• Garlic and Sapphires

  • The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
  • By: Ruth Reichl
  • Narrated by: Ruth Reichl
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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Garlic and Sapphires  By  cover art

Garlic and Sapphires

By: Ruth Reichl
Narrated by: Ruth Reichl
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Publisher's summary

Includes an interview with the author and recipe cards!

GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic.

What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various disguises, she finds herself changed not just superficially, but in character as well. She gives a remarkable account of how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites.

As she writes, "Every restaurant is a theater . . . even the modest restaurants offer the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while." GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES is a reflection on personal identity and role playing in the decadent, epicurean theaters of the restaurant world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2005 Ruth Reichl (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

"This wonderful book is funny—at times laugh-out-loud funny—and smart and wise."The Washington Post

"Reichl is so gifted . . . the reader remains hungry for more." USA Today

"Expansive and funny." —Entertainment Weekly

What listeners say about Garlic and Sapphires

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Way too abridged!

This is a good book. I picked the abridged over the unabridged this time, because the abridged version is read by the author. But so much is missing! In the book, chapters of narratives end in Ruth's newspaper column, which serves as a conclusion for each story. Those are cut out (so the stories are left to dangle, without the readers knowing how her article turned out). The entire "umani" sushi experience is gone, as well as other great segments.


Stay with the unabridged! I am very sorry that I didn't.