The wine critics

A comic novel by Jamie Goode

This is my first foray into fiction! Written entirely on aeroplanes, it is a comic novel looking at the world of wine criticism, through the adventures of Andrew Richards, a young-ish wine shop employee who is hired as a wine critic for one of the major wine publications.

I count among my inspirations Douglas Coupland, Evelyn Waugh, Jonathan Franzen and Gary Shteyngart. So this may give you an idea of what to expect!

This isn’t a long novel (it’s 40 000 words, 136 pages, so technically it counts as a novella). I mention this only because I don’t want people to feel disappointed when they don’t end up with a doorstop of a book like The Goldfinch (784 pages) or The Luminaries (848 pages) (both brilliant by the way). Mine is more in the range of As I Lay Dying, The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, The Time Machine and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, all of which have a similar word count.

It is currently available from Amazon

The first review on Amazon:

Required reading for anyone starting out in the wine business or with a serious interest in the liquid. A science author, Jamie Goode has taken the brave step of combining wine science with an insight into the trade and a background romance. And weirdly it works. He has taken the precaution of sticking to what he knows a lot about and if you know a little, you’ll get much out of it. A combination of science and satire which, once we’re safely aboard wears it’s teaching fairly lightly is to be welcomed, I think. It reminds me of the film Sideways a little bit in that there are more jokes, the more you know about the subject. But don’t be put off. This easily digestible, shortish novel is a good first effort at fiction, and exceeded my expectations. As a scientist Goode is a rigorous rationalist; as a novelist he reveals a level of empathy and openness to humanity some might find surprising.
Whilst it’s fiction, some of the parallels with real life organs of wine writing are hysterical and close to the bone.
The writing gets into its stride after some initially clunky exposition and I’m signing up to the next one.

Colin, verified purchaser