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The Telling Room A Tale of Love, Betrayal, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti

The Telling Room A Tale of Love, Betrayal, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

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A book of contrasts – the old world and the new, old ways against the new, the truth and comforting fantasy, rural life losing out to urban living – all in the story of one particular (very expensive) Spanish cheese. A very surprising story – and without spoiling the story I can say it has more twists and turns than a mountain road. This book has been a very long time in the writing, Michael Paterniti unable to finish the story and to finally sort truth from fantasy, a painful task uncovering many family secrets. Really good books about food don’t come along very often so grab this one, an enthralling story, a beautiful vision of a vanishing Spain and the clash of modern business with a traditional way of life.

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The Telling Room A Tale of Love, Betrayal, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti

In the picturesque Spanish village of Guzman, villagers have gathered for centuries in 'the telling room' to share their stories. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti listened as Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras spun an odd and compelling tale about a cheese made from an ancient family recipe. Reputed to be among the finest in the world - one bite could conjure long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong...Paterniti was hooked. Relocating his young family to Guzman, he is soon sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing. The Telling Room is as surprising, evocative and wildly entertaining as the world it portrays.


For my money, Paterniti is one of the most expansive and joyful writers around - big-hearted and humane and funny. This book is a wild and amazing ride -- George Saunders, author of TENTH OF DECEMBER

The Telling Room captures the true essence of happiness - but what's more, it captures the fact that food is always central, always present in our memories, when we search for it. For those who doubt that food is our most vital social network, this book demonstrates it unequivocally -- FERRAN ADRIA, chef, El Bulli

About the Author

Michael Paterniti is a journalist and has been nominated eight times for the National Magazine Award. One of his stories was chosen for True Stories: A Century of Literary Nonfiction, joining four other writers as the best examples of literary journalism from the last hundred years. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book Driving Mr Albert. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Michael Paterniti

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