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Publisher's Summary

At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world...If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.  

Beginning with Reichl's mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the Queen of Mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s.  

Spiced with Reichl's infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist's coming-of-age. 

©1998 Ruth Reichl (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What listeners say about Tender at the Bone

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    196
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
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    72
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    33
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    11
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    5
Story
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  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    30
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    6

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

Too bad it was abridged

I feel compelled to read the book to see the authors full story. I don’t think it should have been recorded abridged

10 people found this helpful

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

Great book! Why abridged Audible?

Where does Tender at the Bone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a terrific story of Ruth's early years. Why, oh why, is it not available unabridged? I kept wondering through the whole book, " what am I missing?"

Who was your favorite character and why?

Has to be Ruth then her dad, lastly her mother.

Have you listened to any of Ruth Reichl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Gripping story of a journey in food

Any additional comments?

I love listening to Audible. This is my first abridged and probably my last. You're cheating the author and reader of a full, wonderful book!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

It was fine, not great

I guess I should have paid more attention to where I was in the book, but it didn't seem to have a climax, it just ended suddently.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

I loved the variety and depth of her life, in addition to the joy of listening to a fellow gourmand. Goes great with Peter Mayle's books.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MC
  • 12-30-12

This is Why Authors Shouldn't Read Their Own Books

Would you try another book from Ruth Reichl and/or Ruth Reichl?

I really like Ruth Reichl's books. I've read this one before, as well as Comfort Me With Apples and Diamonds and Sapphires. However, I do not recommend this recording. Reichl reads her own work and her tone is dull, even though the material isn't. So, you end up thinking that this is a boring book, when quite the opposite is true.

Additionally, it's abridged, so there are characters who seemingly pop up out of nowhere and others who disappear. One can only assume that they leave or arrive in the expurgated sections.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tender at the Bone?

There are great scenes here-- some involving her mother, who suffers from bipolar disorder, others overseas in France and Italy, and still others in the hippy age at Berkeley. All are funny and touching, while satisfying the needs of bibliophilic foodies.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ruth Reichl?

Anyone! The sound recording itself is bad, which could be part of the problem. This sounds like it was taken from a tape in the 1980s. Bernadette Dunn does a terrific job on the UNabridged version of Garlic and Sapphires (Reichl, unfortunately reads the abridged-- check both samples and see which you like better, though Reichl is more animated there than she is here). This book needed a professional actress to carry the story along.

Could you see Tender at the Bone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I could see it being made into a movie, but they would need to include Comfort Me With Apples for a more clear picture of the scope of this woman's very interesting life.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deliciously told!

An easy enjoyable listen as Reichl takes the listener along for a ride through the trials, tribulations and adventures that formed the foundation of who she is. Delightful.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Food, life and wine

Slow start but then I found it extremely interesting. If you like food, wine and travel you'll enjoy! Along with family and life challenges.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

chapters don't match up, sounds fake

The chapters don't match the book chapters, which makes this really difficult to use in combination with the physical copy for classes. Additionally, it sounds like it's being read by a robot. Do not recommend.
The story is fine.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Title sums up both a theme and her topic.

Reichl's earlier memoir is both heartbreaking and clever. The daughter of a bi-polar mother, she exhibits all the emotional distress of these children but deals with them mostly with humor. Later, in "Save me the Plumbs," she manages to resolve one of her major symptoms of having grown up with a mother who was always changing. I'd advise reading "Bone" first and then "Plus."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but bad recording

This is a wonderful book by Ruth Reichl and I love the fact that she narrates it. My only complaint is the quality of the recording is very poor.