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Hotel Bemelmans

Ludwig Bemelmans

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ISBN 13: 978-1-58567-706-1
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Illustrated by the author Introduction by Anthony Bourdain

"Ludwig Bemelmans was the original bad boy of the New York hotel/restaurant subculture" writes Anthony Bourdain, and with his reporter s eye for sensory detail and his keen wit, Bemelmans' humorous autobiographical tales of behind the scenes kitchen life at the Ritz in 1920s and 30s New York never fail to amuse and engage.

Probably Bemelmans' best work and certainly his most famous essays Hotel Bemelmans brilliantly evokes the kitchens, back passages, dining rooms, and banquet halls of Bemelmans' years at the Hotel Splendide a thinly disguised stand-in for the Ritz. It's a strange, fabulous, and sometimes terrible universe populated by rogues, con-men, geniuses, craftsmen, lunatics, gypsies, tramps, and thieves and it's all here in bitingly funny detail. Twenty-four of the tales are vintage Bemelmans, two have never before been published, and the lot is accompanied by 73 of Bemelmans' original, charming drawings.

"Absolutely sensational." Anthony Bourdain

"Witty, festive, and picturesque Ludwig Bemelmans' gifts are brilliant, visual simile and an eye for the rascality of his onetime trade." V.S. Pritchett

"Bemelmans is an artist in both line and words with talents of gold." Observer

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) wrote and illustrated over 40 books (including the Madeline books). He wrote for Hollywood, owned restaurants, designed sets for Broadway, and painted everything from magazine covers to hotel frescos. Born in the Austrian Tyrol, he was sent to America at the age of 16 after he shot a head-waiter at his uncle s hotel.

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