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Publisher's Summary

In 2003, Kathleen Flinn, a 36-year-old American living and working in London, returned from vacation to find that her corporate job had been eliminated. Ignoring her mother's advice that she get another job immediately or "never get hired anywhere ever again", Flinn instead cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dream: a diploma from the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the touching and remarkably funny account of Flinn's transformation as she moves through the school's intense program and falls deeply in love along the way. Flinn interweaves more than two dozen recipes with a unique look inside Le Cordon Bleu amid battles with demanding chefs, competitive classmates, and her "wretchedly inadequate" French. Flinn offers a vibrant portrait of Paris, one in which the sights and sounds of the city's street markets and purveyors come alive in rich detail. The ultimate wish-fulfillment audiobook, her story is a true testament to pursuing a dream. Fans of Julie & Julia, Almost French, and Eat, Pray, Love will be amused, inspired, and richly rewarded by this seductive tale of romance, Paris, and French food.

©2007 Kathleen Flinn; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Kathleen Flinn's tale of chasing her ultimate dream makes for a really lovely book: engaging, intelligent, and surprisingly suspenseful." (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)
"The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is an engaging story about a fantasy fulfilled. It's Under the Tuscan Sun goes to cooking school." (Michael Ruhlman, author of The Soul of a Chef)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Fleming
  • Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • 05-07-08

Autobiography of the Woman Next Door

First the good news: the narrator of The Sharper Your Knife... is excellent. An hour into the book I checked to see if she was the author. Unfortunately not. Without her I would have given up on the book half way through. So much for the good news.
Here is a book about a woman spending a lot of money and a little time to fufill her dream. Her dream seems to be not to cook or to learn to cook but to go to cooking school or maybe to write about going to cooking school. She attends the Cordon Bleu in Paris. She recounts ALL of her experiences with the school and the new culture and comes away with the profound insights of any high school foreign exchange student. The book is too long and in the left me asking why I should care about this story of someone I've never heard of who only has cliche emotional lessons learned. The writing is competent but often corny and unremarkable.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • Virginia, IL, USA
  • 11-05-07

liked it

This was a fun listen. I did fast forward through the recipes, but really enjoyed the view of cooking school through a student. Not sure I want to each much french food, but enjoyed the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Thoroughly enjoyed it.

A story about life choices based on what your heart and soul needs. It spoke to me. I loved the narrater as well she was easy to listen to. A grea t choice!

  • Overall


This is a French cookbook with a little bit of a story around it..... A very little bit of story. The recipe parts were just boring and unnecessary to listen to.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful