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Publisher's Summary

A biography of six writers on food and wine whose lives and careers intersected in mid-20th-century France

During les trente glorieuses - a 30-year boom period in France between the end of World War II and the 1974 oil crisis - Paris was not only the world's most delicious, stylish, and exciting tourist destination; it was also the world capital of gastronomic genius and innovation. The Gourmands' Way explores the lives and writings of six Americans who chronicled the food and wine of "the glorious 30", paying particular attention to their individual struggles as writers, to their life circumstances, and, ultimately, to their particular genius at sharing awareness of French food with mainstream American audiences. In doing so, this group biography also tells the story of an era when America adored all things French.

The group is comprised of the war correspondent A. J. Liebling; Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein's life partner, who reinvented herself at 70 as a cookbook author; M. F. K. Fisher, a sensualist and fabulist storyteller; Julia Child, a television celebrity and cookbook author; Alexis Lichine, an ambitious wine merchant; and Richard Olney, a reclusive artist who reluctantly evolved into a brilliant writer on French food and wine.

Together, these writer-adventurers initiated an American cultural dialogue on food that has continued to this day. Justin Spring's The Gourmands' Way is the first book ever to look at them as a group and to specifically chronicle their Paris experiences.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Bronson Pinchot's excellent French accent sets the mood for this well-researched, somewhat gossipy account of six classic American food writers and their lifelong love of France and its food and wine.... Pinchot deftly signals the numerous extracts and footnotes and wisely refrains from using distinct voices for the famous gourmands." (AudioFile)

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More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

Boy was I surprised by this book and the detailed research involved. Every subject was interesting and I learned things about each one of these people that I had never read before. I loved that Bronson Pinchot read the footnotes as they occurred in the book as if I was the reader AND in a different voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Easy, entertaining, and fun

An entertaining book that is kinder to the men than the women. The male writers are “resourceful, visionaries, and quietly honorable, while the females are fabulous liars, dependent upon their spouses’ contacts, or desperate for support. It is amusing that 2 of the males had multiple marriages and affairs, but M.F.K.Fisher is described as sexually rapacious for similar behavior.
But the gossip is fun to hear and it’s always entertaining to see icons brought down — if you can abide the narrators accents, however.
When saying French words, he sounds like he is speaking with a mouthful of marbles, and since there is a lot of French in this book, too much is literally lost in the translation. Even words common in English, like hors d’oeuvres and Bordeaux are barely intelligible. This might be one book that is better read in print.

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Monotonous!!!!

I've seldom had a book as tedious as this one! The voice of the narrator doesn't change just one tone in the half book I've heard ! It is probably well written, but it is impossible to hear and stay put and not to fall sleep; besides, the life details of the gourmands are so uninteresting as narrated that I stopped at about 50% of the whole book! Not worth it!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful