The Cook

Wayne Macauley,

The Cook

Shortlisted, WA Premier's Book Awards, 2011
Shortlisted, Victorian Premier's Book Awards, 2012
Shortlisted, Melbourne Prize for Literature, Best Writing Award, 2012

The Cook, Wayne Macauley's breakout novel, is funny and sad, strange and satirical, and weirdly moving.

At Cook School, Zac dreams about becoming the greatest chef the world has seen. 'You have been chosen, says Head Chef. Of all the young people wasting their lives you and you only have been chosen.'

Zac thinks he’s on his way when he gets a job as house cook for a wealthy family - the Mistress and Master and their daughters, Melody and Jade.

But when things start to fall apart, Zac knows he must take control.

Wayne Macauley is a Melbourne writer. He has published two novels, Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe (2004) and Caravan Story (2007). His short-fiction collection, Other Stories, was released in 2010.

'A riot of a book! Gripping and subversive...' Nick Cave

'Irresistible - The Cook reminds us just how exciting it is to read a wonderful and original novel.' Lloyd Jones

'Blackly funny and deliciously satirical, this book skewers our culture of food worship while feeding our curiosity about kitchens.' Age Magazine

'This brilliant and richly layered book by Melbourne author Wayne Macauley is almost impossible to put down…For Macauley is writing about nothing less than the social, cultural and moral excesses of late capitalism: about the logical absurdities of conspicuous consumption, the decadence of "fine dining" and the contemporary obsession with cooking.' Sydney Morning Herald

'This is a novel that punctuates the fine life, eviscerates food wankery and highlights the emptiness and decay of the distracted and wealthy...' Rachel Edwards, The Book Show

'The Cook is a confident and potent piece of work...One of the novel's most impressive achievements is its creation of a droll, readable, vernacular prose, which is not only rhythmically insistent but able to hint at the tension and the instability beneath its apparently detached and affectless surface.' Weekend Australian

'In the past few years, Wayne Macauley has published some of the most memorable fiction going in this country. His books and stories are satirical fables in which the properties are recognisably contemporary and Australian, indeed Melburnian, but his use of them is carefully distanced from realism and he has a prose style of remarkable poise and control that can allow his narratives to take off into the bizarre without ever losing their cool. Beneath that cool is a steady anger at the depredations of late capitalism, at the attempts of laissez-faire to turn us all into Homo economicus or addicted consumers...This is Macauley's longest novel so far and marks a brilliant development in his dark vision of the way we live.' Sunday Age

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