Europa Editions is so excited about The Last Banquet by Jonthan Grimwood that they’re eschewing their normal paperback original format and publishing it in hardcover. It’s no wonder as the book, which tells the story of Jean-Marie d’Aumout in 18th-century France, contains such sumptuous prose that you want to lick it off a spoon. Plucked from his family’s homestead after the deaths of his broke, aristocratic parents, Jean-Marie spends his life pursuing tastes. He’s sent to school for broke aristocrats and makes lifelong friends there. The novel moves along briskly though the reader never feels hurried. The lush descriptions of food are equaled by the erotic bits and I’ll just say that our main character likes to taste everything and leave it at that. This is a book that I find myself still thinking about weeks later, like that stupendous meal I had last year where I can’t recall much but the happiness and satisfaction.