanley Ellin before I saw the Orion Crime Masterworks Collection : The Speciality of the House lodged in a corner by itself at the bookstore. I would have passed it over but for a feeling that struck me insinuating that I might be missing something altogether. The decision to purchase was fortuitous - the collection of his short stories spanning thirty years is as masterly as it can get. The Speciality of the House, in particular, is every bit as delectable as the epicurean experience it describes ...

'I fear,' said Laffler solemnly, 'that you confuse the words, gourmet and gourmand. The gourmand, through glutting himself, requires a wider and wider latitude of experience to stir his surfeited senses, but the very nature of the gourmet is simplicity.

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