By Charles Rammelkamp
Jennifer Juneau’s debut novel is a real riot. A mash-up of reality television shows – principally cooking competitions a la Gordon Ramsey, but with a nod to Survivor as well as disaster movies – the novel also confronts the eternal questions, does art imitate life, does life imitate art, does art imitate art imitating life… or, more succinctly, what is reality? The possibilities seem reflected endlessly back on one another as in a funhouse mirror. Indeed, the fun, zany plot of ÜBERCHEF USA is exactly like being caught in a funhouse mirror!
Related in the first person by one of the contestants, Greta Gupenheimer, the novel is told in twelve “episodes,” as befits a TV show. In the first, the audition, Greta explains her motivation to Maggie, a waitress at the Corner Diner. Friendless, obviously viewing the other contestants as competition, Greta comes to regard Maggie as…
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