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on August 28, 2012
"Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess" is an excellent read and extremely well-written. Gael Greene does an excellent job detailing the transformation of the New York restaurant scene, which underwent its own revolution alongside the transformation of society through feminism and sexual liberation. The author's voice is candid, strong and unapologetic; at times her voice may feel condescending to some readers, but that should not deter one from reading this book. New York truly experienced a culinary explosion and is now one of the best places in the world for fine dining. I personally witnessed this and was always a little curious as to the "behind the scenes" details as to how this phenomenon occurred. Greene's professional and personal accounts provided me with some insight into the foodie subculture so pervasive now, but virtually non-existent so many years ago. Reading this book actually changed the way I think about several of my favorite NY restaurants.

It seems certain readers are intimidated by the author's candid accounts of her sexual experiences, which include some very famous names. I believe that providing such details adds an important dimension to the story and its characters that is often omitted from autobiographical accounts. The sexual aspects of food and the creators of great cuisine are intimately related and it is refreshing to find an author who acknowledges this and is willing to write about it in such a gutsy way.
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on July 8, 2007
I was so looking forward to another food critic's life story like Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphire - one of the best books I have ever read.

I was seriously dissappointed. I realize that at the time Greene became a food critic, critics were well known by the restauranteurs and treated like Queens with special menus the rest of the people dining did not ever see, but I had no idea how bad it was. To think everyones opinion was determined by a few egotistical food critics in New York who never ate the way the rest of the people did is disgusting. Couple this with her flamboyant use of her magazines money to pay for all her meals (and her lovers meals) and you can't find a reason to enjoy the true life of Gael Greene.

Frankly, for me, her little splurge with a porn star was the most interesting part of the book, but then she would move on to sleep with the very chefs she was reviewing.

Halfway through the book it became a real snore with very little mention of food - which is why a foodie would buy such a book. Instead it was one celebrity name after another, one bit of gossip after another and list after list of names of chefs and all their restaurants and if they made it or not. It was more one long dull gossip column than a book.
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on July 30, 2013
just received my book order from amazon international books. condition of INSATIABLE is listed as "NEW", when in fact it is quite shopworn. it looks like they got it out of the recycling bin. THE FOOD YOU WANT TO EAT is listed as "GOOD" and is in much better condition than INSATIABLE (the "NEW") book. at $7.98 s&h for 2 paperback books it is not worth it. pay a little extra and get quality gooks.
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on December 18, 2007
Whoa, this badly written, unsexy epic could have used some serious editing. I'm surprised, since I've enjoyed GG's witty reviews, but there's hardly an amusing line in this tome, which mostly chronicles Greene's narcissistic pursuit of celebs to wine, dine, and bed her. Talk about TMI! You'll come away from these pages feeling like you've eaten mediocre swill at an overrated restaurant; Greene evidently had all the depth of a finger bowl. I agree with others that Reichl's memoirs -- not to mention Fisher's and Child's -- are far, far better reads.
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on July 4, 2007
THERE IS GOOD SCHMUTZ AND BAD SCHMUTZ. THIS BOOK IS EITHER FICTIONAL, OR BAD SCHMUTZ. THERE ARE GLARING ERRORS TO BOOT. CONTRARY TO THE AUTHOR'S HUGE MISTAKE, THE WIDOW OF THE FAMOUS RESTAURATEUR HENRI SOULE WAS UNSUCCESSFUL IN ALL OF HER LAWSUITS TO GET PART OF HIS ESTATE. AND WHY WOULD THE AUTHOR INCESSANTLY REFER TO SOULE'S LIFE PARTNER, MRS SPALTER, AS HIS "MISTRESS", OVER AND OVER? THIS ELDERLY COUPLE SHARED THEIR LIFE AND WORK 24 HOURS A DAY EVERY YEAR. ONE REFERENCE WAS BAD ENOUGH, WHY HAMMER IT OVER AND OVER?

AND THE WORD IS NOT "MATERIZED", IT IS "MADERIZED", THAT IS, WINE THAT IS OXIDIZED DUE HEAT AND TURNED CARMEL COLORED. EVERYONE WHO DRINKS OR READS ABOUT WINES KNOWS THAT.

THE CONCENSUS OF ALL REVIEWS TO DATE ALL ECHO THE SAME BASIC SUMMARY, THIS IS SCHMUTZY WITHOUT BEING FUN.
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on December 27, 2008
Well, maybe you need to be 'a certain age', maybe you need to remember The Colony or have had the desire to get closer to the bone of New York's glamorous power by literally absorbing Woman's Wear Daily's 'Eye'- before "W" was a twinkle in John Fairchild's eye. Given some of the disappointed reviews brought forth here at Amazon, I can only think that the references are just too long ago, too obscure or too uninteresting to the new breed of Foodie. Too bad for them, I say.

But for those of us who grew up in New York and cut our teeth on the earliest reviews of Greene, this book is nothing short of a toothsome treat; a visit back to a place that made sense of our parent's worldly pretensions and our own secret longings to be grown-up and part of the insider clique that pushed the planet along. Her reviews allowed us a cunning, catty, canny insight on judging so much more than taste in a world of status and seduction and the genuine, wonderful, satisfaction of glorious food.
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on June 28, 2006
For years, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Gael Greene's restaurant reviews in the New York Magazine. Her ability to rhapsodize, finesse, and romance dining experiences was a weekly event I looked forward to savoring and "tasting" vicariously while living my MidWest-quiet life. However, although receiving very positive reviews in the New York Times, I found "Insatiable" to be tedious, boring - with a touch of "too much information." There was nothing endearing about the chronicle and I realized I was speed reading, checking page numbers hoping I'd get to the end. A Ruth Reichel this is not.
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on January 29, 2014
Well written but I had hoped for more cooking and less love life. She did lead an interesting life and isn't afraid to talk about it in detail.
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on September 3, 2010
The anecdotes are amazing and are typical of the 60s and 70s. She includes various recipes as well. She mentions names of various chefs and celebrities all of whom you want to find out more about. I'm only halffway through the book, but I know I won't be disappointed.
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on February 2, 2013
This book reveals the author as one uniquely qualified to describe a life of sensuous delight! It is a book I hug to my chest in memory of reading it.
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