The Dining Car Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
--Rick Browne, host of PBS' "Barbecue America" and author of 17 books on cooking, travel, restaurants, and the good life
"'The Dining Car' is an unforgettable tale of Horace Button, a Falstaffian character whose appetite for food and drink is without bounds. With his wickedly sharp tongue, Button dismisses family, friends, and total strangers with equal abandon. In the tradition of Wallace Stegner's 'Angle of Repose,' Eric Peterson links California with the East Coast as Button journeys across the country with his butler and chef in their elegantly appointed railroad car. 'The Dining Car' will be devoured with relish by all who appreciate good food, and the voice of Horace Button will long linger in the ear of its readers.
--William Ferris, author of The South in Color: A Visual Journal
"Though set in contemporary time, 'The Dining Car' reads like history, due to the near-cinematic attention to detail on every page -- not just the small architectural touches that can be found on a vintage private railcar, but fabulous descriptions of fine cuisine and top-notch wines. I appreciated the interplay between a well-known food writer and a celebrity chef, and found myself nodding at the oh-so-familiar magazine staff infighting. The plot is well paced, and the many colorful characters feel as real as the cross-country train journey. 'The Dining Car' is a damn fine novel."
--Thomas Shess, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles
"The Dining Car's appeal lies in probing Jack's evolving life, which reaches out to embrace a puzzlingly foreign world right in his own country. Readers who appreciate novels of growth and discovery on different levels which delve into the lives of the rich and expose undercurrents of agony and angst will find 'The Dining Car' a vivid, engrossing novel that's hard to put down."
--Diane Donovan, Reviewer's Choice, Donovan's Bookshelf
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The references to food and drink are surprisingly accurate ... Horace is quite the character and I found myself agreeing with some of the insights he expounded upon in his articles interspersed throughout the book. The author has cleverly created this character who sort of takes us back in time which sets the mood for the entire book. Jack was a classy character and Peterson is a great writer."
--Chef Leonard Gentieu, Chasing the Heat: 50 Years and a Million Meals
"One reader of Eric Peterson's novel, The Dining Car, describes perfectly the nature of its central character Horace Button - a celebrity editorialist on all things cultural but specifically gastronomical - as Falstaffian. Physically huge and attitudinally challenged, a drinker par excellence, Horace provides the gravitational focus around which this book and its dazzling characters revolve. Even the narrator of this story, a conscripted bartender for Horace's uniquely chosen manner of transportation - a handsomely reconstituted, elegant, 1932 Pullman-built, private railroad car - cannot escape the black-hole entrapment of Horace's over-sized personal charisma. Horace is a drunk. The most cultured, opinionated, ornery, bellicose, and anachronistic drunk one might ever be disinclined to meet. The reader likewise succumbs to such astronomical force with the ambivalent love-hate feelings shared and endured by every incidental character in the book. The saving grace? From the very inception of its gloriously slapstick, eye-popping introductory scene, The Dining Car promises and delivers nothing less than a Falstaffian feast of fun.
Do not, however, be misled by such a fun-filled promise. There are moments of genuine pathos embedded in Eric Peterson's roller-coaster book, The Dining Car. Such an unredeemable character as Horace is duly bound to come with some satisfying surprises. And though this most definitely remains a character-driven book, dominated by a truly unforgettable "character-at-large," prepare also to be pleasantly surprised by the masterful prose offered up here by the author, whose pacing, descriptions, dialogue and plotting are seamlessly and effortlessly impeccable, allowing one to fully concentrate his attention upon the fine, if most eccentric, gourmet dining experience of a lifetime." --Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite, a five-star review
"Peterson's second book is like a meal prepared by a top-tier chef: great individual ingredients coming together to form something even better... The novel inspires dreams of savoring decadently elaborate foods, drinking fine wines and specialty cocktails, and rolling with unlikely adventures while hurting, laughing, and falling in love. Peterson serves up his story in delicious form." --Publishers Weekly
"Eric Peterson's novel 'The Dining Car' is sure to resonate with every railroad buff. His attention to detail hits home with everyone who has ever experienced the joy of riding in a private railcar, and I have. Readers are made to feel they are being transported along with Horace Button, Jack Marshall and the rest of the colorful characters Peterson brings to life in this most intriguing tale. I urge you to climb aboard for a wonderful experience." --Hank Greenwald, legendary former voice of the San Francisco Giants
"Food, wine and frivolity... that's what life is all about and Eric Peterson's 'The Dining Car' punctuates this carpe diem experience aboard Horace Button's private railcar. The bigger-than-life characters over indulge, pontificate and live life to the fullest! And it's all set to the clickity-clack of the train's wheels traversing the land, the popping of vintage wine and the epicurean splendor befitting rail royalty. Take a memorable journey that paints a picture of another era of travel grandeur but in today's world. Book a seat on 'The Dining Car' ... all aboard." --Dave Preston, Nevada's "Guru of the Goodlife"
"Intriguing ingredients come together for a savory bouillabaisse of adventure, humor, love and self-awakening in 'The Dining Car' by Eric Peterson. The good times keep rolling aboard a classic private dining car after a former college football star is hired as its bartender-steward by its owner, a 'legendary food writer and social critic.' The well-lubricated cross-country tour is nearly derailed by tragedy and too many metaphorical cooks in the kitchen, but nobody leaves hungry." -The Sacramento Bee
"Peterson's characters stand out like beacons reflecting their light in the world. Each is a bright facet cut in deep relief; a few pages in and they seem as real as the girl next door. Best of all, if you have any pent up disgust at the joys of the modern era, you'll be pleased to read Button's thoughts on same. We should have more of them--including the dicta never, ever, water down the brand, or the alcohol. Let the rubes grow by reaching for the stars. A trip in The Dining Car seems to have curative properties as the miles roll by and pages turn. It should be a film. Read it soon." -The Espresso
"The Dining Car introduces us to one of the most unforgettable literary characters of our time -- Horace Button." -- Adam Lottes, The Secret Stash
About the Author
- ASIN : B01NBKE4YB
- Publisher : Huckleberry House (December 13, 2016)
- Publication date : December 13, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 3856 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 356 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,598 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I found Horace Button, legendary food and wine writer, to be a disgusting character, whose obscene behaviour is only partly moderated at the very end. Apart from his lamentable world views, he is a horrible human being, treating a talented chef and a broken-down ex star footballer like modern-day slaves. In glaring contrast to his own lavish and capricious lifestyle, these two are forced to work around the clock in their appointed roles, but also in demeaning janitorial cleaning and stocking capacities. And he has the gall to refer to them as “a family” when trying to garner their sympathy! On top of his many character flaws, Horace is an unrepentant alcoholic and pathetic drunk who does not deserve a fraction of the good fortune he enjoys. By a genetic miracle, he manages to stay alive eating for four and taking no exercise.
The main themes of gastronomic excellence and luxurious living are little more than painted on. I expected a bit more passion, given the author’s credentials. The salient merit of the story is how thoroughly the experience of travelling by train is described. In my case, it wasn’t all good since it made me feel claustrophobic, and I found the grimy backdrop of railway service areas less than inspiring.
At twenty-five Jack Marshall, the narrator, is recovering from a devastating career-ending accident while desperately trying to find a new direction for his life. Pushed by events, he summons hidden talents and an admirable moral core, however, his personality is sacrificed in order to make Horace Button the focus of the book. Wanda, the ultra-loyal chef, is a strong and underused player, but she seems to go bonkers in the last chapter. Jane, the almost-twelve-year-old niece Horace never knew existed, is a very likeable character. Her interactions with her Uncle Horace turn him into a much nicer person in the end.
The writing is very good, but there is a lamentable lack of depth in people’s emotions. Even the tangential love story feels gratuitous, and the final resolution is utterly ridiculous. The promising subplot of two broken people with the potential to make each other better is inadequately suggested and ultimately wasted in an off-stage wrapping up that does not square with their previous behaviour. Despite all the positives, the overarching political preaching ruined the story for me. I felt it was unnecessary to the plot and only added a level of irritation and the sense of having been hijacked by a zealot.
The intrigue was provided by the opulent and wonderful railway car in which Mr. Button travels, and the story is built around this marvelous conveyance.
Mr. Button is a bon vivant, gourmand, writer, wine connoisseur, drinker and unabashed effete. He deplores bad manners, but displays them himself when he is drunk, which is often.
The parts I loved the best were the scathing, witty and highly articulate reviews that Mr. Button wrote in his magazine. They are hilarious, satirical and exquisitely descriptive.
Other than that and aside from his great wit, there was nothing much to like about the man, except for the fact that he was very loyal to his close companions. In the book he is a self-centered snob and not a character with whom you can empathize. However, he does redeem himself at the end of the story.
I was very impressed with Jack's character. He is a true gentleman and wants to do what's right, but he doesn't have much of a personality. Some of the other characters, especially slimy Billy's mother Poppy, has a larger-than-life personality.
Giselle is a character of little depth, although she did reveal her feelings of loneliness, which made her more human. Wanda is a good woman with many inner demons who is trying to elevate her life.
And what can one say about little Jane, who wins the hearts of all?
The ending was entirely predictable; I could see it coming a mile away. There was some suspense about whether Jack was going to stay or leave, but that was predictable, too.
It's not like me to start a book, then put it down for a few days before reading it again. I like books where I can't wait to see what happens next, or I'm so intrigued by the story that I must get back to it.
I did not find that with The Dining Car.