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Liebling treasured a good appetite as a prerequisite for writing about food, as his accounts of substantial meals (two portions of cassoulet, one steak topped with beef marrow, and a dozen or so oysters, for example) attest. For the poised, precise, literary, and humorous flavor of his writing, you need only crack open the book--any page will do. Liebling recounts how to dine superbly without being lead astray by too much money, and he digresses magnificently on the evils of abstemiousness ("No sane man can afford to dispense with debilitating pleasures; no ascetic can be considered reliably sane"). In this age of diets and pragmatic health care, it's refreshing to read such an inspired and inspiring ode to pleasure. As a means of savoring a love affair with Paris, sparking an interest in a trip to France, restructuring your priorities for the trip you've already planned, or gearing up on the flight over for the gastronomic debauches to come, Liebling is unsurpassed. --Stephanie Gold
A.J. Liebling joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1935, where his "Wayward Press" columns became a model of fine journalistic writing. Other Liebling titles available from North Point Press are Between Meals, The Honest Rainmaker, and The Neutral Corner: Uncollected Boxing Essays.
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