Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

It’s rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It’s even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot three-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station.  And yet, that’s exactly what Julia Child did.  The warble-voiced doyenne of televi
Chris

Jul 27, 2012

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I have adored Julia Child ever since I saw her cook on PBS in the 1970s. I hands down give her credit for my love of food and cooking. I have more of her cookbooks than any other in my collection (nine) and never pass up the opportunity to read something about her, or catch an old episode of “Jacques and Julia.” So when my own dearie brought home the latest biography in honor of her 100th birthday, I couldn’t wait to sit down and sink in.

I love the story that Child started cooking while in her

I love the story that Child started cooking while in her late 30s and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published when she was in her 50s. For those of us looking for someone to look up to for that second phase of life, she was it. A consummate businesswoman, she worked well into her late 80s. That said, Spitz added a bit of dust to her shine, at least for me. She allowed her lawyer to cut ties with longtime publisher and editor Knopf and Judith Jones in one fell swoop, she was a raging homophobe, she had a facelift (!), and she was emotionless and sometimes caustic. While everyone has looked up to the love affair and marriage of Paul and Julia Child, Paul was at times an incredibly difficult man, especially following a series of heart attacks and strokes. How was Julia able to balance a crazy schedule of TV and book appearances as well as writing the latest and greatest cookbook AND taking care of her unwell husband all at once? Spitz gave us only the slightest look. I probably would have crawled under a rock, but she appeared to deal this deck she was given with aplomb and finesse. I wonder how that is possible. All these and much more have lead me to look at her in a different light.

Spitz has a definite voice as a biographer; adding his own opinion here, comments there. When I read biographies I really don’t want the voice of the writer, I want to hear the voice of the subject.

I’m glad I read this book, but feel like a young child who discovers there is no Santa Claus; still somewhat mystified by the myth, yet sad it isn’t what I had imagined.
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The Library Lady

I might have been impressed by this book if I hadn’t already read Noel Riley Fitch‘s Appetite For Life last summer and Julia Child‘s own My Life In France several years before that. But I have. So I wasn’t.

There is little new material here.Aside from an occasional nugget or two, everything here was covered in those books. Spitz spends a good deal of time imposing his own view of Julia upon her behavior, commenting on social history and slanging American home cooking–and as a home cook myself, t

There is little new material here.Aside from an occasional nugget or two, everything here was covered in those books. Spitz spends a good deal of time imposing his own view of Julia upon her behavior, commenting on social history and slanging American home cooking–and as a home cook myself, there are other choices between can/frozen food cooking and Julia’s masterpieces when it comes to everyday dinners!

Spitz also attempts to be hip, describing a young Julia in college as getting “shit faced” drunk and other such phrases that are more Julie Powell than Julia Child. His frequent comments about her “saucy” sense of humor come off as more cutsey than anything else. And how about the infamous valentines she and Paul used to make and send their friends? Far more telling than most of the incidents he brings up, and he only mentions that in passing.

This is getting good publicity, but if you want better, truer portraits of our Julia, read the other books and give this one a pass.
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