Customer Review

24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Horrible Execution..., April 21, 2014
This review is from: Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals (Hardcover)
I loved the idea of the book, but the execution was pathetic.

Take the photo for "Catcher In The Rye" for example. Here's the quote:

"When I'm out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk. It isn't much, but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H. V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield."

Swiss cheese sandwich and malted milk. Check. Yet the photo is of an American cheese on toast sandwich, pickle spear, cup of coffee, glass of water and a milkshake (could be a malted). Not the same. There are other examples throughout.

Jeff Hess
Have Coffee Will Write
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 21, 2014 11:13:40 AM PDT
J. Herr says:
Completely agree!! If you're doing this, then pay attention to the details!

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 6:46:40 AM PDT
While I may agree with you, yet I would not have been so blunt. I would have said something like "the execution is not as good as I feel it could have been", or, "the execution of the project does leave something to be desired", which from your comments it most certainly does. However, please bear in mind that may be due to the publisher or the editor of the volume and not at all due to the author.

Posted on May 7, 2014 7:13:58 PM PDT
Pru says:
I agree that your criticism is harsh. She is aware of the difference and is quoted as saying "I know it's a Swiss cheese sandwich, but I didn't use Swiss cheese because I wanted the color to pop. The designer in me wanted the cheese to be more orange." I think that is fair enough reasoning to trade accuracy for design. Anybody could do the cooking by the book (pun intended) and recreate each dish precisely, but good design choices take talent.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2014 11:32:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2014 11:37:08 PM PDT
Jeff Hess says:
Meryl,

That's true. You're absolutely correct: "good design choices" do "take talent."

In deciding that Holden would eat a Swiss, and not a cheddar or American, cheese sandwich, Salinger made a deliberate choice. If an artist wants to create a different image, that's fine, but no claims of association with Salinger, or any other artist, ought to be made.

To carry on in the Salinger vein, since he did not describe either the bread or the condiments on the Swiss cheese sandwich, those two elements (pumpernickel bread, bright yellow mustard perhaps?) offer the derivative artist leeway for creative insertion. Other possibilities that remain true to the creative artist's intent are also possible.

If this book had been pitched to the publisher, or marketed to the public, as "A beautiful collection of photographs of meals" and not, as it was billed, "An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals," do you believe that the we would now be engaged in this discussion?

Do you see how one is not like the other?

Jeff Hess
Have Coffee Will Write

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2015 6:18:59 AM PST
I'm with Jeff Hess here. And by the way, what's the Sweet 'n' Low doing on Holden's table? As far as I can tell, the product was not introduced until 1957. I was so expecting to like this book a lot, and so disappointed.
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