Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2016 Issue

The Perfect Gift Book: 99 Versions of Gooey Buttercake

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The one and only one-recipe cookbook.

If you are looking for a book to give to someone you care about, but not so much that you want to spend a lot of money on them, we have discovered the perfect book. It is cheap ($12.95), useful (a cookbook), and collectible. We know it's collectible because the author says so. Who knows a book's attributes better than its author?

 

The author, Linda A. Massey, was kind enough to tell us about her book, which she would like all of us to buy. The title is Linda's Gooey Buttercake, subtitled The only cookbook in the world with just one recipe. She admits to not having fact-checked that claim and requests you not fact-check it either. Nevertheless, supposedly being the only cookbook in the world with just one recipe, it quite obviously will be collectible.

 

If you think that one recipe is insufficient for a cookbook, it does contain 99 variations of this one gooey buttercake. I'm not sure how she does that since it only contains five ingredients, but it is all explained in the book.

 

Ms. Massey assures us that the cake is very easy to make and delicious to eat. I can't personally vouch for this as I do not cook. Having made a living in front of a computer, I don't know how to actually do anything. However, we do have the author's word, plus the fact that she has published this claim on the internet. As she rightly points out, "everything you find on the internet is true." You will find many more claims about these buttercakes on her website, all with the Internet Seal of Veracity.

 

Speaking of her website, you must pay it a visit. As she explains, it is her first website, and "I have no idea what I'm doing." Basically, it consists of a plaid-like background on which she has pasted a nine-page Word document. It must have cost less to make the website than it costs to buy a copy of her book. What's more, it is far more entertaining and easy to follow than most websites that cost millions of dollars to make, and end up crammed with pop-ups, headlines and everything else confusing and annoying.

 

It is basically a stream of consciousness novel. Just for the record, that's what James Joyce did with Ulysses and today that book sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe you'll want to reconsider your initial reaction to her claim that Linda's Gooey Buttercake is collectible. It could be a good investment even if you don't read the book. How many people actually read Ulysses?

 

Unfortunately, Ms. Massey is unable to provide a sample recipe to test before you buy. As she points out, you can't provide a sample recipe if there is only one in the book. The opportunity for cheating is as tasty as the buttercake. Therefore, you need to buy it. So go to her website, and when you do, you will want to buy it. She will convince you, if not for the $12.95 worth of entertainment the site provides, than for her plaintive cry, "Please buy it!" For less than the price of one of those fruitcakes you know your friends will never eat, you can give a lifetime of gooey buttercakes that are "very delicious to eat." And keep one for yourself, because, "every time you eat a Linda's Gooey Buttercake you will thank me."

 

Go to her website. Now. Here's a link: Gooey99.com

Rare Book Monthly

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