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Under a Mackerel Sky | [Rick Stein]

Under a Mackerel Sky

'All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why’. Rick Stein's childhood in 1950s rural Oxfordshire and North Cornwall was idyllic. His parents were charming and gregarious, their five children much-loved and given freedom typical of the time. As he grew older, the holidays were filled with loud and lively parties in his parents' Cornish barn. But ever-present was the unpredicatible mood of his bipolar father, with Rick frequently the focus of his anger and sadness. When Rick was 18 his father killed himself.
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Publisher's Summary

‘All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why’. Rick Stein's childhood in 1950s rural Oxfordshire and North Cornwall was idyllic. His parents were charming and gregarious, their five children much-loved and given freedom typical of the time. As he grew older, the holidays were filled with loud and lively parties in his parents' Cornish barn. But ever-present was the unpredicatible mood of his bipolar father, with Rick frequently the focus of his anger and sadness.

When Rick was 18 his father killed himself. Emotionally adrift, Rick left for Australia, carrying a suitcase stamped with his father's initials. Manual labour in the outback followed by adventures in America and Mexico toughened up the naive public schoolboy, but at heart he was still lost and unsure what to do with his life. Eventually, Cornwall called him home.

From the entrepreneurial days of his mobile disco, the Purple Tiger, to his first, unlikely unlikely nightclub where much of the time was spent breaking up drink-fuelled fights, Rick charts his personal journey in a way that is both wry and perceptive; engaging and witty. Narrated by Rick Stein himself.

©2013 Rick Stein (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

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  •  
    Kelly SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States 07-07-14
    Kelly SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States 07-07-14 Member Since 2014

    Kelly, Aussie living in Nashville, Employment Specialist, Writer & so on

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    "His life in his voice - what a treat!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under a Mackerel Sky to be better than the print version?

    Yes - I always enjoy his soothing voice


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rick - he is honest about his own shortcomings and misdeeds


    Have you listened to any of Rick Stein’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have the Food heroes of Britain and Seafood Odyssey on DVD, but listening to his life story on audio, as I drove to work was a special treat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughed at some bits, was made very hungry at some of the scrumptious descriptions of food! I was also taken aback at some things, like his father's death, and other unexpected events that were quite shocking!


    Any additional comments?

    Fascinating man and fascinating life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catheryn 07-07-14
    Catheryn 07-07-14
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    "Honest, but tedious and unreflective"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Rick Stein again?

    No


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I found him very honest especially in his discussion of his family and his relationship with his father and also his sexuality. But he displays so little maturity or self awareness, especially in relation to his relationships with women, and the events which comprised his travels. I would have preferred not to have heard this unflattering autobiography.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Ian
    Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom
    11/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Warts and all."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I have no problem recommending this book, It's well written very interesting and Rick is not afraid of highlighting some of his own personal, as he sees them "weaknesses".
    However surprisingly Rick is not a great narrator considering how good he is in front of the TV cameras, but don't let that put you off he get's better as the book progresses.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dillie Bubble
    London, UK
    7/30/14
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    Story
    "Real eye opener into the life of Rick Stein"

    I've watched many of Rick Stein's programmes and I have to say, I couldn't have been more wrong about the man I thought he was. I won't ruin the book by writing too much, just listen to it and make your own opinion.

    Well read and on the whole, interesting to listen to, even if you end up with a very different view of the man in the end.

    Take home message for me: Anyone can do anything if you've got the bottle to have a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R J Clayton
    7/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Biography or list of sexual conquests?"
    Would you try another book written by Rick Stein or narrated by Rick Stein?

    No I don't think so.
    His narration is quite flat.


    Has Under a Mackerel Sky put you off other books in this genre?

    No


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Rick Stein?

    I don't really know. It is usually best if the writer also narrates but sadly Rick Stein is not that good at the latter.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Under a Mackerel Sky?

    All the boring descriptions of his many sexual conquests and the details of the clothes the girls wore and the music they listened to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pete
    Hampshire England
    7/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reminds of my childhood"
    If you could sum up Under a Mackerel Sky in three words, what would they be?

    Can't do this in three so...This is a really good listen although i was a little unsure in the beginning as Rick is not the best narrator in the world but then who is? His life is full of ups and downs and he pulls no punches ,is honest and to the point. All in all a good listen and if you and a childhood of dens and secret escapes then this is for you.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the travel stories and adventure and the troubles of opening a resturant and meeting my long time hero Keith Floyd .


    What does Rick Stein bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I don't have time to read as i have other hobbies and like to stay active so i listen on the go the read is probably as good but i will never know!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes I did laugh but with Rick not at him


    Any additional comments?

    well worth getting if you biographies .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barbara
    HOGNASTON, United Kingdom
    12/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Know the man behind the food."
    What did you like most about Under a Mackerel Sky?

    Rick Stein has a very gentle and pleasing voice making Under a Mackerel Sky an easy listen.

    He bares open his life which makes him far more 'human' than many celebrities. Rick begins with his early life in the family, his ups and downs his teenager, his relationships, his young adult life with his band and how he fell into becoming a cook and how ultimately food and its complex flavours and preparation made him the chef and businessman the country is so proud of.

    He touches on some of the wines and countries that have influenced him, hours he's readily given to the business and his utter love for life and it's conservation.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Under a Mackerel Sky?

    His description of favours of individual foods and how simple ingredients put together can make a masterpiece. How decor can enhance the experience.


    Which character – as performed by Rick Stein – was your favourite?

    Chalky! what a large part the love of a small dog can enhance our characters as humans.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The death of his father.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have like to hear more about the food and less about the band.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • stella
    Nottingham, United Kingdom
    12/10/13
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    Story
    "Always liked Rick Stein, like him even more now!"
    Where does Under a Mackerel Sky rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's the only autobiography I've read/listened to, and so it has to be the best :)


    What did you like best about this story?

    Rick has a real go get it attitude and that's how he's built up his business just by seizing opportunities and not letting his failures curb his enthusiasm


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I have always thought that his French Odyssey adventure was one of his best and getting an insight into this and realising that most of what we saw was actually how it happened was really good, and him admitting to really enjoying it himself too.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    After his ' bad choice' that led to a car crash, don't want to spoil it , but it is good to learn from our mistakes and feel humbled by them.


    Any additional comments?

    Never been tempted to read/listen to any biographies, but after this I Will definitely be trying another one :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Hayes
    11/20/13
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    Story
    "Excellent, readable and enjoyed it very much!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under a Mackerel Sky to be better than the print version?

    Not sure as I have not read the printed version, but Rick does OK with the voice over, not great, but OK!


    What other book might you compare Under a Mackerel Sky to, and why?

    This is a difficult question and not relevant - You should think of a better question.


    Have you listened to any of Rick Stein’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No and again I don't think he has ever done another audible - has he?


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Too be honest Rick comes across as a vulnerable individual that always seemed to be searching for something - maybe he has found it with the new wife (Not so new now)


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed the listen and it is a good story. You can't build a business without being a bit ruthless and this does come across, on the other hand he does have a softer side, maybe women find that more then men, but I get the feeling he would be a good mate and fun to have a pint with - another one for my people to have to dinner plan!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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