Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child Paperback – May 1, 2012
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Discover what to read next through the Amazon Book Review. Learn more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Fitch reminds us that Child championed fresh ingredients at a time when frozen foods and TV dinners dominated American supermarket shelves, and that she demystified haute cuisine with her earthy humor and casual attitude toward mistakes. This affectionate portrait of the remarkable Julia Child reflects her fervent belief that the pleasures of the table are a natural accompaniment to the pleasures of life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Watching Julia's various series, I learned some about her life, but eagerly purchased this book when it first appeared. Unlike some other reviewers, I delighted in this auther's literary painting of the times in which Julia has lived. To me, nothing is more disappointing in a biography than the feeling that something has been left out!
This book demonstrates that though her name to the public has been made by her cooking career, Julia Child is much, much more. For those who enjoy reading biographies, this will provide enjoyment regardless of whether they like cooking or not!
I'll give the author credit for doing a lot of research and providing an intimate glimpse at the Child marriage and the interesting figure of Paul Child himself. It also does a good job of taking us through the painstaking 9-year process of writing and rewriting "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". But as for a well-organized transcendant portrait of Julia herself, this one is missing the touch of a master.
However, you get what you pay for in this case. This has to be one of the sloppier books I've read, it seems to me as if the author got through the first draft, couldn't stand to look at it again, and it was somehow published without ever being edited. It is full of parenthetical asides, long uninteresting descriptions, and flat out mistakes. At one point the author writes how it was easier for the young Julia and her friend to steal cigarettes from a parent than cigars, and says 'therefore they smoked more cigars'. Hmm? I wish it was some statement that they loved the challenge, but it is obviously simply an error.
As a Julia fan, I am reading it just for the info, but I would rather just have the primary source material. One of the wonderful things about biography is that often the author is able to weave the history into the incredible pattern that is the finished life. In this one, the author just seems to be pointing out one thing after the other, giving no weight to anything, and showing no discernment. Disappointing.
If you think this is a well written biography, read Titan. Then compare.
Noel Riley Fitch has given us as comprehensive a look into the life of the wonderful Julia Child as an author ever could with a subject. The reader knows more about the interaction of the cadre of people that filled Julia Child's life than one could ever imagine. Therein, however, lies the problem. This book is more an expanded diary than it is a readable and useful offering.
One can't possibly keep up with the dozens of names bandied about and the end result is an olio of confusion. What bothers me most about this biography is that it reflects not much warmth of Julia Child, herself. There are some funny paragraphs (especially those describing what her voice sounds like) but this book is as dry as a Thanksgiving turkey without the gravy. I do, however give Ms. Fitch credit on one important account....she wonderfully relates the marriage of Paul and Julia Child.... a marriage of partnership and deep love. I only wish that the rest of the book could have been written so lovingly.
I have also read "Julie and Julia", which I didn't quite care for. I still have the third book, Julia Child's own "My Life in France" next up on my reading table. But to get back to Fitch's book, which ends before Child's death in 2004, it is a complete biography of all of Child's life up to the point it was written. Fitch incorporates most of Julia'a (and Paul's) family and friends and makes special mention of their WW2 duties in the OSS in Ceylon and China. Most of all, the reader can "see" how Julia McWilliams and Paul Child fell in love and created "Julia Child".
Fitch's work is a good addendum to the movie Julie and Julia.