Food writing is an art, and Ruth Reichl has mastered it. A fascinating look behind the scenes of a career that most of us just dream about - the food critic. Read by Ms. Reichl, this book will keep you listening from the very first word and sad once it ends. Eating out will never be the same! The undertone of the book will have you thinking about exactly what message you're sending every time you get dressed in the morning. Well worth the ride!
This book is a wonderful, insider's romp through culinary New York with someone who obviously loves food, people and writing.
However, this book is not just about the staff at trendy restaurants and how Ruth manages to fool them all in her myriad get-ups. Reichl possesses a sly humor that is at once critical and compassionate. Reichl considers the snap judgments made by those staffers, and by people in general, and the effects of making assumptions, and basing the treatment of others on mere appearance. She has the courage to share with the reader/listener HER reactions to the characters she creates and how inhabiting them changes her, for better and worse.
I liked the book; my family hated it. We listened on a car trip, and husband and sons finaly made me listen on headphones by myself. If you are appreciative of fine restaurants and expensive food and wine, and can appreciate exotic dishes and ingredients, you will probably enjoy this book. I was disappointed that the recited recipes weren't a bit more interesting (vanilla cake? c'mon! boring!). Personally, I didn't find the whole "queen-of-disguises" bit all that entertaining, although it did shed some true light on how one's appearance can impact how one is treated in public - especially in a place like NYC.
The highlight of the book for me was the reading by Bernadette Dunne. This is my second listen with her, and she continues to be at the top of my list.
Ruth Reichl interweaves behind-the-scenes views of restaurant journalism and intriguing receipes with family insights and honest introspection. A well-written, well-read story that kept me hungry for more!
This gets 5 stars from me, and for good reason. The book is a great read and is my favorite audiobook so far. The author's humble attitude toward food, critiquing restaurants, and her career choices is inviting and welcoming to the reader. Her recounting cooking in a Berkeley commune fondly brought me back to my own experience learning to cook in a Berkeley co-op - especially how cooking is more pleasurable done in a community, with plenty of people in the kitchen. The reader adds a delicious flavor with her voice and character accents. I found myself racing through this audiobook on my daily commute, even enjoying hearing the details of the recipes I would never have the patience to copy down to cook. Ruth, thanks for a great book and Bernadette, kudos to the great reading!
Get on the stair climber or treadmill with this book and you'll never get off. It's totally absorbing and I didn't want it to end.
This book is fantastic! It's entertaining from start to finish. I've long been a fan of Ruth Reichl in print, and the audio book gives her writing added life. The story is great, the narrator is just about perfect, and you'll frequently find yourself hungry. The ONLY drawback is that she peppers the book with recipes - that's the one part it would be preferable to have in print.
The combination of the author's welcoming prose and the narrator's friendly and familiar voice (do I know her?) makes this a pleasure for all senses from beginning to end. All senses? Yes! You can see, smell and taste each dish as it is described (including the feel of the texture and the sound of the bite), and instead of feeling hungry, you feel sated as I if you, yourself, were dining with the author. Equally described is each individual human character and situation, assuring you that the author is as comfortable in describing them as any dish with shaved truffles. Ms. Reichl doesn't shy away from presenting her own foibles. In one scene I found myself truly disliking her, only to discover, a few paragraphs later, that her husband is chiding her for the same behavior. I would love to say to the author - and the narrator - let's have lunch!
This book was a real treat. Ruth Reichl's descriptions of both food and settings are mouth-watering. Her attempts at disguise and her alter egos are both hilarious and poignant, and the narration was excellent.