Michael Paterniti’s fantastic book The Telling Room is a hilarious, well-written, evocative book that links Spain, heroes, storytelling, and cheese.
Stay with me.
While a poor student, Paterniti was entranced by a very expensive cheese sold in the deli where he worked. Later, when he got the chance to meet the larger-than-life man behind the cheese, he set off on a long adventure in which he traced the amazing story behind this artisanal cheese of yore.
As you follow the tale, you’ll appreciate Paterniti’s great storytelling ability, as he weaves in information about Spain, Spanish history, literature, art, slow food, and all sorts of other things. I loved the way Paterniti’s semi-journalism approach served to highlight the nature of story-telling, and how everyone tells a story to explain and make sense of the events of their lives.
I enjoyed The Telling Room tremendously. Although I recommend you don’t read it when trapped in a salon chair for four hours like I did, because it’s terrible to read about the gustatory glory of magnificent cheese when you’re unable to obtain a snack. At any rate, whether your interest is in Spain or storytelling or cheese (who among us is not interested in cheese?!?!) or if you just like funny and interesting books, I’d recommend The Telling Room.
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