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VINE VOICEon June 8, 1998
Allende has created a stunning rumination on life in her new book. And as an added bonus, she's thrown in a pretty good cookbook as well. This book serves as a wonderful counterpoint to Paula. While Paula was about death and it's effects on the human spirit, Aphrodite is about living life to its fullest by savoring what nature gives us.
Allende's strength as a writer is in using the powerful emotional connection that she has to the material to create an effective narrative flow. If she doesn't have that emotional connection, she ends up relying on her characters' dialogue, which is definitely not her strong suit (see The Infinite Plan). In Aphrodite, she uses only narrative, which shines with a playfulness and joy that comes from someone who is enjoying the material.
I remember attending a lecture where Allende said that after Paula, she thought she would never write again. I'm very glad that rice pudding helped her get over these feelings. This book should be read by everyone so that they may be reminded (as she obviously has been) that it's the simplest pleasures of life that make life worth living.
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on September 26, 2001
This book was wonderful. I am cooking for myself for the first time in my life. This book gave me an appreciation not only for the aphrodisiac virtues in food but also for all their other sensual qualities. I recommend it to anyone who loves food or has an appreciation for anything sensual.
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on September 13, 2003
For readers of Isabel Allende's novels, this might seem an unusual book. It is a passionate, unapologetic defense of the senses generally, and a catalogue of historical sexual and culinary practices punctuated with flavorful recipes, all of which place this history-cum-cookbook almost in a genre of its own. This book naturally radiates with warmth, beginning with the highly informative personal tributes Alende delivers to each of three of her major collaborators in this book, including her mother and her literary agent. The photos and drawing which are scattered throughout this book add an artistic backdrop to the evocative prose. It also made me appreciate more wholly a number of passages Allende devotes to food and cuisine in her non-ficiton book on her native Chile, My Invented Country (which I had also reviwed on this website).
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on April 6, 2005
I have read "Paula" and there is no doubt that Isabel Allende is a talented writer. Her passionate tone seems to just find a way to your heart.

Aphrodite is acookbook erotic-style... truly inspires fun ideas for both food and foreplay. Great historic facts on spices, a collection of rather comical stories and the recipes are to die for.

If you are a hedonist. Get this!
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on March 16, 2013
I have yet to try out any of the offered recipes in this book, but I enjoyed reading it. Allende is indeed the sort of author I would expect to write about aphrodisiacs and senses. The parts of the book where she talks about personal experience or that of her family and friends are very good, but unfortunately there are a few parts where it seems like she's trying to wrap up the topic quickly and she more or less just enumerates the aphrodisiacs and discussed their history in short. These parts are less well-rounded and lacking. But all in all, I'm sure I'll return to this book again as I enjoyed it.
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on December 10, 1998
Allende's newest endeavor speaks volumes about the need to enjoy life through as many senses as possible. Her narrative style and imaginative descriptions make the reader feel sexy in the kitchen and erotic in the dining room. She shows how food, like people, can be comforting as well as sensous. I really enjoyed this book for its playfulness and its success in putting the erotica back into a good meal shared.
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on November 12, 2003
I have read this book in installments. Why? Because I knew my mother would have a fit if she knew I had read it. Lusty, juicy, it's wonderful education for a curious young lady like me.
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on February 3, 1999
Yes, indeed.
Everything in all the other laudatory reviews is true, but I thought I would comment on the tactile and visual quality of the book.
It is printed on lovely smooth paper, slightly glossy and with a weight that seems more like that of an art book. It is filled with great colour illustrations, including cute drawings by Robert Shekter, and reproductions of romantic and sensual paintings. The font is elegant, especially the italics, and the book is nicely bound with a black cover and saucy red endpapers! It is a nice size for reading in bed ;)
Seldom have I seen a book that is so pleasing in every way. If you are feeling blah, this book will cheer you up. Allende's pleasure in life is infectious.
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on March 4, 2013
Read this book on my honeymoon, which was a GREAT idea, except for the fact that I wanted to rush out and make about a dozen of the recipes in the back and had no access to a kitchen! Since we've been home, I've cooked several recipes from the book and THEY WORK!!! Beware of the Rochefort Sauce however, which's since effects can have anti-aphrodisiac effects. :/
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on April 24, 2015
Allende doesn't shy away from using personal experiences in the kitchen and in the bedroom to educate and entertain. I laughed and added the book to my kitchen collection with the intention of trying many of the included recipes. I learned many ways to make the most of culinary skills to prepare for a glorious finale in the bedroom and anywhere else that is convenient once the ball gets rolling. So much fun and yet very practical as well. Another Allende triumph and a book worth keeping.
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