Hunters & Collectors
The food at the Hunter's Lodge is impossible to engage with critically. The sausages are presented as a map of the human gullet. Your fish is killed at the table when the waiter pours scalding sauce on it. You eat it, bones and all, and then you smile, because Chef herself is explosive, and has a sonar for displeasure. I haven't eaten in such an atmosphere of casual menace since I was briefly in jail. John Tamberlain is The Tomahawk, the universe's most feared food critic - though he himself prefers the term 'forensic gastronomer'. He's on a quest, in search of the much-storied Hotel Grand Skies, a secretive and exclusive haven where the rich and famous retreat to bask in perfect seclusion. A place where the waiters know their fish knife from their butter knife, their carotid from their subclavian artery, and are trained to enforce the house rules with brutal efficiency. Blurring the lines between detective story, horror and sci-fi, Hunters & Collectors is a mesmeric trip into the singular imagination of M. Suddain - a freewheeling talent whose poise, invention and sensational sentences have already earned him comparisons to Vonnegut, Pynchon and Douglas Adams.
The universe's most feared restaurant critic is on the hunt for the greatest meal of his life - a novel which reads like Vonnegut directing Grand Budapest Hotel, in space
"On the one hand, it's a galaxy-spanning space opera with intrigue, adventure and fascinating tech extrapolations. On the other, it's a hilarious, almost Nabokovian account of a food critic's gastronomic misadventures as he conducts a tour of restaurants on dozens of far-flung planets. Suddain manages the almost impossible task of balancing cosmic scope with slapstick, intricate wordplay and dialogue at times worthy of PG Wodehouse... Hunters & Collectors is a misanthropic joy ride by a ridiculously talented writer and one of the most unusual novels of the year." -- Jeff VanderMeer Guardian "Aside from being packed full of stimulating ideas and smart observations, Suddain's turn of phrase conjures an exhilarating ambience of chaos... Previous comparisons to Douglas Adams witty wordplay are entirely fitting... Suddain captures the surreal desperation of the modern world with a sharp eye." SciFi Now "On evidence of Hunters & Collectors let me make a prediction: M. Suddain...is destined for greatness." -- Ian Sansom Times Literary Supplement
M. Suddain is a young writer from New Zealand about whom not much is yet known. He is the author of one previous novel, Theatre of the Gods, also published by Cape.