Disappointing that the narrator can't quite transmit the essence of Julia's words. Her French is lacking, which distracts from the story.
Otherwise, a recommended book for any fans of Julia.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a francophile, accompanying Julia as she falls in love with France and the French (even with all of the idiosyncrasies) is a delightful ride. My only regret about this audiobook is the narrator's proficiency in French. Julia uses French words throughout the book--adding quite a bit of flavor to her writing (no pun intended)--but the narrator gets the pronunciation wrong maybe 10 percent of the time, and not-so-great maybe 60 percent of the time. Kind of unimpressive considering the context. But I'd definitely recommend this book.
I was really hoping the other reviewers were being hypercritical... alas, this is not the case, and I am truly flummoxed as to why a book by and about a woman who loved the French culture, language and experience so much was assigned such a narrator. To be fair, although the narrator wisely does not attempt to impersonate Julia's iconic trill, she brings a lot of warmth and personality to Julia's words (in English). She gives the French accent a good go, but hardly with a professional's required attention to detail in handling such beloved material. It is indeed jarring, detracting and disappointing to anyone with even a rudimentary experience of the French language.
A wonderful book, however, and aside from the most cringing mangling of the language of Moliere, enjoyed it tremendously. Any other reader would have earned this 5 stars.
Blue Dome Mimi
This was an endearing book because it was about Julia Child, and I listened with interest throughout. I would just say that her energy and enthusiasm were noticeably missing because she simply waited too long to write it. It's more of an overview than a fully detailed description. Having said that, I'm still glad that I know the story of her life and would listen to this book again.
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
I enjoyed every minute of this well narrated and well written book. It is the basis for the part of the movie Julie/Julia that is based on Julia Child's life and it describes both her love of cooking and the delights of living in France...also the delights of EATING in France. A great recommendation for fans of France or of Julia Child."
This book is a wonderful connection to a fascinating woman and her very exciting, rich life. I learned to cook with Volume 1 and now I feel like I am learning about a friend.
I heartily encourage others to 'read' it.
I agree with those who criticize the narration: while it would be difficult to capture Julia's iconic voice, it absolutely does matter how words are pronounced. I am constantly jarred out of the story by words in French (and even English!) that are mispronounced.
I believe someone who is paid to read aloud should spend some time researching how words are pronounced before beginning the task.
Snobbish? I don't think so. Just asking for competence.
It is not unreasonable to expect that this iconic wonderful woman's book about her life in France should be read with correct French pronounciation. I found the reader's butchering of 'Les Halles' and 'Hermes,' among many others, so distracting, it colored my enjoyment. I still give this five stars, but I think this book would be more enjoyed when read the old fashioned way.
While it was Saturday Night "spoofable" Julia Childs distinctive voice was almost iconic. The narrator for her biography however is stilted and almost shrill. I have tried several times to finish this book and just cannot handle her voice. Too bad. Not a bad accounting of Julia's life.
The only downside to this audiobook is the narrator. Couldn't they find someone who actually spoke French to read the book? Julia Child deserved as much! If you speak French, the narration may drive you crazy. For example, "Louisette" sounded like "Louis VII" and "beurre blanc" became "beurre blanK." Howevever, if you can ignore it, it's a wonderful listen. I learned a great deal about the master and her love for good food, friends, and post-war France.
This narrator is a perfectly fine storyteller...in English. But she mangles the French language so badly [and there's SO MUCH FRENCH in this book] that it's painful to listen to. I cringe every time she turns a beautiful French place name or food into a sound resembling a cat being strangled.
I have endured several hours of this and am enjoying the story, but may have to abandon it and read it in the paper version instead. It's just too painful.