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Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Average Rating 4
( 193 )
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(81)

4 Star

(44)

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(36)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(19)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Highly recommended-such an honest, from the gut, read!

This book is exhilarating to read. It is unlike any other I have experienced. And you do experience this book as if you were with Gabrielle as she endures the total desertion by her parents at a young age and as she travels and becomes educated from and by so many situa...
This book is exhilarating to read. It is unlike any other I have experienced. And you do experience this book as if you were with Gabrielle as she endures the total desertion by her parents at a young age and as she travels and becomes educated from and by so many situations and opportunities in her life. The result is the ownership of her own NYC restaurant, Prune. You can feel each unpleasant and each wonderful moment that leads to her development. As she trips through her daily evolutions becoming such a knowledgeable chef, not from intentionally studying the business, but from immersing herself from childhood in the wonders and glories of food and its myriad of historical and more recent combinations, you can visualize and almost taste what she savors with each bite. This is such a fine read!

posted by wattfarms on March 10, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Meh.

I really can't give this book more than a moderate recommendation.

For every great chapter, full of the author's obvious love for food and life, there's another where she seems to be nothing more than a conceited, entitled snot who walks on other people, but expects ...
I really can't give this book more than a moderate recommendation.

For every great chapter, full of the author's obvious love for food and life, there's another where she seems to be nothing more than a conceited, entitled snot who walks on other people, but expects some respect from them (and, in turn, from the reader).

The book seems to swing at both ends of this polarity, and I swing, too, from really liking the author, and having a vested interest in the outcome, to disliking her, and wishing she'd just shut the hell up. It makes parts of the book a wonderful, fast-paced read, but others a torturous slog through page after page of self-appreciative drivel.

But for the one-half-to-two-thirds I really liked, I can give a high recommendation. Unfortunately, the other 50%, I can't. So, I'm purely middle-of-the-road on this book (sadly, because I really WANTED to enjoy it)

posted by C_Rouillard on March 13, 2011

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Meh.

    I really can't give this book more than a moderate recommendation.

    For every great chapter, full of the author's obvious love for food and life, there's another where she seems to be nothing more than a conceited, entitled snot who walks on other people, but expects some respect from them (and, in turn, from the reader).

    The book seems to swing at both ends of this polarity, and I swing, too, from really liking the author, and having a vested interest in the outcome, to disliking her, and wishing she'd just shut the hell up. It makes parts of the book a wonderful, fast-paced read, but others a torturous slog through page after page of self-appreciative drivel.

    But for the one-half-to-two-thirds I really liked, I can give a high recommendation. Unfortunately, the other 50%, I can't. So, I'm purely middle-of-the-road on this book (sadly, because I really WANTED to enjoy it)

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It seems fitting that a book that is different from most should

    It seems fitting that a book that is different from most should have a review that's different than most. This review is a collaborated effort, as it's a compilation of 20 opinions with the rating being the calculated average (3 1/2 out of 5), but with one person "authoring" it.

    <i>Blood, Bones, &amp; Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef</i>
    by Gabrielle Hamilton turned out to be a book perfect for a book club discussion. There were so many topics to discuss starting with her childhood, her parents, her siblings, her adolescent years of crime, her lifelong love-hate relationship with cooking, the confusion her &quot;wish-washy&quot; sexuality caused, her adult years as a person, her constant desire and need for a family, and of course her experiences as a restaurant owner.

    Though the majority of the ratings fell to the middle, with areas of the book being really well-liked and other areas being really despised, there were a few that positively loved the book and were balanced by those that absolutely hated it. The opinions varied so heavily in the discussion that it's really difficult to pin down where BB&amp;B did well and where it failed to appeal to the reader. But let's give it our best try.

    My personal opinion is, that regardless of whether you end up loving or hating the book, Hamilton's bravery at producing a book that analyzes her entire life is to be commended. How many of us would be able to put our life out there for the world to judge? How many would be as blatantly honest? Would you be tempted to gloss over certain events and choices, or would you be able to let all the ugly and undesirable hang out there?

    Her overall writing style (voice) was enjoyed with the majority of the readers appreciating that she was open and sincere in her revelations, even when they failed to put her in a better light. Though her failing to stick to a chronological sequence was a source of contention. The overall agreement being that it made the story a little harder to follow at times, and it made the book seem less like a professional publication and more like a set of journal entries slapped together.

    As for the story itself, this was another area where opinions varied greatly. For some the focus on the food and the food experiences were the better way to go, for others the better focus was the life story itself. No matter what camp a reader was in they felt that there was too much of the other and that it took away from the &quot;true&quot; story. There was only one who appreciated the intertwining of the two as it is a &quot;perfect illustration of how they intertwine in Hamilton's life&quot;. This was acknowledged as a very valid point.

    The last point of agreement was the ending, no one felt the story held itself up through to the end. The overall consensus was that it just fizzled out. However, the small section at the back discussing the status of Hamilton's marriage and her status with the Italian side of the family was largely appreciated. It was a moment of absolute frustration when we though the book had ending with no closure on either subject. *Note*: I don't know if this section is in other editions of the books, it's not labeled as an epilogue or anything, it's just sort of there. This particular edition was the Random House Reader's Circle with the little gold circle on the front.

    I hope this compilation review helps you get an idea of <i>Blood, Bones, &amp; Butter</i>
    and whether it might be something you wish to get your hands on. A high recommendation is for it to be a book club read, as it was done here. It is absolutely perfect for creating discussion!

    *Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for using it as a book club read and a review*

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    Interesting read for aspiring foodies

    Loved her descriptions of Italian food and life and her insights into catering. Otherwise, disjointed and really lacked focus. Her narrative is a bit hard to follow and left more questions than answers.

    An autobiography of the chef/owner of Prune, a restaurant in NYC. She is too young to have memoirs and while it is all the rage for chefs to write their stories, the stories need to be well told. This book seemed to be more hurry-up-and-get-something-out-there-while-the-trend-is-hot.
    She is a self-proclaimed lesbian who ends up married to a man. There is some discussion about what happens and not enough about how - how does a lesbian end up married and having babies with a man? She tries to explain that she fell in love with an idea, and somehow falls flat. I would like to re-read this story in a revised version after a good editor gets hold of it. As it stands, I can't recommend it for anyone other than food insiders because you will quickly tire of her peripatetic style when it doesn't seem to go anywhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Interesting Read

    This is a very readable biography, as Hamilton is a good writer. Her story is interesting. My only complaint is that she spends too much time expressing her bitterness about her parents' divorce, for which she blamed her mother, without fully explaining why she is so bitter or why her mother initiated the divorce. The book is best when it focuses on Hamilton's love of food and the use of food as an expression of love and human interaction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Scarloke

    "I knpw she's in there," she growled, frustrated. "But l can't get to her! I am asking that you give her back!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Catbug

    "Im CATBUG!!!" Also Merfolk rp at 'ocean spray' onyl res. Sry for advertiaing, especially from Catbug xD

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Darkness

    Maybe play the stratigic game, and infiltrate them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Interesting but not a great read.

    This book is a bit confusing just as the life of the author. I forced myself to read it because it was my book club's selection. I found I could pick it up and put it down anytime. The author over described some scenes in the book that were totally over done and perhaps unnecesary. Hamilton's anger is easily conveyed to the reader throughout the book in her bursts of anger and childishness. Her writing is very good but some of the events she describes are crude, some vulgar but also very truthful. I felt some of them could've been left out. Maybe it was for her a cathartic moment that I hope helped her see her life and herself and change. I would say the book is interesting but it did not hold my attention.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    For foodies, and people who like to read about typical life thoughts

    I thought this was a very relaxing read. Easy-going and a story of a pretty strange life, but I loved how much her thoughts prevailed and how it all led to a passion for food and cooking and living life.

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    Posted June 16, 2011

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