The definitive biography of Julia Child - with access to Julia's diaries and letters - written by the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed The Beatles and timed to Julia's 100th birthday.
From Pasadena to Cambridge to New York, Washington, D.C., India, Ceylon, Paris, Marseilles, Santa Barbara, and Maine, Bob Spitz re-creates an extraordinary life. He takes us beyond the image of Julia as the tall, eccentric woman with a funny voice who taught America how to cook, to establish her as a genuine rebel and beloved icon, a woman who redefined herself in middle age, helped to change the role of women in America, set the standard for how to create a public personality in the modern media world, and altered the way America eats and thinks of food. There might not be a Food Network or even a PBS if Julia had not blazed the trail.
Spitz chronicles Julia's friendships, her struggles, her heartwarming romance with Paul, and of course, the story of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her triumphant TV career. A thorough, surprising, affectionate, and extraordinarily entertaining account of a truly remarkable life.
©2012 Bob Spitz (P)2012 Random House Audio
This lovely biography brings to life the personal and professional persona of Julia. She was a great teacher as well as a great chef. How she got to be that way is a fascinating story.
This book lays it all out with wit and charm.
This tops the list. Julia was remarkable. I wish I had known her.
She did a great job in all aspects.
Yes, but impossible given it is 25 hrs long!
A truly great "read".
Graphic Designer. Culinary Enthusiast. Mostly User Friendly.
Having only read "Julie and Julia" and "As Always, Julia," this was my first full biography of Julia Child. I loved it. It was very detailed and covered her entire life, and I feel like I have a much better idea of who Julia was as a person rather than who she was as a persona.
I also enjoyed the narrative by Kimberly Farr, and while the book was long, I never found it boring.
Julia led an interesting life. Her journey is worth listening to.
Maybe. There were a couple of things I would have liked better about the book that wasn't there. Such as, Julia had a wicked sense of humor, I wish that I could have heard more stories about that part of her personality.
Also, I felt there was too much time spent on talking about the meals. I know she was known for her cooking, but after a while I felt like "enough already". Especially since the book was so long to begin with.
I've never listened to Kimberly Farr, but I was very please with her performance. She provided enough of the "Julia voice" to make it feel like it was really her...but not so much that it could be grating. I love Julia, but I wouldn't want to listen to her voice the whole time.
Keep looking and you'll find your destiny.
It was worth my time.
Having become addicted to the movie Julie & Julie, when I saw this I knew it was a must read. I love to cook but don't do much anymore, not much into cookbooks or fine dining, and never really was a fan of the only side of Julia Child I ever knew - the TV cook show persona but now, well into the second third of this book, I wish I had paid more attention to those cooking shows of hers. A delightful book about a delightful woman, The reader Kim Farr at times, either intentionally or naturally, hits that quirky falsetto voice of Julia and reads so well that I seldom even think about the voice but can picture Julia moving along in her life, getting to know her family, what an adventuresome woman she was for her time, seeing her in a kitchen, taking classes with GIs at the Le Cordon Bleu, her personal and spiritual growth through her life, etc, much gleaned from correspondence between Julia and others and Julia's husband, Paul Child, and his brother. A passing reference was made to a prior biography, which I might attempt to locate after finishing with this one. And finish every word I will and with great pleasure.
Easier to get through than the book. Jucier than the movie "Julia and ..."
Julia, of course is the favorite. Too charming and straight forward to keep in France.
Enough like Julia's voice to be "authentic", but easier on the ear.
Cooking, swearing and laughting are three good courses. Makes it easier to understand and appreciate a good cook and a good cookbook.
So good it will make you hungry.
This is one of the better audiobooks, given the fact that I listened to every minute of it.
Many examples of her perseverance...years to finish the cookbooks, the book tours and fund raisers into her 80s were most impressive.
Pacing was good, as was her attention to correct pronunciation of non-English terms.
The book repeats itself in places, but overall it's an interesting story of a life full of variety. I also liked that the author explained the historical context of the times that influenced Julia's choices (or lack thereof). We also get to see a side of Julia Child that one never saw on the "French Chef", i.e. her penchant for risqué comments.
No. Once is enough. That's not a bad thing. I rarely listen to audio books twice. I might buy the book in print or electronic to read parts of it again, but would not listed again.
Julia Child's challenges to keep an active career while caring for her husband as his health failed.
The narrator was far too animated with exaggerated vocal highs and lows and accents in all the wrong places. This was particularly jarring when she had to speak Julia's voice. She gave Julia a high-pitched, fast-paced whiny tone. Julia Child did have a unique voice but it was neither fast nor whiny. You can find dozens of videos of Julia Child online and Kimberly Farr's imitation sounds nothing like the real thing.
Farr also has a tendency when reading lists of things (ingredients in a dish, restaurant names, dinne party guests) to accelerate the pace and increase the tone as she reads. This got very tiring to listen to.
I think I laughed in some spots, but I can't remember.
The story itself is a little over the top. For example, Spitz has a tendency to over-dramatize instances that most people who lived through them know were more mundane. His use of exaggerated metaphor is also overdone, like when he calls someone "more connected than an IBM mainframe."
I absolutely loved the movie 'Julie and Julia' and having seen it made this book more interesting; however, if you haven't seen it, this book will probably feel like a complete sleeper to you, The narrator did a great job of the French pronunciations here, but as for the written story itself, it's a bit boring. Would love to hear Julia's opinion of her life story, and although gone, she will not be forgotten! (Neither will Paul!)
Her French was very well spoken, and I loved when she would throw her voice to sound like Julia!
Not really. Only buy "Mastering...." to have on hand.
A little dissappointed, but nontheless, glad I listened to it.
An excellent narrative of Julia Child's life. I started to understand her passion, care and her forward thinking ways. The history of Pasadena was well done. The various anecdotes were shared brilliantly. I now understand why she did not like the book 'Julia and Julie'. That author played at cooking while not perfecting the process! Julie did not do her homework on Julia or Julia's cooking. Dearie is an excellent book and one I will not forget anytime soon.
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