Excerpt from Edward Trencom's Nose by Giles Milton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Edward Trencom's Nose

A Novel of History, Dark Intrigue, and Cheese

by Giles Milton

Edward Trencom's Nose
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2008, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Humphrey was standing dangerously close to the fire – he was less than thirty yards from the shop. In spite of the heat, which was roasting his cheeses, he remained rooted to the spot, watching in detached horror as the flames located their first victim. A large pile of prize Suffolk gilden was displayed on a tabletop close to the window. For the previous few minutes, it had been shielded from the worst of the heat by the thin, leaded window. Now, with that gone, it bore the full force of the flames.

Its surface turned shiny as it began to melt. Then, ever so slowly, its innards started to liquefy. The pile shrank slightly as its solid structure softened. The top cheese oozed into the one below and that, in turn, melted into the large round at the bottom.

Small bubbles appeared on the surface. It began to blister and splutter. And then, all at once, its gooey underbelly began to drip to the floor. The hard rinds still held out defiantly against the fearsome heat. But, deprived of their inner organs, the cheeses soon puckered and collapsed in on themselves. Humphrey’s gildens were transformed into a runny puddle.

The flames were encouraged by the ease of their success and pushed themselves deeper inside the building. As the heat intensified, more and more cheeses began subsiding into waxy lumps. They lost their rigidity. Their edges softened. And then – finally – they were slowly unclotted by the flames. The charworths leached into the bridgeworths; the stiltons mingled with the blues.

In the midst of this oozy catastrophe, the noble parmesan alone held its shape and form. For more than five minutes it stood proud against the relentless onslaught of fire and flame. But, seemingly disheartened by the surrounding doom, its rotund belly began to shrink and buckle.

For more than two months, this 50 lb drum had brought pleasure and delight to Trencoms’ regulars. Now, its rheumy innards were drip-drip-dripping to the floor.

Humphrey knew that when the inside of the shop reached a certain temperature, all of the surviving cheeses would spontaneously combust. He only had to wait a few seconds longer before this sorry moment came to pass. As the bells of St Mary’s knelled the seventh hour – the last time they would ever ring – Trencoms cheese shop exploded into a fireball.

Humphrey watched in a mixture of awe and horror. He had already resigned himself to the loss of his shop and had also grasped that this spelled the end of his livelihood. And yet, amid this scene of utter devastation, he took pride in the fact that his cheeses were putting on a far more ostentatious display than all the other burning buildings. The tavern had disappeared in a squib of flame. The Olde Supply Store had burned long and slow. But his cheeses were proving theatrical to the last. Molten, dripping and turned to liquid oil, they now transformed the shop into a spectacular furnace of fire.

It was as Humphrey watched this operatic finale that his nose once again started to twitch. This time, his brain responded in seconds. Ah, yes! His cheeses – his beloved family of cheeses – were giving him one final burst of pleasure. Amid the stench of burning timber, pitch, dust and ash, there was the all-pervasive aroma of molten cheese. Humphrey could identify no one variety in the pungent concoction of smells. Instead, his nose was infused with a powerful miscellany of scents – one quite unlike anything he had smelled before.

He looked around him and was suddenly gripped by panic. He realized that he was now entirely alone and almost encircled by a wall of flame. He had been so enrapt in watching the cheese-fuelled flames that he had quite failed to notice that the fire had spread southwards and eastwards, tearing its way along the length of Lawrence Lane. The air was heated almost to roasting point and Humphrey could feel his wedding ring burning his skin.

Copyright © 2007 by Giles Milton. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Bones of Grace
    The Bones of Grace
    by Tahmima Anam
    The Bones of Grace completes Tahmima Anam's Bangladesh trilogy. The three novels, which can be ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.