Hilarious, irreverent, and mouthwatering, Toast captures 30 years of British cooking and the recipes that we have grown up with since the days when a grilled grapefruit was the last word in dinner party chic. Everyone has gorged on cake mix, endured disastrous dinner parties, and put up with the loved one who can only ever produce burnt toast. Nigel Slater is no different.
Hair-raising accounts of hotels modeled on Fawlty Towers, the mystery of the disappearing condom and the seafood cocktail, and many more, take readers behind the scenes of British cuisine to reveal the unlikely origins of our foremost cook.
©2003 Nigel Slater; (P)2004 HarperCollins UK
"Moving, funny, and finely crafted, this is a true gem." (Independent)
"[Toast] achieves a remarkable freshness...and [Nigel Slater] also reveals a gift for doleful, Alan Bennet-like comedy." (The Guardian)
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"Good book aweful quality recording"
A book that conjures up memories of childhood - poignant and moving at times with comic turns - Slater narrates well but the recording (even when downloaded using highest quality), is appalling and sounds like someone has recorded it an their mobile phone. Gets a 4 for content but a 2 for quality.
A real delight. Nigel Slater is the perfect narrator - his humourous, wry and self-deprecating style instantly engages. This warm, funny, yet heart-wrenching memoir is a hugely entertaining and satisfying listen, especially for anyone nostalgic for Angel Delight and Bourbon biscuits.
"A moving autobiography leavened by humour"
I found it difficult to give a star-rating to this book: Nigel Slater's writing and reading of his book merit five stars, however I found his understandable bitterness about his unhappy childhood moving, but also unsettling in that it felt as if I was listening to a patient speaking to a therapist. I hope he found this candid exposure of his feelings and sexual experiences cathartic. I'm glad I've read his Kitchen Diaries book so that I know he has found contentment in his later life. I hope he writes the next part of his autobiography.
His memories of food in the 1950s and 60s made this 50 something chuckle with recognition! The descriptions of his developing interest in good food and acquiring his cooking skills are a pleasure to hear about and give an insight into how his easy-going style of cookery evolved and how genuine his delight in producing enjoyable food for himself and other people.
"Great Book Shame About the Audio"
I would have given it a 4/5 but for the muffled audio (even at best quality). The content is brilliant - I am a real Slater fan so this comes as no surprise - but I found it hard to lose myself in his vivid imagery because of the annoyingly bad recording. How frustrating. Still, it is an engaging listen. BTW although a foodie book it's not really about food - if you are looking for one of those he's written plenty of others.
"A Real Feast"
Nigel Slater's warm and funny autobiography is a real joy. Initally I was worried that the food theme would become waring and annoying. It did not as it acts as punctuation to the events that shaped his young life. At times hilarious and at others very sad Slater is very honest about some events that others would write out of their own life story. Throughly recommended, the only reason I give it 4 stars is because I'm hoping to encourage a sequel.
"Love this read by Nigel Slater"
I think its an added bonus to have Nigel Slater read his own memoir. He brings it alive and we fully enter into his childhood and connect with his memories triggered by food - foods which date us - like tinned steak and kidney pies! It's a moving and beautifully read book which made me want to follow Slater's culinery work but before listening I knew little about him and was solely attracted by the concept of the memoir.
It uses food to trigger memory - good and bad memories - and allows us to re-imagine our own childhood through those triggers. His memory of his Mother's 'bad' cooking - her burnt toast - and his description of his loneliness as a child works extremely well.
He reads his own words with life and colour. You believe him when he relives his childhood and his horror of eggs and his father's battle to get him to 'man' up and eat them. Slater writes and reads well and memoirs are particularly well served by the author reading them.
Toast works well for me! It's used with impact in the book.
"bad food and inappropriate sexual exposures"
Nigel Slater's book is honest, gripping and informative. It is also very dark - with tales of the mediocre food he ate, the dysfunctional relationships of his family and the sexual abuse / exposure he experienced as a child. This story is less about food and the passion that Slater developed for making it, but rather about a dysfunctional childhood ... as remembered through individual dishes (that were mostly very bad tasting).
Would not recommend.
"Very enjoyable and nostaglic"
Nigel captures childhood moments and growing up through vivid descriptions of food.
Perfectly read by Nigel to capture his obsession with food
Some sad and funny moments and some awful cooks
Even if you don?t like cooking very much, Slater?s passion for food comes across in every chapter, as does his love for his mother despite her appalling cooking. For some reason I?d got it into my head that the book was about an underprivileged boy who doesn?t have enough to eat ? but it?s not that ? it?s about a yearning for the love and comfort of home. I thoroughly recommend this book whether you like cookery or not. Slater reads the text himself and this is what makes the story so moving.
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