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Review: The Mad Feast is This Year’s Fun and Frantic Cookbook

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Matthew Gavin Frank’s previous book was about the discovery of the giant squid, and he has also written memoirs of working at a marijuana farm and an Italian vineyard. Given that unconventional publishing history and his background—he spent 20 years in the restaurant industry but is also a poet and creative writing teacher—it’s no surprise that his new book about America’s signature foods is no straightforward, one-genre affair. Instead, Frank describes The Mad Feast (Liveright; November 9, 2015) as a “spastic, lyrical anti-cookbook cookbook of sorts that also may be a fun and digressive revisionist take on U.S. history.” Indeed, it is the off-the-wall blend of memoir, travel, history and fiction that makes the book unique. This is the cookbook…

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