Dead Meat: The Vegan Crime Novel

San Francisco Magazine is publishing a serialized novel that explores the local food scene, says SFist. Robert Beringela has the byline, but apparently this is just a pseudonym for an “anonymous food insider.” All this sounds pretty juicy, but heavy-handed food allusions weigh down the writing. The first chapter, “A Vegan’s Vengeance,” starts out like this:

With his circus-freak physique, yellow summer-squash complexion, and electric shock of blood orange hair, Alfie Falfa had reasons to be angry.

His name, for instance, inflicted on him by hippie parents.

His appearance, for another, a grotesquery he blamed on the polluted well water at the ostrich ranch where he was raised.

Falfa was scarred by witnessing “avian beheadings” as a child, is a vegan-cum-freegan, and drives a “vegetable oil–powered Rabbit” with a celebrity chef bound and gagged in the back. In chapter two, “Goose Chase,” a “weary food writer” joins the search for the missing chef. Clearly, this is meant to be a bit over-the-top.

If it’s too much for your taste, the Chowhounds have plenty of suggestions for other food fiction.