Ugo DiFonte, the second son of a peasant sheep farmer in 16th century Italy, is widowed young with a baby daughter, and by chance becomes the official food taster for Duke Federico Basillione DiVincelli, the Duke of Corsoli. Though this elevates his position considerably, it also places him amidst castle intrigues that constantly endanger his position -- even his life -- from both above and below. He survives attempted poisonings, the plague, learns from his daughter how to write, and eventually tells his fantastic tale, which includes highly memorable meals, sex, and brushes with death. "Translated" by actor and writer Peter Elbling (whose credits include the screenplay for "Honey I Blew Up the Kids"), this rollicking tale -- part picaresque, part fairy tale, part history lesson, and part Monty Python -- was an international bestseller.
This report prepared by David Loftus