In his second novel, author Eric Peterson dishes up a riotous spectacle of self-absorbed chefs, backstabbing politicians, and devious publishing magnates, set against a backdrop of haute cuisine, presidential politics, and an endless supply of top-shelf liquor and wine.
Fresh from a public humiliation and in search of his true calling, former college football star Jack Marshall enlists as bartender and steward aboard Horace Button's vintage private railroad car, the Pioneer Mother, which is transporting the legendary food writer and social critic across the country in opulent style.
Decked out in a white jacket, mixing perfect cocktails, Jack is immersed in a style of living -- and dining -- he'd assumed was extinct. While striving to appease the eccentric, finicky Horace, and Wanda, the Pioneer Mother's enigmatic chef, Jack falls under the spell of Giselle Lebeau, a gorgeous celebrity chef whose designs on him test his self-control amd his loyalty.
But when tragedy rocks Horace's insulated white-linen world, Jack must take charge of a simmering stew of quirky yet powerful personalities -- all while staying in Wanda's good graces and keeping an eye on their newest passenger.
A story of service, serendipity, and second chances, The Dining Car is.more than a mouthwatering read -- it's a marvelous, exuberant work of fiction.
Eric Peterson's book has won several awards, and deservedly so. This humorous tale of an aging, alcoholic food writer traveling the country in his beloved revamped vintage dining car is not only laugh-out-loud funny, but it is also an exquisite glimpse into the life of luxury and tradition crammed up against a contemporary, throw-away society.
Horace Button is an unforgettable character who makes you grimace, but at the same time he grows on you. You can't help but come to love him, especially as he tackles the challenge of raising his orphaned niece.
Hilarious, heart-warming story that is so far my favorite read of the year.