• Julie and Julia

  • 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
  • By: Julie Powell
  • Narrated by: Julie Powell
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (666 ratings)

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Julie and Julia  By  cover art

Julie and Julia

By: Julie Powell
Narrated by: Julie Powell
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Publisher's summary

The bestselling memoir that's "irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef" (Philadelphia Inquirer) that inspired Julie & Julia, the major motion picture directed by Nora Ephron, starring Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.

Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell reclaims her life by cooking every single recipe in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the span of one year. It's a hysterical, inconceivable redemptive journey—life rediscovered through aspics, calves' brains and cré me brûlée.

©2005 Julie Powell (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic reviews

"Hilarious and ferociously articulate. Powell wrote candidly and vividly about her antic adventures with Child's recipes... But perhaps more importantly, she wrote about food in a rich and raucous context, about putting pot-au-feu on the table through plumbing crises and existential desperation; about both Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom and the difficulties of finding marrow bones."—Entertainment Weekly

"Bracingly original, JULIE & JULIA is clearly the work of a writer who has reclaimed her soul."—People

"Powell is not a domestic goddess; she's emphatically, unembarrassedly a domestic mortal. But she is also a genuinely gifted thinker and writer about food."—Time

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What listeners say about Julie and Julia

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Such a waste

I was so looking forward to this title and so disappointed when I listened to it. I loved Julia Child and her cookbooks and couldn't wait to read of one person making all recipes to Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. In the first hour and half (out of nearly 6 hours) of this audiobook she address 2 recipes! When she says at 1:20 minutes into the the audio "Day 38 recipe 46", I wanted to scream, "What about the other 45 recipes!" She is obsessed with 9/11 as she worked as a temp secretary for some some federal agency after the attack. The language can be foul at times and I'm no prude. I really don't want to hear about pink dildoes and c*ock (not the rooster) in a book on Julia Child's recipes. Nor do I want to hear her bashing GW Bush (and I'm no fan of this president). This simply isn't the forum for that. She's also a frustrated actress and her reading style shows this. She even goes so far as to refer to Julia Child as JC. If you want to know about Julie Powell's life over a one year period then this is for you (which you could read for free on her blog). But if you want the insight on what it is like to make all of Julia's recipes from her first book in one year, skip this one. And why is this audiobook abridged?

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24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable!

I was surprised and pleased by how much I enjoyed this title. Most of the author's commentary was witty and funny, and only occasionally marred by the unnecessarily childish vulgar language that better suits a blog perhaps than a book.

My biggest problem is not with the author as author, but rather with the author as narrator or perhaps the lack of appropriate directing/editing which is characteristic of not only this audiobook, but most audiobooks based on any significant percentage of French vocabulary.

How much extra time and expense would it take to consult a French dictionary or even just a French person and get some phonetic spelling to permit French words to be pronounced with some resemblance to French?

The whole purpose of listening to an audiobook is to HEAR the text. This is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE when no attempt is made to pronounce an entire specialized vocabulary within the book correctly. Further, there is no point in recording a book with lots of French words in it if they are mispronounced--the author might as well use English words if she didn't need the French ones in the text-and if she did need the French words then she ought to have learned how to pronounce them correctly for the audiobook.

If people don't speak French they can at least look the words up when they see them written on the page, but for those who actually DO speak French, there is no way to solve the problem of figuring out a mispronounced word in an audiobook. I think the producer, director, editor, whomever ought to be responsible for making sure an audiobook with this much French vocabulary is comprehensible to those who listen and want to understand what they hear.

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22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good laugh

This book has induced several full-blown belly laughs as I listen with my headphones on, making my husband wonder what I could possibly be listening to. When I tell him it's about a woman who is cooking her way through a Julia Child cookbook, he looks nonplussed. The author, Julie Powell, reads her own work very well; her intonation and comedic timing are dead on. She is very irreverent ( I love how she refers to Julia Child as "JC"!) and does have a fairly foul mouth, but I have to say that I find this refreshing. So many foodie books seem to take themselves all too seriously. Like my favorite food writer Ruth Reichl, Julie Powell shows that she loves food but isn't a Food Snob. I can't wait to get back to the book as I potter around my kitchen.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Save yourself the time

Julie comes across as one of the most pretentious individuals on the planet. She also writes about her husband as if he were a pathetic creature without much worth. Skip this book.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

AUTHENTIC AND ENTERTAINING

I was attracted to this book because of its author's desperation to find meaning in her life--and the creative approach she took to resolving this all-too-common symptom of our empty-calorie society. Happily, I was not disappointed. The desperation of a bright young woman about to hit 30 who's mired in a life that's much too small for her is palpably felt in this book's prose, as well as in the author's voice (She's both a talented writer and an expressive reader). That she chose a formidable French cookery tome by Julia Child to prove her mettle is both highly entertaining and metaphorically satisfying. Her "hunger" for acknowledgment, for a proving ground, for salvation is gradually sated as she checks off one of Child?s bizarre and intimidating recipes after another. As the author records her personal and culinary failures and triumphs in a blog, she begins to attract dedicated fans, as well as CBS Nightly News, CNN, The New York Times, and a major book publisher. With her journey complete and the rewards more lavish than she could possibly have dreamed, she assumes the status of authentic mythological heroine very much like the archetype described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. To complain that the book contains too little food-related content is to miss its compelling point. This is a book about emotional and spiritual hunger that satiates on every level.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A different experience than the movie

I got is audiobook after watching the movie, which I enjoyed. The author is a great narrator, who could read audiobooks for a living. It took me a while to warm up to her, she has several character flaws that are not portrayed (or understated) in the movie. I came to appreciate her honesty, salty tongue and humor.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

More 20-Something Angst (with humor) Than Food

It took me a good 30 minutes to let go of my expectations for this book and let it be what it is: a witty exploration of one woman's "help I'm turning 30 and have no life" journey, with Julia Child as savior. It's a plus to have the author read her own work -- if you can ignore the frequent "up-swing" that peppers the reading -- and her observations never get mired in self-pity or whining. Powell has a remarkable ability to be self-deprecating and fetching while she explores a year of difficulties. You learn more about her circle of friends, and her circle of reality, than you do actual cooking. And it works.

That being said, its downside is Powell's tendency to become a bit too self-centered (IMHO), and lose perspective (I can only hope that her brief albeit breezy treatment of 9/11 and the despair of victims' families was meant to be just that, breezy, and not callous). The premise -- the "Project" and its intensity, the ways its demands took over the Powells' life -- is clever and compelling. Eventually, however, I found myself shouting (to my iPod)what it took Powell's husband 11 months to say: "It's only mayonnaise!"

In sum, an enjoyable memoir... if you don't mind the distraction of a 20-Something's navel-gazing (oh yeah: and lots of self-conscious use of the F-word).

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9 people found this helpful

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

Unlikeable Author / Tiresome Profanity Throughout

What would have made Julie and Julia better?

A good editor and a few years of psychotherapy for the author.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything not remotely associated with Julie Powell.

What didn’t you like about Julie Powell’s performance?

The repeated swearing, the negativity, jadedness, and cynicism trying to pass for breezy hip and cool, the mis-prononunciation of everything French, and the self-involvement of the author, whom I found most unpleasant to spend time with.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

A sense of wasted opportunity.

Any additional comments?

What a great book this could have been if it weren't for Julie Powell writing it (and if it had a good editor insisting she clean it up with all the unnecessary and annoying and off-putting foul language).

No wonder Julia Child and Judith Jones were so turned off by it.

Yes, people speak like this sometimes in real life, but real life isn't a book, and yes, one can see at times that Powell is trying to be flippant or channel Erma Bombeck and her ilk, but it comes off here as perhaps a bit too true. Frankly, we just don't like the writer, and so we disengage from trusting in her as she spins what could have been a very interesting story.

Worse, one can see through references, allusions, and so on that Powell is obviously intelligent, but what a waste she has to muck it up with all the language. It just gets hard to take, page after page (and listening from Audible, the mispronunciation of everything French hurts the experience as well).

I bought this book the day it hit store shelves, just found it, no review first. It's now eight years later and I'm just finally forcing myself to get through it. I've tried. It's just so off-putting in so many ways.

While I might cook a recipe from Julia Child regularly, I would never invite Julie Powell to any of my dinner parties.

Julia will live on in print, and the film version of Juie & Julia (wisely cleaned up for the masses by Nora Ephron, et al.), long after Julie Powell is just a bad memory, like a bad taste that lingers, long after you think it should be gone.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love Julie!

It took me a few minutes to warm up to Julie, but once I did I was cheering for her until the end! This is a wonderfully written, funny, quirky tale of an everyday girl, stuck in an everyday job, who has an inspiration that turns her life around. Julie is me, you, and every other person going through the motions of life and looking for something a little more. You will laugh out loud and want more.

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5 people found this helpful

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

Not What I Was Looking For

I had read a review about making them laugh out loud which was what I was needing in a book. I had seen the movie and really liked it. The book.....not so much. Just wasnt my favorite. I had no laugh out loud moments and found at one point I wanted to quit listening. I ended up finishing on 1.5 speed just to get through it.

That being said, it wasnt the worst thing I have heard, just wasnt what I was looking for. I likely would not have watched the movie had I read the book first.

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3 people found this helpful