Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Harshest Review I've Ever Written

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen">Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by">Julie Powell

My rating:">1 of 5 stars

If this book had actually been about 365 days and 524 recipes, I would have liked this book. If it had actually been about themes connecting the lives of Julia Child and Julie Powell, I would have loved this book.

As it was, the only parts I really wanted to read were the very few and far between snatches of Julia Child. However, the author's views on other people (shared through the lens of her cynicism, her blame, and her hypocrisy) make me distrustful of her lens focused on Julia and Paul Child.

Everything else is littered with unfunny self-absorption, self-pity (not to be confused with self-deprecating humor--there isn't any) and characters who are not interesting and certainly not noteworthy.

On the positive side, I now want to read Julia's own words, thanks to Cody and what I've heard of the movie (that just HAS to be better than this book.)

The softie in me thinks that my critique is too harsh because:
1. She lost me in the beginning when she doesn't call for help when she sees a woman wack her own head on concrete. I don't care if you're in New York, you DO SOMETHING.
2. She's so scattered. For example, sometimes she attempts french recipes without really reading them--which is fine, but don't write a book with a pragmatic title: it's false-advertising.
3. She alienated me with her very poor handling of truly important moments. The making of omelettes-not important. Your attitude toward comforting families who lost loved ones September 11th-important.
4. She aligns her own "journey" with that of Julia Child and it felt false and forced. But I could have forgiven her that had I not wanted to stop spending time with her altogether.">View all my reviews >>

1 comment:

The Ashdowns said...

Ouch! I personally have never read this book but now I know I probably won't, haha. You seem like a good critic though, any books you'd like to promote?