The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Prawn Cracker

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Prawn Cracker
The Unbearable Lightness of Being A Prawn Cracker Book Cover.jpg
AuthorWill Self
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesPenguin Specials
Publication date
United Kingdom
01 February 2012

The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Prawn Cracker is a collection of Will Self's Real Meals column for the New Statesman. Covering such things as London Cheesecake, Pizza Express, ready meals and fast food cuisine. The title is a play on Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being.


The collection of columns covers a variety of non-traditional culinary experiences to provide a counterpoint to the more idealistic style of food reviewing. Self's stated aim for the column was as follows:

Most food writing and restaurant criticism is concerned with the ideal, with how by cooking this, or dining there, you can somehow ingurgitate a new - or at any rate improved - social, aesthetic and even spiritual persona. I aimed to turn this proposition on its head, and instead of commenting on where and what people would ideally like to eat I would consider where and what they actually did: the ready meals, buffet snacks and - most importantly - fast food that millions of Britons chomp upon in the go-round of their often hurried and dyspeptic lives.[1]


Benedicte Page writing for The Guardian observed...

" sees Self take an entertaining trip around the less celebrated of our eateries while dissecting his own fast-food addictions."[2]


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