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Extended Audio Sample Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel Audiobook, by Denis Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Denis Johnson, Eli Brown Narrator: Scott Shepherd, James Langton Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2013 ISBN: 9781427235206
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A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate's ship

The year is 1819, and the renowned chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by the ruthless pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot. He will be spared, she tells him, as long as he puts exquisite food in front of her every Sunday without fail.
To appease the red-haired captain, Wedgwood gets cracking with the meager supplies on board. His first triumph at sea is actual bread, made from a sourdough starter that he leavens in a tin under his shirt throughout a roaring battle, as men are cutlassed all around him. Soon he's making tea-smoked eel and brewing pineapple-banana cider.
But Mabbot—who exerts a curious draw on the chef—is under siege. Hunted by a deadly privateer and plagued by a saboteur hidden on her ship, she pushes her crew past exhaustion in her search for the notorious Brass Fox. As Wedgwood begins to sense a method to Mabbot's madness, he must rely on the bizarre crewmembers he once feared: Mr. Apples, the fearsome giant who loves to knit; Feng and Bai, martial arts masters sworn to defend their captain; and Joshua, the deaf cabin boy who becomes the son Wedgwood never had.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder is a swashbuckling epicure's adventure simmered over a surprisingly touching love story—with a dash of the strangest, most delightful cookbook never written. Eli Brown has crafted a uniquely entertaining novel full of adventure: the Scheherazade story turned on its head, at sea, with food.
An NPR Best Book of 2013

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Quotes & Awards

  • [An] early 19th-century tale of culinary seduction and swashbuckling antics, featuring characters who evoke the desperate ingenuity of Scheherazade and the hell-bent ruthlessness of Ahab . . . Brown explores the mysteries of flavor with prose that any word-savoring foodie will delight in . . . The story, the characters, and the ingenious battle scenes are far too colorful for moral dilemmas, which are made irrelevant when Mabbot is revealed as something of a humanitarian out to reset the wrongs of British imperialism. Publishers Weekly
  • Brown concocts a clever tale in which history, ethics, action, and romance blend harmoniously. Tantalizing descriptions of the smells and flavors of the dishes Wedgwood creates may send readers running to their spice cabinets in search of the blends he exalts in, even as they are entranced by Brown's delectable tale. Amber Peckham, Booklist
  • Cinnamon and Gunpowder reads like Joss Whedon and Patrick O'Brian sailed to Copenhagen together and, after surviving a ninja attack and firefight at sea, fell in love over a seven-course meal at Noma. Julie Powell, author of Julie and Julia
  • Both sizzling and swashbuckling. Kirkus Reviews
  • Eli Brown's Cinnamon and Gunpowder [is] a most unusual sophomore effort featuring a pirate queen and a kidnapped chef. Think Babette's Feast meets Pirates of the Caribbean! Wilda Williams, Library Journal
  • Accomplished and enormously powerful. The Philadelphia Inquirer on The Great Days
  • “Accomplished and enormously powerful.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “With lyrical, confident prose, Brown makes August’s dark journey a harrowing, convincing look into the heart of cult life that should linger with readers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Brown is able to make his narrative both sizzling and swashbuckling.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Food porn and rip-roaring pirate adventure are two great tastes that taste great together in Eli Brown's rollicking Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Petra Mayer, NPR.org

  • In the meantime, an unlikely respect blossoms between captive and captain. Quirky characters combined with the adventure of the high seas make for a novel unlike any other you've read. BookPage
  • With lyrical, confident prose, Brown makes August's dark journey a harrowing, convincing look into the heart of cult life that should linger with readers. Publishers Weekly on The Great Days

  • Selected for the July 2013 Indie Next List
  • Winner of NPR Best Book of the Year, 2013
  • Among longlisted titles for California Book Awards Master List, 2014
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About the Author
Author Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson, poet, playwright and author, was born in Munich, West Germany in 1949 and was raised in Tokyo, Manila and Washington. He is the author of a number of novels, several collections of poetry, and one book of reportage. He holds a masters’ degree from the University of Iowa and has received many awards for his work, including a Lannan Fellowship in Fiction, a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction from the Paris Review for Train Dreams, and most recently, the National Book Award for Fiction. His novel Tree of Smoke won the 2007 National Book Award and 2008 Audie Award for Literary Fiction. He lives in northern Idaho.

About the Narrators

Scott Shepherd is best known for his work with two internationally celebrated theater companies, the Wooster Group and Elevator Repair Service. He was the narrator of Gatz, a seven-hour staging of the entire text of The Great Gatsby, for which he won an Obie and an Elliot Norton Award.

James Langton, born in York, England, trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Winner of fourteen AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has performed many voice-overs and narrated numerous audiobooks, including the international bestsellers The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud by Julia Navarro, The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield, and The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002.