The Secret Vindaloo
The Secret Vindaloo
Keith St Clair Butler
Novel - Fiction | 264 pages
Suffering from a bout of food rage at the local food court, Anglo-Indian food critic Puttla Marks creates a hullabaloo over vindaloo, and is hauled off to the Melbourne Detention Center. There, the intrepid government interrogator Claude Anttick awaits. Convinced the culinary stoush is more than just an isolated incident, Anttick grills Puttla. The stakes are high. The authorities want Puttla to prove his patriotism or face deportation. Is Puttla up to the challenge? Can he dish up a story? Will Anttick swallow the repast?
Probably not. But Puttla’s going to give it one hell of a college try. After all, Memsahib Marks did not raise her boy to be a fool – she raised him to be British!
The Secret Vindaloo takes the reader on a wild and wickedly funny ride at street-level in a bygone Calcutta. With laser-like accuracy, the author cuts to the bone in a tale of identity: that which we seek, that which is thrust upon us, and maybe, in the midst of it all, discovering who we really are.
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“Keith Butler has a middle name and it’s not St Clair. Puttla (“Skinny”) Butler comes closer and rhymes okay. To judge by his alter ego’s famished state (or, really, statelessness), it fits the bill. Why do Skinny’s fellow Australians effortlessly outweigh him? Because they brought all they had with them from wherever. Puttla left half his heritage behind. And some days he wonders if it wasn’t the better half. Melbourne’s nice enough, but it’s not Calcutta, and it lacks decent vindaloo. There is a remedy. The price of a plateful is Butler’s roving rickshaw ride of a book. It’ll rearrange your gut along with whatever you thought Anglo-Indian meant. Pack a copy, sit back, and study Puttla’s sorry calves as he lollops down the bylanes of a lost Calcutta, past windows pungent with gossip and old marinade and the devil-may-care lives of a people at home everywhere and nowhere.”
– Allan Sealy, author of The Trotter-Nama: A Chronicle
“A delicious feast of a novel - spicy, tender and very, very funny”
– Carrie Tiffany, author of Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living
“Keith Butler’s rich imaginative world and language are a real delight! Witty, funny and light on the surface with always an undercurrent of depth and questioning of a profound nature.”
– Christine Leunens, author of A Can of SunshineProduct Code: OB-002
Availability: Out Of Stock
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