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Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

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An ode to sensuality that is an irresistible blend of memory, imagination, and the senses, "Aphrodite" celebrates the pleasures of the sensual life ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

Overall customer rating: 5.000
theslackersbookclub
by theslackersbookclub on Feb 26, 2010

I can't remember how long ago it was that I read Aphrodite for the first time. I was probably a young wife, short on romance and seeing the practicality of a recipe for reconciliation soup. But the book haunted me for years and I suggested it to my book club, ladies who demurred that it was "too lengthy to read during the holiday season." (We read Allende's My Invented Country instead.) I brought Aphrodite anyway and told them this was my favorite of her stories. Reading it a second time, it is a bit thin in structure but strong in message. It got me to thinking about how humans overlay food with meaning -- preparation for religious strictures; symbolic food for celebrations; America's recent fixation with food as medicine; my submersion in kitchen duties as both structuring huge blocks of time and expressing frustrated creativity. Allende reminds us how much eating and mating come into play. Her recipes are uber-practical: make something quick and light and get down to basics. Like her other books, she is so close to her family, using her mother both as a source of menu as well as a guide to the mysteries of the male of the species. The book is richly, sensually illustrated with beautiful prints and charming cartoons of satyrs and chubby nymphs. I was struck by the contrast of these visuals after having recently finished reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with its unforgettable, demented sketches. Funny how putting entirely different things into your mouth result in such contrasting images. Read Aphrodite for someone you love.

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