I discovered today that, mostly by accident, I have read Warren Ellis more than any other author since I started making these posts a couple of years ago. Normal provides more of what I’ve been enjoying from him: sardonic humor, compact writing, and interesting critique—in this case of surveillance culture, futurism, and technological solutionism. Originally published as an e-book serial, I read it in print in a single volume. I might have preferred to read it serially; the disjointed, episodic rhythm accentuated the unstable setting.
This book does a great job of introducing some nice, light-handed twists on German classics. While we were living in Berlin a lot of my favorite stuff were the vegetable dishes we don’t see a lot of in the States, and one of the Nolens’ hobby horses is that Americans stop associating the German kitchen only with sausage and beer. Not everything in the book is the friendliest for home-cooks (the pickling and charcuterie recipes, for example, tend to be for fairly large quantities), but the book is lovely nonetheless. The authors are the executive and pastry chefs at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia which I now am excited to try on our next visit.