Julie & Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen

Published By: Little, Brown and Company

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography

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Reviewed by Andrea Sisco

Just before a quick trip to France I plucked the abridged audio book of Julie & Julia off my desk and tossed it into my carry-on bag. It seemed fitting to listen to a book about Julia Child and her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, while winging my way to France.

Since I'd heard a great deal about the book, I later read the actual book to compare it to the abridged audio version.

The author reads the audio book and does a brilliant job. As someone who dislikes anything and everything about cooking, I admired her perseverance in tackling such a huge project in one year.

Powell writes in a manner that could be termed a quirky stream of consciousness that is interesting and often quite funny. Generally I enjoyed her offbeat writing and the people that make up the landscape of her life. At other times I found her coarse, juvenile, whiny and disrespectful in a way that wasn't at all funny. It was trite and disrespectful and made her look uncaring.

I found her generalization and stereotyping of Republicans as evil people, sad yet interesting, since Democrats call for the acceptance of diverse beliefs. Apparently that only goes for them and not others. As a Kennedy Democrat of yesteryear I was embarrassed. Somehow the title didn't fit Powell's banal rants. Her language certainly was surprising. And then there were the 9/11 references. I wanted to discontinue at that point. Her disdain for the victims families, well, I have no words to adequately express my feelings.

That said, Powell exhibits talent and is free to express her beliefs. I hope she puts it to better use in her next outing. Perhaps she'll grow up a bit, and latch on to some wisdom before then. I hope so because she has a gift that needs some fine-tuning and direction. If she doesn't, she might find that she's lost fifty percent of her audience. Maybe more if you include the older folks of similar political leanings.

Armchair Interviews says: This book could have and should have been brilliant. It's not. And it is not a book about Julia Child and cooking. Those in their 20s and 30s will probably enjoy it far more than those of us over fifty.

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