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Spilling the Beans Hardcover – September 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Though she may have been born with every advantage, she lost it all, money, friends, home, career, and ultimately through courage and hard work became a self-made woman and rose to fame in the short-lived, but much loved cooking show, "Two Fat Ladies".
A very enjoyable read.
The stories of The Two Fat ladies videos make them even more fun to watch. I really wish there were a video series to go with her book on the green life. I'd really love to see Clarissa mucking about with the ducks and the chickens and making things in the old fashioned way.
Starting with the positive, Clarissa of Two Fat Ladies fame is a forthright, intelligent, passionate lady with trenchant opinions. These are frequently expressed on these pages in the sort of muscular, simple language beloved of barbour wearing types listening to the Archers whilst knocking up a Sunday Roast for the family.
She has suffered genuine hardships - an abusive, alcoholic father (the famous Royal surgeon Arthur Dickson Wright) who beat her and her mother, often savagely. She is genuinely passionate about a lot of good British things - the countryside, locally produced food, field sports (taking delightful swipes at the tiresome and nasty 'fluffy bunny brigage' who hurled such filthy abuse at the countryside alliance march), history - her grasp of British history is wide ranging and impressive. Her asides into points of arcane fact are frequently illuminating, explaining, for example, that the Scottish word 'gigot' for a leg of lamb derives from that Auld Alliance between the Scots and the French pre-dating the Hundred Years War.
As for the negative. Much of the book fits into the tedious 'misery memoir' genre beloved of supermarkets (ironic, really, given Clarissa's well founded loathing of the institutions) where the writer of the memoir throws away much of what they have due to their own destructiveness, and then spends the rest of the book smugly retelling how they got it back, poking fun at 'bourgeoise' virtues all the time. In Clarissa's case she inherited a fortune worth nearly 3 million, squandered it on booze over 5 years (that must be going some!Read more ›
Clarissa was born into what should have been a good life, the youngest daughter of an heiress mother and an internationally known surgeon father she had all the advantages but a great deal of that was shattered by her father's drinking and physical abuse. Beyond setting her up for her own substance abuse issues down the line it also taught her to enjoy life while you can and to make your own way in life.
She lists her early life, her career as a barrister, she studied law just to annoy her father who wanted her to be a doctor, and then after drink ended that career, rebuilding herself as a cook and then as a sober cook, as she discovered she was good at one of the few nice things her father had taught her, a love of good food. She details her love of the country side and how her support of certain rural groups effectively ended her television career as "the fluffy bunny brigade" flooded the BBC with protests against her.
Indeed she tells of a wonderful life laying out her mistakes and detailing her triumphs. Through her honesty she has helped many other people have the courage to face their issues. If there is any problem with the book, I would say I would like to have had more details about her time on The Two Fat Ladies than the details she did go into. But to be fair that was a fairly short period in an amazing life and one well worth reading about.
If you buy the audio book instead of the readable version you have the added treat of Clarissa reading it herself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
She has has I teresting life and had courage to over come bad times. Kept a good outlook she is inspiring.Published 4 months ago by patricia dohm
Very disappointed. I was under the impression that I had ordered the book but instead I received an audio tape which is on no use to me whatsoever. Can you help please?Published 8 months ago by Mrs C A Knight
I loved it and her unique personality.
Even if, as a vegetarian, I don't agree with her love of hunting, eating anything meat and suggestion of eating badgers! Read more
An amazing life and a thoroughly recommended read. I haven't enjoyed a book so much in ages. Everyone will love this and her.Published 11 months ago by Eclectic tastes
I think it is a good read. Very witty, funny and poignant at the same time. Very brave to have written it.Published 11 months ago by Jane Carden
"All of us have something we can do, some more than others, but everyone has a natural gift; it is just a question of discovering it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by EviePea48
Interesting book and while I do not agree with Clarissa Dickson Wrights political stance on some issues I do respect where she is coming from.Published 20 months ago by Jill Joiner
For the majority of the book I would give it 4 stars, but it rather petered out towards the end.Published 22 months ago by Barry Tilney