Reservations Recommended

Kraft, Eric. Reservations Recommended. New York: Crown Publishers, 1990.

Meet Matthew Barber (also known as B.W. Beath). Toy designer by day (as Matthew), restaurant critic by night (as B.W.). He’s 14 months out of marriage and living in a building where the elevator barely works. His apartment has a mysterious smell and no matter how many holes they punch in the wall or carpets they pull up, maintenance cannot pinpoint its origin. Maybe it’s all in Matthew’s head, as are so many other things. Despite being a funny and intelligent reviewer, Matthew himself is fussy, slightly paranoid, embarrassed easily. He can be rude, naive and more than a little foolish. He’s always imagining himself to be someone he’s not (especially around the ladies) and relies more and more on his restaurant reviewer persona to cope with social situations. But, what happens when those personalities become indistinguishable? What happens when you not only talk to yourself, but answer back?

Confessional: I was a little taken aback when I read the inside flap of Reservations Recommended. Words like sardonic, dark, wicked, nasty, chilling, violence, and squalor were not expected; especially not after reading Herb ‘n’ Lorna.

Reason read: to continue the “series” started with Herb ‘n’ Lorna begun in February in honor of Kraft’s birth month and Valentine’s Day. To be fair, this isn’t a series in the traditional sense. Each book in the Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy “series” can be read separately. In fact, when I read the description for Reservations Recommended I was confused. I will admit I did a little digging to figure out where was the connection between this book and Peter. Turns out, the protagonist in Reservations is a school mate of Peter Leroy’s. Ah. So, in fairness this isn’t about Peter Leroy’s adventures, or his experiences or his observations. We never meet Peter at all.

Author fact: Kraft is a former chairman of PEN New England.

Book trivia: While Herb ‘n’ Lorna was “sweet” this can only be described as “dark” because Matthew is a little sinister.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Eric Kraft: Too Good To Miss” (p ). But, you knew that already.

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