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Publisher's Summary

Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens. Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon whose statuesque height and warmly enthused warble have become synonymous with the art of cooking. In this biography, Fitch takes us through her life from her exuberant youth as a high-spirited California girl to her years at Smith College, where Julia was at the center of every prank and party, to her volunteer work with the OSS and to her meeting Paul Child, the man who introduced her to the glories of art, fine French cuisine, and love. A biography of a woman modern before her time, this is the story of a truly American life.
©1997 by Noël Riley Fitch; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks

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Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    18
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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If You Think You Know Julia Child, You Don't ...

What did you like best about this story?

The depth of the author's research. The Julia Child most everyone knows is perhaps one-tenth of who the woman was and the life she led. For someone who considered herself a late-bloomer, she packed more lives than most into the life she had.

What three words best describe Nadia May’s voice?

Completely Wrong Here

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it was hard to stop and I found myself anxious to continue when I had to.

Any additional comments?

Whoever chose Nadia May and her English voice to narrate the story of Julia Child must have been smoking crack. She's completely wrong, and her mispronunciation of so many commonly known American words, businesses, and food personalities' names is annoying. The mangling never stops, from Ruth Reichl to Spago and on and on and on and on. She's worth putting up for because the story (and depth of the research) is so compelling, but many others would have been better choices.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sheri
  • LOS ANGELES, CA, United States
  • 11-22-07

Good book, bad sound

The book is comprehensive and well-written. The narrator does a very good job too. My complaint is with the audio quality of this book - it's almost the worst I've experienced in all my several years as a listener. The voice is sometimes muffled, then there a "zip" sound and it's as if the narrator has stepped out of a closet briefly, then "zip" and she's in an echoey bathroom. The sound is never as good as other audiobooks. Hopefully this won't prevent your enjoyment of the book, but it IS distracting.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

More than I wanted to know

Julia's life is indeed interesting. I was overwhelmed with the descriptions of food preparation, dinner party guests and other details bogging down the story. This book is one that could use a good abridgement.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Inspirations from a legend.

Yes, this audio book is long. But how can anyone possibly abridge the life of this legend? She's my hero, a person who was an independent female before the word feminist was coined. This audio is the kind you would listen to in segments over a few months and maybe come back to listen to over the years. It is very detailed and long, but she's had a very interesting and long life. To anyone she's inspired, famous or not, this barely touches the phenomenon we've known as Julia Child. It's worth listening to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ruth
  • Upper Marlboro, MD, United States
  • 08-23-11

pretty good book - terrible, awful recording

This book starts out well, but by the end I was bored and I LOVE Julia Child. Part of the problem is that the recording is really awful. The volume is inconsistent and my ipod kept thinking that it had reached the end of the book and would continue to the next book. This would require me to go back and then fast-forward to where I ended. I guess I just got sick of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fascinating, though a little long-winded

A wonderful insight into the background and makings of our friend, Julia. But I, who insist on only unabridged versions of books, wish this had been a bit shorter. The lengthy descriptions of Julia's grandparents and great-parents was of limited benefit later on.

All in all, though, a fascinating insight into this great, boundary-busting grande dame.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Judith
  • getzville, NY, USA
  • 03-26-03

Julia is wonderful

It's a treat to get to know the young Julia, a charming person liked by all. And to watch her career emerge. The reader's British accent is perfect for lending gravity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Compelling read

If you could sum up Appetite for Life in three words, what would they be?

Every Executive should be compelled to read this book. Even if they don't relate to the marvellous contents, the work ethic it describes, the dedication to beliefs, the altruism, the commitment and the partnership that this book has in bucketsful couldn't help but develop anyone. <br/><br/>I love the dedication to food, the Childs' dedication to each other, their dedication to work, and their spirit, the biographer captured it all.

What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?

Nadia May is always a delight to listen to, her voice is calm and soothing and her pronunciation is always excellent, and none of the French in the book phased her at all.

Any additional comments?

This is a read no one will regret.

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Kingsport, TN, United States
  • 05-22-11

Really enjoyed this!

All I knew about Julia Child came from the movie Julie and Julia and from Julia Child's wonderful memoir, My Life in France. I was a little daunted by the length of this book and also some of the reviews, but it was a truly well-written biography and well worth the time spent listening. I was fascinated by the behind the scenes of making the television shows, and by all the work involved in producing *all* the books, not just Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The narrator was superb.

  • Overall

An Important American History Story

Julia Child was in her lifetime, and in this book, an inspiration for living and being free, confident, engaged and fully richly self-expressed. She is not given her due as the transformational force in the quality of life of the people of the United States. Her conviction, tenacity and unbridled enthusiasm and passion for her principles of good dining being fundamentally an integral and essential part of good living, and neither being exclusive to high society, but rather accessible to anyone who desires to live a full and healthy life is contagious and a treasure well expressed in this work. She is a model American hero. I may not agree with her every political opinion but I respect her integrity and esteem for individuals and common sense, and her irrepressible passion for joyful living. Appetite for Life is the perfect name for a book that spans her life, and gives the reader a fun and interesting travel through a period of history that rode the wave to the height of the industrial boom in the U.S. and ushered in the computer age. She adapted and though it all never lost sight of her identity and her purpose. We would be a better world if she were part of every American's study of U.S. History. Her story is edifying and delightful! Bon Appetite!