This book is endlessly fascinating. Amanda Foreman takes a unique approach not only in her focus on the role of the British government and British subjects, but also in her treatment of American participants, both famous and obscure. The the breadth and volume of research is stunning, and Foreman distills it down to beautiful and insightful prose. I've read about the Civil War for years, and didn't think there was much new to learn - boy was I wrong. Foreman is well served by the narrator. A real treat.
This is a beautiful memoir by a remarkable man. Yes, Chef addresses the areas that most other "celebrity chef" autobiographies hit - the discovery of flavors, the rigors of the professional kitchen, etc. What distinguishes this book is its heart - it's like a love letter to his family, to his craft, and to his community. And definitely an example of a book where the reading by the author makes the audio experience far richer than reading the text.
Listening to Ron Chernow's excellent biography of Washington prompted a desire to learn/recall more about the loyalists during the American Revolution. The content here is interesting - but the narration is poor to the point of distraction, and impedes the continuity of the book. Very disappointing - especially after the outstanding narration of the Washington audiobook.
I read this book several years ago, along with its successor "The Soul of a Chef" - thoroughly enjoyed both, have recommended them to friends, and purchased several as gifts. What a disappointment to hear the audio version. This narrator is TERRIBLE - there are awkward pasues throughout the narration, and inexcusable mispronunciations of basic cooking terms and place names (Barnard College pronounced as "Bernard" eg) For a book that so passionately conveys the pursuit of perfection, its a shame that the narrator didn't bother to do minimal homework. Read the books, skip this audio. And a note to Mr. Ruhlman: if "Soul of a Chef" is going to be made into an audiobook, please narrate it yourself or get a food professional to do it.
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