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Publisher's Summary

Tender at the Bone is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by unforgettable people, the love of tales well-told, and a passion for food. In other words, the stuff of the best literature. The journey begins with Reichl's mother, the notorious food-poisoner known forevermore as the Queen of Mold, and moves on to the fabled Mrs. Peavey, one-time Baltimore socialite millionairess, and, for a brief but poignant moment, retained as Reichl's maid. Then we are introduced to Monsieur du Croix, the gourmand, who so understood and stood somewhat in awe of this prodigious child at his dinner table that when he introduced Ruth to the soufflé, he could only exclaim, "What a pleasure to watch a child eat her first soufflé!" Then, fast forward to the politically correct table set in Berkeley in the 1970s, and the food revolution that Ruth watched and participated in as organic became the norm. But this sampling doesn't do this character-rich work justice. And, after all, this is just a taste.
©1998 Ruth Reichl (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    123
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    91
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    33
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

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    65
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    45
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    21
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    9
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

I loved the variety and depth of her life, in addition to the joy of listening to a fellow gourmand. Goes great with Peter Mayle's books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MC
  • 12-30-12

This is Why Authors Shouldn't Read Their Own Books

Would you try another book from Ruth Reichl and/or Ruth Reichl?

I really like Ruth Reichl's books. I've read this one before, as well as Comfort Me With Apples and Diamonds and Sapphires. However, I do not recommend this recording. Reichl reads her own work and her tone is dull, even though the material isn't. So, you end up thinking that this is a boring book, when quite the opposite is true.

Additionally, it's abridged, so there are characters who seemingly pop up out of nowhere and others who disappear. One can only assume that they leave or arrive in the expurgated sections.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tender at the Bone?

There are great scenes here-- some involving her mother, who suffers from bipolar disorder, others overseas in France and Italy, and still others in the hippy age at Berkeley. All are funny and touching, while satisfying the needs of bibliophilic foodies.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ruth Reichl?

Anyone! The sound recording itself is bad, which could be part of the problem. This sounds like it was taken from a tape in the 1980s. Bernadette Dunn does a terrific job on the UNabridged version of Garlic and Sapphires (Reichl, unfortunately reads the abridged-- check both samples and see which you like better, though Reichl is more animated there than she is here). This book needed a professional actress to carry the story along.

Could you see Tender at the Bone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I could see it being made into a movie, but they would need to include Comfort Me With Apples for a more clear picture of the scope of this woman's very interesting life.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Too bad it was abridged

I feel compelled to read the book to see the authors full story. I don’t think it should have been recorded abridged

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • B Rose
  • Hillsborough NC
  • 08-21-14

Great book! Why abridged Audible?

Where does Tender at the Bone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a terrific story of Ruth's early years. Why, oh why, is it not available unabridged? I kept wondering through the whole book, " what am I missing?"

Who was your favorite character and why?

Has to be Ruth then her dad, lastly her mother.

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

No

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Gripping story of a journey in food

Any additional comments?

I love listening to Audible. This is my first abridged and probably my last. You're cheating the author and reader of a full, wonderful book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • Springfield, VA, USA
  • 09-03-06

It was fine, not great

I guess I should have paid more attention to where I was in the book, but it didn't seem to have a climax, it just ended suddently.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!!!!!

What a great escape into a delicious read! It’s hard to believe the editor of Gourmet magazine lived this life! Her storytelling and love of food is out of this world.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting memoir told through the memories of food.

Tender At The Bone: Growing Up At The Table , by Ruth Reichl, is her life story as told through her recollections of experiences surrounding food. From recounting her mother's questionable experiments with outdated food, to her days at university and living in a commune, to working in various restaurants, Ruth takes the reader on her life journey with food. I listened to the audiobook version of this story with the author, herself, as narrator. I enjoyed the story, and I am a fan of food memoirs, but I did find the author's delivery of the story a bit dry at times. I like the connection the author makes to her own life and food, and enjoyed how she explored how her experiences with food shaped and influenced her life experiences.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Personal and interesting stories

I liked the author as narrator and found her personal story interesting and easy to listen to. Her relationship with her parents was obviously at times difficult and I thought Ms. Reichl handled it honestly without bogging down the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not her best

I liked learning about her and her life but I didn't feel that the book had a purpose.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Delicious!

Ruth Reichl is too good to be true. Her stories are funny and captivating, and the reader (or listener) can't wait for more.