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Powell needs something to break the monotony of her life. So, she invents a deranged assignment: She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia ...Show synopsisPowell needs something to break the monotony of her life. So, she invents a deranged assignment: She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and cook all 524 recipes in the span of just one year.Hide synopsis
I was drawn in to read this book by the hype about the movie and a sparked interest in Julia Child as a person. I enjoyed the style and the "as it's happening" mode, the premise is interesting, and I can sympathize with the challenges. The language is a little extreme, but not something I haven't heard or read before, and I can skip over the offending parts to get to the content. But once in a while the sentences just don't make sense--a vital word is missing or the words are jumbled in a way that makes it impossible to figure out what she is trying to say.
Took me awhile to get into it—in fact, I believe I’d read most of the first chapter earlier but had then set the book aside for a year or so. I finally finished it in July, before I even knew about the forthcoming film (which I haven't yet seen). Seems to be more about the author and her life than about the recipes in Child's *Mastering the Art of French Cooking,* Vol. 1; but I still would have liked to have had a copy on hand to refer to at certain points (deboning a duck in the ultimate or penultimate chapter; making a loaf of French bread [from Vol. 2]—mentioned in the epilogue). (My copy of *Mastering the Art* is in storage some 350 miles away.) At times I appreciated the author’s wit; I don’t know if I ever appreciated her sailor’s mouth (profanities, that is: I cannot possibly fathom the audiobook version of this title, if there is one). Odd, though, is that this is a book based on a *blog.* The meta-story is truly hard to believe: Weblog turned book turned movie. Incredible, really. Will we be seeing imitators of this sort of thing in the future?
The wild searches for ingredients, agonizing over "Bitch Rice," and poaching eggs in wine: What posessed this woman? Whatever it was, thank God she forged ahead and left this wonderful, hysterical memoir in her wake. The book is spiced with delicious bits of JC's biography. Very enjoyable to the point of laughing out loud. In Powell's own words, it "blows first pressed Tuscan olive oil out of the f...ing water."
I had heard about this book last year and wish I had not waited so long to read it. It is funny and brutally honest. Julie's frank search for direction in her life is touching and she doesn't hold back about herself, her feelings, family or friends. This book is more than just about cooking, it's about marriage, friendship, careers and day to day living. It was a lot funnier than I was expecting too, I got a real kick out of her descriptions of her less than perfect apartment and her less than perfect approach to housekeeping. This is a very talented woman and writer and I hope she puts out more books, because I will be sure to read them, too.
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