Telling Room : Passion, Revenge and Life in a Spanish Village
'<i>The Telling Room</i> is a gorgeous and impassioned monument to the art and mystery of storytelling. It is rich, funny, humane, devastating, and beautiful. It made me want to applaud, it made me want to cry, it made me want to move to Spain. Michael Paterniti is a genius', ELIZABETH GILBERT, author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE 'Michael Paterniti is one of the best living practitioners of the art of literary journalism, able to fully elucidate and humanize the everyday and the epic. In his hands, every subject, every moment of personal or global upheaval, is treated with the same curiosity, respect, empathy, and clear-eyed wisdom', DAVE EGGERS 'Sun-baked highland plateaus, argumentative village rustics and beguiling old ways . . . There's no resisting the infectious glee', New York Times 'A masterly, joyous piece of non-fiction storytelling . . . a strangely gripping and moving tale about life, love, friendship, family, place - and cheese', Financial Times 'The list of writers I would read even if they were to write about a piece of cheese is short, but it includes Michael Paterniti. He has proved here that if you love something enough, and pay a passionate-enough attention to it, the whole world can become present in it. That's true of both the cheese and the book', JOHN JEREMIAH SULLIVAN, author of PULPHEAD
In the medieval Castilian village of Guzmán (population: 80), villagers have gathered for centuries in the 'telling room' to share stories and drink the local wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a compelling tale about a cheese made from an ancient family recipe that was reputed to be among the finest in the world. Until, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. Hooked on the story, Paterniti relocated his young family to the tiny hilltop village to find out more. But like many Spanish villages, Guzmán was rife with gossip and old feuds, secret alliances and plotted vengeance and before long Paterniti was sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery. When he learned that the cheesemaker had apparently plotted to murder his closest friend, the village began to spill its long-held secrets, and Paterniti found himself implicated in ways he never expected.