The Neo-Decadent Cookbook


Edited by Brendan Connell & Justin Isis

My previous reviews of this publisher:

Work by Brendan Connell, Justin Isis, Ross Scott-Buccleuch, David Rix, Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Jason Rolfe, Daniel Corrick, Colby Smith, Jessica Sequeira, Quentin S. Crisp, Damian Murphy, Douglas Thompson, Ursula Pflug, Lawrence Burton.

When I read this book, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

17 thoughts on “The Neo-Decadent Cookbook

    by Brendan Connell and Justin Isis


    To wake WITHIN a dream is the co-vivid dream itself that we all seem to be experiencing during 2020, and I wonder whether food, as described here, is the neo-decadent SYMBOL for such real-unreal, disturbing, potentially healing dreams, a Jungian ark (see my review here earlier today)? A possible example is Rishi’s recent eat-out-to-help period in the UK bolstering such a phenomenon.
    Are there other examples of this worldwide “IN THE LAPS OF IMPROVISED GODS”?

    My other reviews of Brendan Connell: and Justin Isis:

  2. THE BIAS OF AFFINITY by Ross Scott-Buccleuch

    “Release the repast from the confines of the recipe!”

    This fine modernistic poem deals, inter alios, with ‘vagus villainy’ — a danger to digestion as well as to the heart, I believe. This poem also happens to be in mutual synergy with the food fantasies of ‘famished’ by anna vaught that, miraculously, I have somehow already been real-time reviewing here. I would not be surprised if there were not more mutual synergies to come between this cookbook and ‘famished’.


    A delightful Rixian gem of a Sculpture garden in the middle of East London in an oasis between the concrete buildings, with elephant statues, and two people who share it and look after it as well as concocting liqueurs from herbs to imbibe on board the equally creatively painted Narrow Canal Boats, one called Eibonvale.
    Delightful till the Despoilers came.
    As an aside, I have always been convinced that the name Eibonvale derives from Lovecraft. But did I dream that? A google quest just now produced nothing. (Lovecraft would potentially have been another good name for at least one of this story’s particular Narrow Boats).

    My previous reviews of this author:

  4. THE MUSHROOM OMELETTE by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze

    “I usually make this omelette for one or two carefully handpicked guests.”

    An enticing recipe, as story, with, inter alios, peacock eggs. If you enjoy such comestibles of high literature, especially with a twist in their tail, then you will also love those of anna vaught here (particularly, but not exclusively, my review of ‘cucumber sandwiches’ about an hour ago before reading this ‘mushroom omelette’), the vaught book being one that I already happened, by miraculous coincidence, to be real-time reviewing alongside this neo-decadent cookbook!

  5. THE DEVIL’S ALCHEMIST by Jason Rolfe

    “—a scratch that cuts across two otherwise unrelated tracks.”

    A sporadically magick-insidious wordage steeped into yeasty woodage or barrelage for brewing mead, while fermenting ingredients from Sartrean philosophy and the financial survival trials of family life, along with one’s genealogical roots, and with favourite scratchy blues records summoning suspicions of one blues singer poisoning the other as masked by the sapor of such mead, rather than by that of whiskey. Put your nose near this texture of text and it is thus ripe with more than just meaning, I am sure.

  6. KOLIVA by Daniel Corrick

    I needed to quote all that; the highly textured story seemed to make me do so, and I mean that as a compliment, although a flavour spoiler in a review can be as bad as that in a plot’s recipe of ingredients. Despite this unsweet tooth underpinning Constantin’s general sapience of sapor, he mourned on the death anniversaries of his lovers — who had passed through his hands — with the ingested sweetness of Koliva … one of these lovers being named Honey, resonating with rhe masking of poison by the brewed sweetness of Honeyboy in the previous story.
    Constantin’s other lovers? First, there was Wheat, an aging priest. His other lovers, with the ingredients of all genders, were named Almond, Raisin, Anise, Parsley, Pepper, Cinnamon, Chickpea, all being their real names … and a tragic labourer that he named Pomegranate…
    I won’t spoil the ending. Nor the sapor of its meaning.

    My previous reviews of this author:

  7. HOUSEHOLD HINTS by Brendan Connell

    Three quotes from this substantive poem somehow remind readers of the previous two stories…

    “manner of Abyssinian priests.”

    “Honey can ritualistically be rubbed over the”

    “Pepper is revolting”

    There is a strong transgressive counterintuitiveness to this poem of food hints for your dinner guests, many lines of which will definitely stick in your mind without ever being able to pass through into forgetting’s void of evacuation.

  8. My closing thought above about the previous work now seems ironically to lead to….

    COOKING AUSTRALIA by Colby Smith

    “Human waste contains grains of memories from the realm of dreams.”

    I loved these often absurdist and/or apparently reality-based ideas regarding the historical paradoxes of solipsistic Australia and its cities … and its gulls. (NB: the gulls are left uncooked.)

    My reviews of this author:

  9. HEAVENLY VICTUALS by Jessica Sequeira

    “‘Release me from this syrupy hell,’ he requested.”

    A fine theme and variations on how I now infer the Koliva syndrome as sweetness versus saltiness, and of aromatic sapor and savor in the inadvertently parallel famished of vaught. Here a character called Melwyn (subject to the Lofty One) lusts after salt amid a heavenly banquet of sweetness. Whether or not a dream, indeed a co-vivid one, it is ironic that this evocative work strongly conjures up tastes (and maybe aromas, too) when today many have lost or are losing these two senses!

  10. THE VERTICAL TABLE by Justin Isis

    “, waiting like lampreys to attach their monitor mouths to our postprandial weakness.”

    A genuine classic of a surprisingly feasible idea or conceit, one that is transposed into a strikingly couched fantasy. The idea that a normal horizontal dining-table is one that lends itself to the generalised lethargy or effeteness of foodstuffs and their consumption by us. While a vertical table, with levels of spiked provender awakens more than just taste buds, awakens our spirits. This amazing proposition is well-argued as well as hedonistic with words about such a proposition. Needs to be read, as I would need to quote the whole work to do justice to it! Meanwhile, I do think ‘gestalt real-time reviewing’ of fiction is the vertical table when compared to the horizontal table of more common methods of reviewing it.

    “The system of the meal will stand revealed with all its subtle interconnections”.


    “The only thing to remember is never ever to eat them alive. They can sucker on and continue their lives quite well inside you.”

    More deep-pang cooking, after Lauren and the narrator moor their canal boats alongside each other again, today near their hidden garden among otherwise East London brickery and bullet trains. The recipes are both disarming and involving. A work where this author’s endearing Lessing-type-Good-Terrorist community of courteous mutual help with others, a survival ethos that is described and felt idyllically as well as with dark undertows of things these characters might need to face…

    by Quentin S. Crisp

    “What most concerns me, when I see someone, with utter complacency, peel a banana in a lecture hall or on the Tube, is the lack of shame.”

    A thoughtful confession upon what lies behind the narrator’s antipathy for most fruit. I can empathise but not fully share. It is another work that needs to be read. It has life-changing potential, even without fully sharing the inner psychology here. As perhaps now relevant to some of this work, before reading this, I had been told that some people have begun to be tantalised by sight of a face with a face mask on these days as if by the potential peeling off of sexy shapewear.

    My previous reviews of this author:

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