54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Hit & miss,
This review is from: Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (Hardcover)
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Blood, Bones & Butter starts with a bang in a brilliant chapter on the author's parents' annual lamb roast; it's chock full of extraordinary episodes in Hamilton's most unusual life; and its well-written observations are frequently fascinating (thank God someone has finally characterized the deathless reading style of modern poets!). But for me it was ultimately disappointing.
If it's meant to be an autobiography of an interesting person, it leaves out the self-reflection and emotional life that would draw readers in and explain the author's character. If it's really about the education of a chef, it mostly misses the experience of the food - there are only brief mentions of the tastes, smells, or textures of eating and, except for a few pages when Hamilton decides to open her restaurant, no indications of what she's trying to create as a chef. If it's just a series of interesting vignettes (alla Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw), it lacks the humor and personality in the author's voice that keep a reader engaged.
Perhaps if I were more of a foodie - I've never heard of Hamilton or Prune and I found her assumption that the reader already knows all about her restaurant off-putting - I would have gobbled this book up with relish, but as it is, I was left hungry for more substance.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2011 2:12:14 PM PDT
Sigrid Spodzieja says:
Excited to read the book after so many nice reviews, but dissapointed. Usually I read every book from the beginning to the end but this one I had to quit in the middle, too much going on and to confusing.Did not enjoy it at all.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 3:45:44 PM PDT
I found the book lacking in something but soldiered on non the less. My heart hoped Gabrielle would find peace and happiness with her family. She seems to have a life without true joy and it comes out through the pages.
Posted on Sep 1, 2011 9:26:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 1, 2011 9:31:14 PM PDT
Busy Lizzi says:
I'm always wary of glowing reviews from other writers who have some form of political investment in the book they are reviewing. Although Anthony Bourdain is self-reflexive and self-effacing in the process of his own 'glowing' review of Hamilton's memoir (and I love him for that), he praised this memoir so much that he overdid it in my estimation, which automatically raised my suspicions (perhaps he's using his celebrity status to attempt to drum up extra book sales in the cooking industry for someone who until now is unknown/a non-celebrity, ergo overlooking the book's flaws). It wasn't until I read "JHL"s review, and the two below (Peter S and brentmcf) that I could gain a clearer, more realistic take on the book--Thank you guys for keeping it 'real.'
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