Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen (Hardcover)

I liked the book. It was engaging, entertaining and just how I imagined it would be.

I must mention here that I tend to get influenced by reviews of the books I read. Sometimes I read reviews before I read the book and sometimes as am reading the book.

I understand that reviews are meant to influence your take on the book and let you judge if you want to read the book.

With Julie and Julia, I read a few reviews when I was 3/4th done with the book. I felt a tad let down. I mean, the reviews were spot on for the most part-Julie Powell seems to represent the quintessential New Yorker at least the one that I have been reading about (funnily enough as food writers or quasi food writers, such as Phoebe Damrosch or Elizabeth Gilbert or the Perfect Manhattan authors)-neurotic, edgy, irritable, quirkily funny, self-loathing, ivy leaguer, articulate when you don't expect it and more importantly gifted with the uncanny ability to convert their life's sagas into a moderately well-selling book, with a possible shot at hollywood-dom.

The reviews also correctly pointed out Powell is unnecessarily elucidative on her friends' supposedly prurient sex lives, attention which have been diverted to her interpretation of Julia Child's recipes.

I would agree with all of them. Julie Powell is a 20-going on 30 something with a dead end job at a govt. agency who is at pains to reconcile with her sub-optimal life when she chances upon a idea-cook all of Julia Child's recipes from her Mastering the Art of French Cooking tome.

She sets upon with great gusto and starts up a blog to chronicle her advances. This when blogging was a still unheard of phenomenon in the cyber-world. As is the case with such projects, the blog quickly garners a fan following. It even gets to a point where her bleaders (blog readers, her portmanteau, not mine) send her donations to keep her project going-after all, cooking the recipes that require butter, choiciest pieces of meat and wine does require some bolstering of the secretary income.

The blog became a book.

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