Henry First by Basil Lawrence
While Henry First, is, at its core, a story about a culinary chef who is desperate to win a cooking competition, the multiple layers that author Basil Lawrence has added to his narrative make it something special. Offering a realistic and unapologetic view of the restaurant industry and those who work within it, this novel displays a world in which no one really seems to understand why things are the way they are. A tale of excess, whether it be through the ingredients Henry uses, or through the capitalism, corruption, and greed that is present throughout the world that seems to keep degenerating, this novel is satire at its best. Not only that, the author brings about a great deal of humorous anecdotes and plot points in his writing, that keep the reader laughing from page to page. Although the title character is arguably the most fascinating, there are plenty of supporting characters who add to the mix, where the fast paced storyline shows just how unforgiving people can be towards one another in order to get what they want.
Basil Lawrence has a unique writing style, and a comedic flair that works wonders throughout this novel. One is never bored while reading his narrative, as the story has few dull moments with all of the intriguing and inventive plot points that Lawrence has littered throughout. By using references to real life history and also to literature, the author has created the kind of book that makes the reader feel as if they are perhaps smarter than they actually are. A joy to read, a book that brings about plenty of laughs, and a well constructed story from beginning to end, Henry First is the kind of book that we’d like to discover more often.
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