This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, December 24, 2007

(A Partial) Book Review: Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, & Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

Actually, it should read "(A Partially Read) Book Review..." but I can't fit anymore words into the title.


That's how I feel about this book. I could not finish it, or maybe, I would not finish it.

And I like this book! I have been relating the premise of this book to Tim and others. It is well written and the story is very interesting.

The author, Bill Buford (who I also could not fit into the title), works in the kitchen of Mario Batali's (AKA Molto Mario, from the Food Network) restaurant. He gives insight to how hard it is for a 'non-traditional' kitchen worker to work in an environment with people who are passionate about working within their roles, and then some.

I've always had respect for the restaurant business. Again, it's hard working people -- you can NOT not work hard in the restaurant business. So reading about it and learning about what they endure was pretty cool and extremely interesting.

And he (the author) visits Italy and writes about the people he meets and how they cook and what they cook.

Absolutely wonderful to read. He writes well and describes everything wonderfully.

So what went wrong? I couldn't make it past a quarter way through this book.

And it is a big book. Over 330 pages with small typeface.

And despite enjoying it, it was not enough to keep me focused. Maybe I had a case of "reader's block" and had to take a break somewhere -- but I don't buy that. I don't like not finishing a book. It feels like I've wussied out. But I am totally disengaged from resuming it and in fact, I have moved on.

I didn't like that this book stalled me, for whatever reason. I want to read one book after another. Kind of like a kindred spirit with a man-whore who wants to bang every woman he can, but for me, it's reading every book I can because, well, there just isn't enough time to read them all!

But it did stall me and maybe one day I will resume and finish it, but it is highly unlikely. It hasn't happened in the past and I just don't think I can pick it back up from where I left off.

But if you are curious, you should give it a try. I have nothing to complain about other than, perhaps, bad timing. The book is wonderfully written and so engaging. If you get a chance to read it, perhaps you'll come back and post your opinion...since I was unable to finish it.

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