Customer Reviews for

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Laugh out loud funny

This book was so much fun, I only wish I had been aware when the project was underway, it would have been fun to blog along and encourage Julie in her endeavor. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading. For me that is always a great sign. I truly enjoyed...
This book was so much fun, I only wish I had been aware when the project was underway, it would have been fun to blog along and encourage Julie in her endeavor. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading. For me that is always a great sign. I truly enjoyed it and am now stimulated to read an actual biography of Julia Child!!

posted by Marie314 on April 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Great Premise turned bad.

I was excited to read this book. What an amazing thing to take on in one year. Cooking some of the hardest receipes out there by the great Julia Child. I was excited to hear about how she figured it out all from a cookbook and no help.

Instead - this was a self-...
I was excited to read this book. What an amazing thing to take on in one year. Cooking some of the hardest receipes out there by the great Julia Child. I was excited to hear about how she figured it out all from a cookbook and no help.

Instead - this was a self-indulgent look into a womans life that as I read further, I realized I didn't like. Don't get me wrong - I don't care about the bad language. I'm not giving this a bad rating over that.

I found the writing to be disjointed, the story did not flow and I didn't laugh. There were three major problems I had with the book.

1. The gross factor - I'm not talking about cooking livers or kidneys or brains. I'm refering to the filth she lived in and cooked in. When your kitchen is so disgusting that your sinks are backing up, your house is full of flies and you have a mass of maggots in your dish tray - the last thing you should be doing is cooking.

2. The political bashing. While I appreciate everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don't think it belongs in a 'non-political' book. If I want to hear the bashing - I'll turn on the news or read a political book. In a book about cooking and life - there is no reason to continually go off on your political ramblings. The criticism and the stereotyping of one group was just not needed in the book. Each time this happened, I considered throwing the book out.

3. Julie as a person. At the end of the day - I thought I might grow to like her. She was self-centered, lazy, dirty and contributed nothing. At the end of the book - she seemed even more self-centered, I didn't get a big message out of all of this so either she can't write or she didn't either and her contribution was a blog and a poorly written book. Even Julia Child didn't like her. If I were Julia Child - I wouldn't want this woman anywhere near anything I had done. Much less attach her name to mine.

Such a shame as this could have been so much better.

This book reminded me a lot of Eat, Pray, Love. Another book about a self-absorbed woman that was almost impossible to finish.

posted by ajt4 on November 4, 2009

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    Great Premise turned bad.

    I was excited to read this book. What an amazing thing to take on in one year. Cooking some of the hardest receipes out there by the great Julia Child. I was excited to hear about how she figured it out all from a cookbook and no help.

    Instead - this was a self-indulgent look into a womans life that as I read further, I realized I didn't like. Don't get me wrong - I don't care about the bad language. I'm not giving this a bad rating over that.

    I found the writing to be disjointed, the story did not flow and I didn't laugh. There were three major problems I had with the book.

    1. The gross factor - I'm not talking about cooking livers or kidneys or brains. I'm refering to the filth she lived in and cooked in. When your kitchen is so disgusting that your sinks are backing up, your house is full of flies and you have a mass of maggots in your dish tray - the last thing you should be doing is cooking.

    2. The political bashing. While I appreciate everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don't think it belongs in a 'non-political' book. If I want to hear the bashing - I'll turn on the news or read a political book. In a book about cooking and life - there is no reason to continually go off on your political ramblings. The criticism and the stereotyping of one group was just not needed in the book. Each time this happened, I considered throwing the book out.

    3. Julie as a person. At the end of the day - I thought I might grow to like her. She was self-centered, lazy, dirty and contributed nothing. At the end of the book - she seemed even more self-centered, I didn't get a big message out of all of this so either she can't write or she didn't either and her contribution was a blog and a poorly written book. Even Julia Child didn't like her. If I were Julia Child - I wouldn't want this woman anywhere near anything I had done. Much less attach her name to mine.

    Such a shame as this could have been so much better.

    This book reminded me a lot of Eat, Pray, Love. Another book about a self-absorbed woman that was almost impossible to finish.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    From my perspective, Julie Powell's life wasn't worth the reading time it took out of my life. I found the book title and premise misleading, since the work shared few cooking experiences and any relationship to Julia Child was tangential, at best. While the author did use Child's recipes, she also had what I consider the audacity to 'make up' other material regarding the lives of Julia and Paul Child, which, even if 'inspired' by original material and acknowledged in the author's note, seems an obvious ploy at aligning her life with theirs. Anyone interested in the interesting and impressive life of the remarkable woman who was Julia Child would be better served by reading her own work,written with her grandnephew, Alex Prud'homme, 'My Life in France'. Quite frankly, Powell could have been using any cookbook for her excuse to write a blog, and then later a book, except it is clear that by associating her self with Child she seeks a status that is undeserved. I rarely stop reading a book, but in this case I made an exception.

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2007

    Horrible writing and foul language

    The author has a very poor writing style. 'A. Lot. Of. Sentences. Read. Like. This.' which is incredibly annoying. It was difficult reading due to poor writing style, foul language, and a very sluggish story line. Although the author does cook everything in Julia Child's first cookbook within one year, it still seemed that there was no plot. We hear nothing of her fun in obtaining the ingredients which I would have loved to read about since she is in NYC and has access to ethnic neighborhoods and shops. Also, as a side note, the author works for an agency that deals with 9/11. Her thoughts about her job and the 9/11 victims are appalling.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2009

    This book is not worth the time

    This was meant to be a book club book but most of the club members never got passed the second chapter. It was a sensless book. I finished it to the end but would advise readers to not bother with this book. It is by far not a page turner. It is rather appalling reading about the conditions in which the author cooked her recipes. Everything about the book and every character in the book appears to be dysfunctional. Definitely a waste of time.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Worth the time or money...

    My review would just be a duplicate of a few others. This book was a huge disappointment.
    I loved Julia Child's book My Life in France and also "The Sharper your Knife the Less you cry".

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    See The Movie

    What a disappointing book. The only reason that I read it through was because I paid full price for it.

    Such a foul mouth!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    Ruined by one thing

    This was a charming, witty book with one exception - the liberal use (and I do mean FREQUENT) of really, really bad language for absolutely no reason really was a distraction, and made me extremely hesitant to recommend it to friends.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    Definitely Lacks Taste

    I am an avid reader. I have read numerous books ranging from biographies, to vampire books, and then there's this book which quite frankly in my opinion makes Ron Jeremy look like a child's cartoon character. The ridiculous overuse of profanity in this book caused me to put the book down for good after only reading 1/3 of it. In my opinion, Julie Powell would have done better writing a satanic pornography book rather than a book about her journey with Julia Child's Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. I was greatly disappointed and I have to admit that just reading this 1/3 of the book, I'm not going to rush to the nearest theater to see the movie. I will wait and rent it and hope for the best. I also did not like the fact that Julie made derogatory comments about the mourners of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. It's one thing to not agree with your government, but by making a mockery of it, that is simply unpatriotic.

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    I've never heard so much complaining in one book before. I was expecting a lot more with the movie coming out and all the hype with it. Not a book I would recommend to anyone.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    What a disappointment!

    I'm usually a person who loves the books more than the movie but this was an exception. The writing was a disappointment and the cursing was so over the top that it turned me off. The movie left me with a good feeling. The book left me with disgust. What good has Julie really achieved? It was a waste of my time and a waste of my money. See the movie instead.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Leave out the swearing please!!!

    This book would have been ten times better (and half as long) if she had stuck to her cooking experiences. I could completely do without her foul mouth and her completely unrelated rantings about politics and sex. This book had great potential, but doesn't deliver. I fervently hope the movie version takes out the garbage and only keeps the good stuff. The idea of the movie sounds great, but Julie Powell is so awful that I hate to think some of my money would be going to her if I went to the movie.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Did not like.

    The bad language turned me off and I threw it away. It might have been an interesting book without the bad language. I'll never know, because I refuse to read any book with that much foul language. I found it offensive!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2007

    Very Disappointing!

    Not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't expect the words I was reading. I couldn't finish this book. The style of writing was very negative, crude and rude. Julia Child is a legend in the cooking world, and deserves much more than what was found in the pages of this book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    I haven't finished this book yet, but so far I'm finding this to be one of those rare cases of the movie's being sooo much better than the book. I don't find it to be as much about Julia Child or even about cooking and more about the author whining about her life. I'm only continuing to read it because it is my Book Club's current selection.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Don't Bother, but see the movie.

    I just bought this book today. I read through the first few pages or so, flipped through the rest and decided it's going back to the store. If you like foul language and references to sex, go ahead and read it. Just don't let your kids read it. There are too many unneeded curse words and just things like sex that should never, ever end up in a book, or at least not a book about a famous cook and someone whom that cook helped out through cooking. Since I hadn't read it, I can't accurately rate the different categories, but in general I will give it a star for the good things that ended up in the movie. Skip the book and see the movie! The movie is far better because it has so much less of the bad stuff. Save yourself from reading all bad stuff.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Garbage -- Read My Life in France or see the movie instead

    There was really nothing appealing about this author or her book. I was so looking forward to a lighthearted, funny read. Boy, was I disappointed. I wished I could have returned this book and gotten my money back. My mother asked to read it after me. I didn't want to give it to her, but she insisted. She couldn't get through it and returned it. The author is foul mouthed, has horrible things to say about her coworkers, republicans and 9/11 victims; and even advocated shooting the last president. On top of all that, her descriptions of cooking in her filthy, cat hair ridden kitchen were repulsive.

    Save your money and see the movie or read Julia'a book "My Life in France." Both were charming and delightful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2009

    This soufflé fell flat.

    There is nothing positive I can say about this book. I am embarrassed for the "author". Her writing is pedestrian at best. If you think this is a book about Julia Child - it is not. Julie approached every recipe as a chore (and that was just a metaphor for how she approached her life, husband, job, etc.) The language is offensive. Worst of all was her sarcasm and snobbery related to her job and September 11. Shame on Julie Powell and her publishers.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2009

    Snotty, Whiny and Boring

    I was entirely disappointed with this book. I thought it would be whimsical and funny at best, silly and frothy at worst. In fact, it was just one annoying, unenlightend, unoriginal rant/observation after another. The author constantly puts down her coworkers as lacking any emotion or compassion (no specifics here - it just must be so, says Julie, because they are Republicans - how original), which is ironic given that she herself constantly makes fun of the mentally ill and lonely, elderly persons, who she dismisses as loons and crazies. She admits to actually enjoying major disasters, including 9-11, because they give her a strange sense of purpose, yet cannot make a sauce without taking her frustration out on her poor, berated husband. In sum, the author is wholly unlikelable and unrelatable and manages to sap any sense of fun whatsoever out of this "story."

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I hated this book!!

    This book is proof that blogging doesn't mean you can write. I got this book for .25 when I joined a book club (not this one) and thought it was well worth the price I paid - I wouldn't have wanted to spend any more than that. There was nothing in the book to hold my attraction, although I did read it all the way through. The author is whiney, shallow and rude to the people she is supposed to support (on her job) and love (her friends and family). Julia Child was correct when she called her an upstart. GO TO THE MOVIE - IT'S MUCH BETTER AND THERE'S MORE JULIA IN IT!!! (And Meryl Streep - what more could you ask for?)

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Hated It

    This book was a real disappointment. It was not at all what I expected. The writing was really bad.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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