I read this because it was recommended by a good friend. I am not into the chef/restaurant/foodie scene at all, and so expected not to like this. I was pleasantly surprised. This woman's life is simply an entertaining story even if you're not that into the food parts, and the food-related parts are surprisingly "accessible" (I don't really cook but didn't feel like anything was over my head).
The book unfortunately takes a nosedive in the final part of the story, where the focus is on marital discord and the resulting bitterness. But the parts before that make listening to this book worth it.
Considering she's a chef, and not a professional audiobook narrator, Hamilton does a respectable job.
I've heard Gabrielle Hamilton speak. I've heard her tell stories, swear and chat with cooks. My experience with book seems to be quite at odds with other reviewers. I found the story itself boring, with odd turns of phrase that might have been illuminated by a quality author narration. I did not find the narration helped the poor story along at all.
LIstening to Anthony Bourdain talk about Gabrielle and about how she should write a book and how great it would be was far more entertaining and endearing than the actual product.
To have a good chuckle.
There are many- the overall feel of the truth of the story is the most memorable.
Her voice carries her feelings that simply reading the book could not convey.
Excellent book. I first became aware of G. Hamilton while listening to The Splendid Table. She has such a genuine personality, accepts herself as she is and only wants the "real thing" from everyone else in return. This book, and the author, offer a realness that is not usually found because few people have the courage to share it.
More than bargained for...
This is the best chef's memoir I've ever read, and I've read a few. It actually ranks high among memoirs in general for me, not just those related to the culinary world. I found the story of her life and work fascinating. Gabrielle Hamilton's voice took a little getting used to, it's not quite monotone, but a little flat.
The non-plussed attitude of the author bothered me at first, but I fell into a fascinating story. Some memoirs are boring - this one worked for me.
Protagonist rallied repeatedly from difficult situations, always remembering the things that mattered most to her from her childhood and family (mother particularly). The fact that the happiness came full circle over many years gave a satisfying summary.
Her experiences while working in the summer camp, and the misplaced trust in the other counselors. Least interesting - overly detailed description of too many aspects of the journey.
No....because her reaction to almost every event was "that's the way it is" there was no one major "turning point" event, unless it was the divorce of the parents, or the description of the dead rat in the stairway behind the restaurant, that gave the book a suspenseful or extreme character.
Not a genre that I generally read, but it was touching in an indefinable way, and good to see that it finally had a satisfying resolution.
I read BB & B for my book club, & I don't know that I'd recommend it. As narrator I thought she sounded dull at times, and I really could have done without all the "F" words. I don't think I'd want to hang out with Gabrielle, but this is her story, who am I to judge? It was interesting to see how life experiences shaped the girl into the woman, she had to fend for herself from her early teens, and she did, she worked hard, I admire that. She's an independent kind of woman and has done something with her life. Serving food, to hungry people. I admire that too.
Some parts of the book were slow and a bit tedious, but others were entertaining. The story was not compelling to me.
Never listened to one before.
I wouldn't be interested in the movie.
Addicted to books in all forms.
Although at first I felt that the book would have been better with a professional narrator, by the end of the book I was glad that Hamilton had done it herself. She does an adequate job at first and an excellent one by the end. What I particularity loved about this book was that I felt like I was drawn into a person's life - the good, the bad and the ugly. Hamilton can write, and once she has you she does not let you go. Food dominates, but it is tied up with love, work, community and commitment. There is no part of her life that Hamilton shies away from and the result is a book that is brutally honest and just plain wonderful.
Hamilton learned her chef-ing from sources hither and yon. She soaked up her information by osmosis, trial, and error. This book is about those trials and errors, triumphs and...maybe not tragedies, more like mishaps.
Hamilton does a great job reading her own book, too.