Adam Schell

Reviews

“I have finished TOMATO RHAPSODY. The love making in tomato sauce is one of the most delightful love scenes I’ve ever read. The crowd scenes are masterly throughout, but especially at the end. Wonderful comic romance — the happy ending a reader longs for, but shadowed by the close proximity of tragic alternatives. For me, the fictional Renaissance treatise on poetics really contributed to the novel — you had just the right amount of it at just the right places. It is really hard to get so much right in a first novel. I hope there will be more to come!”

–William Mills Todd III, Harvard University, Professor of Literature

oh i LOVED this book, a richly woven lush tuscany fable of love, lust and forbidden fruit! i adored the style of writing, so plush and lush with color, it just fed my soul, page by page. more

Food for Thought…an edible review

It was an extraordinary book. The story is earthy – sometimes downright crude – as well as golden, rapturous, euphoric – and yes, rhapsodic. It is both sprawling and intimate, with a good-sized cast of characters who do not come across as “characters”; these are people, wildly individual and altogether real.

Library Thing

If only every debut novel arrived with such spirit… As we all know, forbidden fruit is always the most delicious … and dangerous.

–Craig Wilson, USA Today

“Schell’s narrative is beautifully written and heart-wrenchingly delivered. The tale is as participatory as Shakespearean theatre, with grimace-inducing vulgarity coupled with an absurdist sense of humor that inspires out-loud laughter. Most amusing is Schell’s flawless execution of the village dialogue, a crude tongue spoken only in verse. It’s infectious, and here’s proof: Graphic and gory at times, this story is told with hilarious rhymes.”

–Jewish Book World

“It takes a lot of confidence to encroach on Shakespearean territory, but Schell displays sufficient moxie in this delectable debut. The lush Tuscan countryside is the predictable yet appropriate setting of his sixteenth-century romp through a multitude of humorous scenarios involving both forbidden love and the introduction of the tomato into the heart, soul, and stomach of the Italian populace. At the core of the novel is a deceptively simple boy-meets-girl plot featuring a lovelorn Jewish tomato farmer and the beautiful Catholic daughter of a devious olive magnate. Of course, anyone who knows their Shakespeare knows that the course of true love never runs smoothly, and Schell displays the finesse of a master chef as he spices up the story with a delicious array of humorous subplots—ranging from the bawdy to the sweet—guaranteed to appeal to discerning literary palates.”

–Booklist

Like Shakespeare got drunk with Marquez and they went for a meal with Laura Esquivel. So delicious!”

-Kim Alexander, Fiction Nation. Host of Book Radio, Sirius XM

“Adam Schell has served up a delectable 16th century comedy…an Etruscan laced tavern-speak whose rhymes predate 50 cent by 5 centuries, a forbidden pre-caprese salad tryst
between an olive curer and a curator of the newly arrived tomato. Mangia!”

–Tim Stark, author of Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer

“Adam Schell’s TOMATO RHAPSODY is a delightful first novel. Full of wry humor and keen observation, it conjures up the sights, the smells, and especially the tastes of a rollicking Renaissance Italy. Grab a fork and dig in!”

–Michael Golding, author of Simple Prayers

“Adam Schell’s TOMATO RHAPSODY is a delicious romance, a succulent romp, a richly synaesthetic and high-lycopene revelry through 16th century Tuscany. Eat and drink heartily of this merry historical meal, and be satisfied.”

–Tara Ison, author of A Child out of Alcatraz

“TOMATO RHAPSODY is one of the most self-assured and confident debuts I’ve ever seen. Adam Schell has written a lyrical, funny and deeply-felt novel that sings off the page. This novel will move and delight you, and when you dive into this wonderful world you won’t want to leave.”

– Leonard Chang, author of Crossings

“Laden with the scandal of earthy delights, TOMATO RHAPSODY is lusty fable of
fateful encounters and triumphant desire, defiance, and destiny. It’s a feast for the senses that reads with delicious page-turning delight.”

–Renée Loux, author of The Balanced Plate, Easy Green Living, and Living Cuisine

“An astonishing debut! Adam Schell touches places inside us that we didn’t know we had.”

– Alan Bradley, author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

“In this debut tale of sundry literary inspirations, Adam Schell traces the fantastic fictional account of how the tomato came to Italy. In pseudo-Shakespearean fashion, Schell introduces a tiny 16th century Tuscan village and its comic, rhyme-speaking residents. Jewish farmer Davido is given a pass by the village priest to bring the tomato to town, but the fruit quickly becomes a catalyst for controversy. Davido becomes the apple of Catholic Mari’s eye, but love appears forbidden, considering her stepfather is overprotective olive mogul and novel villain Giuseppe. The course of true love never did run smooth, and this couple’s desire is no exception.”

–Brian Coulton, Metro News Calgary “Book Pick”

“It’s hard to believe that a rhapsody on tomatoes could be this much fun. Imagine a story set in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany in the 1600s with young star-crossed lovers, exquisite descriptions of food from seed to gestation, a village of characters who speak in rhyme and a profligate Grand Duke who wishes life were simpler, and you are only beginning to understand the magic of Adam Schell’s story.”

–Barbara Lingens, BookLoons

This novel is delightful, peppered with Italian words and rhyme, full of passion, insight, and an explosion of good taste and excitement in the end. It is a feast for the mind that will delight your senses and tickle your funny bone.

–Laura Flaugher, Watermark Books

Told with a strong narrative voice and the lyricism of a libretto, this torrid romance novel contains bawdiness and rhyming speeches of Shakespearean proportions along with tomato fights and riffs about local food. In fact, “Tomato Rhapsody” reads like a fairytale for grown-ups.

Annette Gallagher Weisman, Edible Aspen Magazaine