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The Fruit Hunters
100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was reading an early posting of the Sunday New York Times book review last week and I came across Mary Roach's review of this book. The review was so outstanding that it made me want to explore the book, even though I'm not particularly inclined to fruit or nature writing. The next day I went out and bought the book and read it almost in one sitting. I was transfixed, to say the least. And hungry: Gollner's book made me want to jump on a plane to Brazil and find all the marvelous fruits that he wrote about, fruits that made my mind spin and mouth salivate. Who knew there were such delightful things such as the "bran muffin" fruit? Reading this book is feels like an illicit glimpse into the Garden of Eden.
Gollner is a great writer: funny, brisk, informative without being too didactic. His pacing and narrative abilities are excellent; what could have been a dull book about colorful things reads like a thriller at times. This book to me a little like the exotic fruits Gollner so vividly and lovingly describes: it's a rare pleasure that I'm lucky I discovered.
I once had the opportunity to eat cottony guanabana in Costa Rica, and to sip dragonfruit juice in Vietnam.... Now that I am strapped to my desk, and limited to munching on banal fruits like apples and oranges, I greatly appreciated being able to travel to far-off places with Gollner as he explored fruit hunting stomping grounds like Brazil and the Congo.
Gollner's writing is an intriguing mix of delicate prose and hipster slang--a modern style that is entertaining and thoughtful. I would highly recommend this captivating and informative book to anyone who is a fruit bat like me; it's full of fun fruit-filled history and trivia (and has an excellent index for double-checking fruit facts).
If, like me, you are still eating your way through all of the recent and exciting food-focused books like Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (2001), Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire (2001) & The Omnivore's Dilemma (2006), and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (2008), this book makes a sweet addition to your forays into agriculture, food production, shady food histories and politics, and the commodity chains that land things in our grocery carts, our fruit bowls, and our bellies. So... prepare a nice dish of salted green mangoes and settle down with The Fruit Hunters--you will not be disappointed!
This mess of a book is full of such junk science. To wit: "They (fruits) even possess a form of intelligence: bananas and oranges connected to lie-detecting polygraphs have been shown to respond to mathematics questions in experiments..."
And where is the source of this claim? There is no Notes Section in this book. There is a "Further Reading" section, though that won't help provide the reader with properly tracking down any of the statements put forth.
Mr. Gollner has also too much of an adolescent infatuation with ideas of sex; his chapters are chock full of all the metaphors, myths and whatnot concerning human beings and their historical and current attaching of libidinal connotations with various fruits... to the point where he feels it necessary to quote some loser friend of his who admits, "When I open a fig... I want to "expletive" it." Whether such associations are valid or not, the author's non-stop accounts of such just get to be annoying.
Don't even waste your time, let alone money, with this ridiculous tome.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible detail... Re-ignited my lifelong passion for trees planting fruit trees and arbors and re-greening the planet.Read more