Two things: the fact that Joe narrates and how he goes through the restaurant business model in just two pages with a very simple "this is how it has to be".
Well... Joe, even if I found the narcoleptic chef quite endearing.
His epic trip to Rome. As a Roman, I can vouch for his description as being absolutely authentic. Loved it.
It made me miss my family in Italy.
Joe does a great job describing his Italian influences. Most of the times, when I consume american entertainment about Italy I end up cringing through the whole experience. Movies never seem to get words and accents right, and books make idiotic assumptions. Joe instead nails it in describing Italy with a total "no BS" attitude. I can only criticize very few of his enounciations (e.g. "Testaccio" is pronounced "Testach-cheo" not "Testakkyo") - but other than that, he's 5 stars authentic :)
Its a University course, so no print version - and the audio version is awesome.
Many great moments, especially the various debunkings of myths everybody holds about the middle ages. I loved the chapter on the Plague, and how its consequences are explained both in a socio-cultural way and an economic way.
Clear, compelling, energetic. If I could go back to school, I'd love to learn from her.
Its a bit long for one sitting, but I've listened to it for hours in a row.
If you like Prof. Drout's courses from the Modern Scholar, you will love this course.
It is an extremely compelling, entertaining and inspiring story. It will show how many years of hard work go into "turning into a overnight sensation." It will, however, make you want to swear a lot more (and possibly adopt a British accent).
Goes well together with Bastianich's "Restaurant Man." Get a chef's POV from one end, get the wine-guru/businessman flair on the other.
Gordon (Obviously). He is pretty much the only one.
Gordon has had to cope with many failures and difficult moments. I was honestly moved by how he appears to have taken each one on, as painful as it must have been to go through each one of them.
I coughed juice from my nose when Gordon refers to how much "Yanks" use their lawyers as their moms... "They go crying to them".Also, reader discretion is advised. Apart from a lot of F bombs (and some more "Harry Potterish" insults in use in the UK) Ramsay constantly wants to use kitchenware and food to deliver impromptu "sideways" colonoscopies to people who anger him in the kitchen.
Brandon Sanderson manages to create worlds and complex story lines in (only) one book, where most authors need 3 books or more to even get things started. You might discount the fact that Elantris is a story contained within one only book, but very few are the authors that can "setup" and then "tie down" a lot of complex details and story lines with Sanderson's elegance. His ability to "cut out the fluff" while still creating wonderful fantasy worlds is unmatched.
Read Elantris if you want to be immersed in a great plot, with wonderful characters and well though out magical philosophy. Read Elantris if you want the end of the book to be the end of the story...and not have to wait years for the latter.
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