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Publisher's Summary

Tasty, lethal, hallucinogenic, and medicinal - fruits have led nations into wars, fueled dictatorships, and even lured us into new worlds. Adam Leith Gollner weaves business, science, and travel into a riveting narrative about one of the earth's most desired foods.

Listeners will discover why it is that, although countless exotic fruits exist in nature, only several dozen varieties are available in supermarkets. Gollner explores the political machinations of multinational fruit corporations, exposing the hidden alliances between agribusiness and government and what that means for public health. He traces the life of mass-produced fruits - how they are created, grown, and marketed - and he explores the underworld of fruits that are inaccessible, ignored, and even forbidden in the Western world.

Gollner draws listeners into a Willy Wonka-like world with mangoes that taste like piña coladas, orange cloudberries, peanut butter fruits, and the miracle fruit that turns everything sour sweet, making lemons taste like lemonade.

Peopled with a varied and bizarre cast of characters - from smugglers to explorers to inventors - this extraordinary book unveils the hidden universe of fruit.

©2008 9165 - 2610 Quebec, Inc.; (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A rollicking account of the world of fruit and fruit fanatics....Gollner's passion for fruit is infectious, and his fascinating book is a testament to the fact that there is much more to the world of fruit than the bland varieties on our supermarket shelves." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • E.
  • 09-14-08

exotic explorers

This is a journey all over the world, sampling rare (to Americans) fruit, and meeting the fruit lovers who sometimes seem as exotic and rare and the fruit they collect. Their passion and sacrifice are infectious. The author is quite fond of lists, but each factoid is more entertaining than the next, and he generously provides supplemental information on his web site and on YouTube. The first half of the book revolves around history, botany and travel. The second half is more investigative. Highly entertaining.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting world...

Stephen Hoyes narration style is absolutely perfect for this book. Top notch!!
If you enjoyed; Animal Vegetable, Miracle and even Michael Pollens books, then you will find this enjoyable and eye opening as well. Did you ever wondered why the peaches, plums, apples etc...in your supermarket taste more like dry tennis balls than the sweet nectary goodness you expect?
What also makes this book enjoyable are the many interesting and very quirky characters that Adam meets along the way as well as the historical tidbits about fruit. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to foodies. Its a fun and enlightening read (listen).

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marj
  • Centreville, NS, Canada
  • 07-31-12

unexpected adventure

I bought this book with the idea it would put me to sleep, instead I found a wonderful adventure that I would have loved to gone on. The author touched a cord with me in the quirky quest of fruit hunting.
But Gollner or his editor should do some pruning on his next book. I almost didn't make it through the long opening section.
Thank you for the armchair trip into a very interesting world.
Marj

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • andrew
  • Bountiful, UT, United States
  • 03-07-11

Delicious

This book is well narrated, very interesting, entertaining and will make your mouth water. Some of the politics will make you angry as well. I bought a paper copy too because there are so many fruits to go trying to find. Works on several levels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Couldn't finish it

First audiobook I simply couldn't finish. Way too much detail and not enough of it was interesting detail. Just piles and piles of minutiae and not a lot to tie them together in a meaningful and interesting way. Normally I appreciate details and prefer too much information rather than too little however, without a compelling story the details don't illuminate and excite they just become tedious.

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Beaumont, TX, United States
  • 02-20-09

Food for Thought

This little book was read well and covered a topic that I had not thought much about - fruit and those who are out to find the best. It revealed to me the many varieties of fruit, the multitude of flavors that can result from eating, the business of selling fruit and all sorts of things. Apples, grapes, and what else. This is a sweet listen.

  • Overall

Too much info!

As a fruit lover, I was disappointed by this audiobook. Perhaps it is better in the written word. When I came to the break between parts, I moaned out loud that there was still another half to go. There are so many facts crammed into this book that it seems almost overwhelming with the non-stop facts about fruits. I wish I had read the Amazon.com reviews before listening. Out of hundreds of audiobooks that I have listened to, this will be perhaps only the second that I simply cannot finish. I will come back to it later to give it another chance.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful