This was a delightful autobiography that I enjoyed from start to finish. The early sections on his childhood are told with a sense of sustained innocent, despite the privations of the second World War. The entire story is told with honesty and humor. Read social commentary is also present-- from a call for more African-Americans as chefs (and a condemnation for our failure in that there aren't more), to the joys of real food and care and joy in it's preparation, to a philosophy on the feeding of children. Reports of his friendships with Julia Child, Howard Johnson, and other important figures are told with affection but also honesty. I was sorry when this book ended!
The title pretty much sums it up. Ralph Cosham does a really commendable job reading the book. This is the first Louise Penny novel I've "read," and I found it to be an intriguing story with writings that at times was beautiful. The appreciate for art and community life in the novel was striking. The main drawback was the really poor audio quality-- every "p" created distortion, the input volume was off, and the whole thing was very shabbily recorded. Which is too bad because it was the only drawback in an otherwise gratifying experience.
As has been noted in previous reviews, the author does not seem to be lacking in self-confident (and self-serving) pronouncements, which I found quite tiresome. The reader of this version does make some rather odd choices in pronunciation and faux-accents. But here's the thing-- once you get past the annoying aspects of this audiobook (and they are many), there's some interesting stuff here told from a perspective which was new to me. While I don't agree with some of the author's political views, I do trust that he understands something about investing and has an interesting economic viewpoint from which he evaluates different countries. As an anthropologist myself, I would have liked to have seen more cultural details and less facile renderings of history and customs. Still, it made me think and learn-- which is always appreciated. You may be better off getting the abridged version however, which is read by the author rather than the hired narrator for the unabridged version.
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