Customer Reviews for

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Best Julia Child Biography Out There

I'm a huge Julia Child fan and have read just about everything about her that's out there. This is by far the best biography I've read. Bob Spitz has a wonderful writing voice - it's fun and chatty unlike most of the dry just-reporting-the-facts style of most biographi...
I'm a huge Julia Child fan and have read just about everything about her that's out there. This is by far the best biography I've read. Bob Spitz has a wonderful writing voice - it's fun and chatty unlike most of the dry just-reporting-the-facts style of most biographies.

There's not guilding of the lily, either. You really get the feeling that Spits gives the truth in a respectful manner. Too many biographers gloss over unsavory parts of the subjects' lives or characters in favor of gushing over their perfection.

I especially liked the attention given to Julia's later years - a portion of her life than many people gloss over.

This book left me charmed by Julia all over again.

posted by wordfiend on September 28, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

I expected to love this book because I enjoyed Julia's book, My Life in France. You couldn't help but get caught up in Julia's joy as she discovered France and how much she enjoyed cooking (and eating). This book describes a couple of self-centered rich kids who pout ...
I expected to love this book because I enjoyed Julia's book, My Life in France. You couldn't help but get caught up in Julia's joy as she discovered France and how much she enjoyed cooking (and eating). This book describes a couple of self-centered rich kids who pout because the world isn't handing them the jobs they feel they deserve. And the author's writing style only makes matters worse. It's overly dramatic and verbose. I don't like this Julia and Paul Child.

posted by 3773475 on September 8, 2012

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Best Julia Child Biography Out There

    I'm a huge Julia Child fan and have read just about everything about her that's out there. This is by far the best biography I've read. Bob Spitz has a wonderful writing voice - it's fun and chatty unlike most of the dry just-reporting-the-facts style of most biographies.

    There's not guilding of the lily, either. You really get the feeling that Spits gives the truth in a respectful manner. Too many biographers gloss over unsavory parts of the subjects' lives or characters in favor of gushing over their perfection.

    I especially liked the attention given to Julia's later years - a portion of her life than many people gloss over.

    This book left me charmed by Julia all over again.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Delightful

    What a pleasure to share this review, not only of Juila Child's life, but of the charm and strength with which she entered and took up residence in our lives, hearts and souls Written with obvious affection, Spitz captures her wit, zeal, candor, and skill I smiled throughout my read and immediately headed for the kitchen

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2012

    Great, Great, book.

    This is so well written. Completely changed my idea of Julia Child.
    The author spent a lot of time researching and it is so well written that you will not get bored reading it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Dearie is a great biography of a fascinating woman. The author d

    Dearie is a great biography of a fascinating woman. The author does a great job keeping the tempo going while telling the story of Julia Child's amazing life journey from unknown to icon.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Disappointing

    I expected to love this book because I enjoyed Julia's book, My Life in France. You couldn't help but get caught up in Julia's joy as she discovered France and how much she enjoyed cooking (and eating). This book describes a couple of self-centered rich kids who pout because the world isn't handing them the jobs they feel they deserve. And the author's writing style only makes matters worse. It's overly dramatic and verbose. I don't like this Julia and Paul Child.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2012

    Outstanding

    Engrossing & just delightful- for as lengthy as it is---I'm sorry to reach the end

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2012

    I grew up on Julia Child's cooking shows. I still remember so m

    I grew up on Julia Child's cooking shows. I still remember so many of her shows that have become Iconic in the food world. Her passion, different voice, and determination to do things her way were unique on TV. She is probably single handily responsible for the popularity of so many cooking shows today. Her cooking books still sell respectable every year.

    The book tells her life in a lovable, interesting, and no holes bared manner. Beginning with her background within a rich family, where she and her father we vocal on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Though tall and gangly, she loved men, life, and socializing with all the interesting and important people that she could connect with, usually while eating a meal together.

    Julia crossed the world to become part of the USA spy world during World War 2. Her organizational and writing skills kept her in the center of all the government's secrets. These same skill, including the need for perfection is what made her cooking skills and cook books sell millions.

    She, and her husband, Paul, were a very devoted couple. Both came from the US Government overseas network. Both loved all things food. Both were perfectionists in what was important to them. Both loved all things French.

    Though I've read about, and watched Julia over the years, I found this book eminently readable and fascinating. If you're a foodie at all, this book is definitely for you!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    This is not, in my opinion, a good book. I have read many books

    This is not, in my opinion, a good book. I have read many books about Julia Child and this one seems off the mark. The author tries to contradict "My Life in France" by Child herself with Alex Prud'Homme and tries to discredit Prud'Homme.
    "Dearie" is mostly boring, the author is long winded and uninformed.
    I would not suggest it.
    I would, however, suggest "My Years with Julia Child" by Nancy Verde Barr and of course "My Life in France" or to really catch Julia Child watch the "French Chef" shows that can be purchased.
    Julia Child's estate allegedly approved of this book "Dearie" which sounds to me as though someone is merely looking for sales, and that my friends, is very sad.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Could have been about 200 pages shorter!

    I dragged myself through this because it was our monthly book club selection, and I felt obligated to finish it although I wanted to stop when I reached page 200 and Julia had not even made it to Paris where she first fell in love with French cuisine. I felt it was poorly edited with cliched statements and obvious cliff hanger/foreshadowing strategies that fell short. I would have given it two stars but by the end I did feel I had a good understanding of what Julia Child's life was all about so bumped it up to 3 stars. I do not recommend it because I feel certain there must be better biographies of her out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    This is a superb book and a must read.

    This is a well written book full of wonderful insights about people. The sensitivity of the author is awesome, and the humor in this book makes for delightful reading.
    sbjonesma1

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Wondeful read

    Best biography of julia child i have ever read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Wonderful

    As a young bride I followed Julia's first series in Boston on a tiny black and white tv. I was enchanted. I learned to cook and have always read anything written about her. This is by far the best as it gives you a glimpse of her life before Paul and before cooking. The book is charming and funny. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    A Good Book Even If You're Not A Good Cook

    If you're fascinated by remarkable women even if you're not much of a cook (like me), this is a book worth reading. Author Bob Spitz gives a very thorough yet readable account of the life of Julia Child, beginning with her childhood in Pasadena (which she says was very happy despite having a very bigoted, cantankerous father). He then details her aimless life as a "social butterfly;" her service during World War II as head of the Registry for the Office of Strategic Services (an intelligence agency that was the predecessor of the CIA); her marriage to Paul Child; her travels abroad during her husband's career as a cultural attaché in the State Department; her growing fascination with French cuisine; her attendance at the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris; her years-long work on her celebrated debut cookbook "Mastering The Art of French Cooking"; and finally her renown as one of the first "celebrity chefs" on a series of television cooking shows. While Spitz goes into great - almost exhaustive - detail about Julia's life and what she felt while she was going through it, he rarely attributes his information to any source. He does list several of Julia Child's own books and archival material in his bibliography, however, so we can presume he got much of his information from these. While Spitz of course highlights Julia's many positive aspects, he also doesn't pull any punches when it comes to Julia's faults - her homophobia, her racism, and her later ruthless treatment of her editor and publisher, for example. And BTW - this is a biography, not a cookbook, so don't expect to find any of Julia's recipes in it. Julia Child was undeniably a late bloomer - she didn't find any definite purpose for her life until she fell in love with French cooking and cuisine in her 40s, and was already 50 by the time she became a television star. She is therefore an inspiring example of how it's never too late to make something out of your life. She achieved the eminence she did not only because she was in the right place at the right time (the 1960s were a time of great cultural change, and the Kennedy administration was giving Americans a greater appreciation of French culture), but because of the enthusiasm, passion, and humor she brought to the daunting task of classic French cooking (not to mention her distinctive warbling voice). Even if you couldn't care less about French cuisine, you can still appreciate how Julia Child's approach to it helped to broaden Americans' gastronomic horizons and forever changed the way we eat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    Tooo long

    Stodgy and repetative

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended

    Very lovingly written. Almost a daily view of Julia's life and I'm amused at the details which can get a bit lengthy at times. Otherwise, it is a good story of Julia's life and her search for purpose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    Recommended

    I've read "My Life in France," Julia Child's memoir, which was very entertaining, but this book goes beyond that, giving more details about her life before she moved to France and began cooking professionally. Still in the midst of reading, so don't know how it ends, but very interesting and engaging so far.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    I am impressed with the research done by Mr. Spitz. He has brou

    I am impressed with the research done by Mr. Spitz. He has brought back to life Julia Child and those around her. She had such an impressive life and gave birth to today's cooking programs and books. Great read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Booring Dearie

    Booring!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Nice

    Nice

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Highly recommended.

    Excellent fun. I read this book and then bought copies for two friends.

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