Sourdough has all the ingredients of a truly despicable work of fiction. Novels about food are awful, aren’t they? Especially novels about baking; they’re the absolute worst. Sourdough is not only a kooky satire inspired by that bread they sell for £6.50 down the farmers’ market – it’s set in San Francisco, the smuggest city in the world, with a cast of Tesla-driving techies and Kimchi fetishists and anthropomorphic yeast. Oh, and the book’s author, Robin Sloan, is a former Twitter employee.
But just as it would be churlish to deny that, mmm, £6.50 bread is kind of tasty, so it’s hard to deny that Sloan has an inventive way with a story. Imagine HBO’s Silicon Valley meets Little Shop of Horrors with elements of Greco-Roman hadal mythology and magical realism, all rendered in the easy, chatty tones of chick-lit.