THE KITCHEN BOOK and THE COOK BOOK by Nicolas Freeling, illustrated by John Lawrence (David Godine: $16.95).

Novelist Nicolas Freeling offers a different kind of Cook's tour in these two classics of gastronomy, both long out of print. "The Kitchen Book" is a droll, informal account of the years the author spent as a chef in various English and Continental hotels, culminating in the wildly mismanaged preparations for a restaurant-cum-nightclub in the Midlands; "The Cook Book" consists of anecdotal recipes for 30 of the simple, hearty dishes he enjoys. Freeling is a delightful raconteur--he's probably a better storyteller than he is a cook, as most of these dishes sound awfully heavy (he can't seem to go near a pot without tossing in some bacon, suet, butter, etc.). However, anyone who likes to cook will enjoy Freeling's witty, straightforward approach to the pleasures of the table.

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