Those on the competition barbecue circuit would tell you what they've seen could fill quite a new novels. It turns out local barbecue authority Doug Worgul thought the same thing.
Worgul is scheduled to read from his novel, Thin Blue Smoke, a tale of love and loss with a healthy slice of barbecue thrown in for seasoning, tonight at the Central Branch (14 W. 10th St.) of the Kansas City Public Library at 6:30. And in order to get the audience in the proper mood, barbecue from Oklahoma Joe's will be at the reception.
The story revolves around a fictional barbecue joint called Smoke Meat run by a former Kansas City Athletics player. In Thin Blue Smoke, Worgul delves into the spiritual side of barbecue, as he explains on this interview at PanMacmillan: The title also refers to the thin blue smoke that comes from incense burned in worship, which symbolizes prayers going up to God.
The book is set in Kansas City, which is famous for its barbecue, which is a theme in the story. When you make barbecue, you want your fire to produce a nice thin blue smoke. If your fire is making heavy white smoke, your barbecue won't taste good. It's the thin blue smoke that makes it sweet.Worgul sees how barbecue can be a symbol for something more than an evening spent with a smoker. And readers of Thin Blue Smoke will likely come to the same conclusion.
The reception begins at 6 p.m. and the program starts a half hour later. You can still reserve a seat at kclibrary.org or by calling 816-701-3407. Admission is free.
The title also refers to the thin blue smoke that comes from incense burned in worship, which symbolizes prayers going up to God.