Trailer ↠´ Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen PDF by Ò Julie Powell I think there s an unfortunate trend that people follow these days, particularly women, to verbally criticize themselves in a hyper self aware manner, as if recounting all of their faults real or imagined will not only amuse the listener, but prove that they are stoic even good hud about being the biggest, fattest, ugliest, ding battiest failures to ever grace the earth Doesn t he get it Doesn t he understand that if I don t get through the whole book in a year then this whole thing will have been a waste, that I m going to spiral into mediocrity and despair and probably wind up on the street trading blow jobs for crack or something He hates me, anyway Look at him, curled over on his side of the bed like he doesn t want to so much as touch me It s because I ve got the stink of failure on me I m doomed Now I like a little self deprecation every now and again, but this book is founded entirely on the author s insecurities, which are mostly unfounded The books foundation is rocky to say the least This is clearly a bright woman and obviously very few people think they are the most abhorrent human being alive or the mortality rate in our society would sky rocket, so why bother with all of the abuse She doesn t need it her prose are clever and deliberate, and all of this I hate myself crap really clouds what she is trying to say Perhaps it s because she based this book on her blog, which REALLY lends itself to this kind of meta humor, but I m sooooo sick of it Go read about fistula in Africa and then tell me how depressed you are because you re making your own life miserable Bah I love the concept, I really do not so much the finished product Had she not made the fuuny reference to my favorite line in Casablanca near the begininning of the book, I never would have been able to finish it The thought of finding another gem like that made me stick with it even when I wanted to throw Julie out of a twenty story window The whiny, self absorbed, melodramtic, narcissistic, trite yet on occasion deliciously funny Julie Powell decides to take up a project to add meaning to her life, or at least to distract herself from dealing with it She decides that she is going to cook every single recipe in Julia Child s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and that she is going to do it in the time span of a year Julie never mentions how many hours she actually works in a week at her oh pity me, the lowly secretary who still makes enough money to live in New York and buy enough food to cook every single recipe in the Julia Child MtAoFC cookbook job, but I honestly have a very difficult time believing that she worked full time, commuted, did the grocery shopping, cooked every single recipe in the book, wrote a blog, and yet still had time to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer I mean, really, does anyone that gave this book five stars actually cook She does make the point very clear that she didn t clean at all that year And she did allow herself to gain an untold amount of weight rather than work out I suppose that gave her a little extra time to devote to this project And on top of all that she expected her husband and her friends to support her insanity, wholeheartedly and unabashedly Eric should have kept a blog for the year about putting up with Julie For a book about cooking, there is a sad lack of description regarding the various recipes Sure, she does go into detail about excavating bone marrow and dismembering lobsters, but what about the food I didn t get the impression that she actually loves food so much as that she has a gluttonous relationship to it Don t want to deal with your feelings That s okay, just stuff them down with extremely high fat foods and ignore the consequences I have no patience for this sort of self defeatist behavior the average overweight american who refuses to take responsibility for their own health and instead assumes a false sense of pride over being carefree about their food choices And then just accepts a dependence upon pharmaceuticals to manage the ill effects Is it really any wonder that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States This may have been an entertaining blog, but the My bleaders like me, they really like me tone did not translate very well into a book If you have any interest whatsoever in her story, save yourself the money and grief of reading this book and just read her blog With The Humor Of Bridget Jones And The Vitality Of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell Recounts How She Conquered Every Recipe In Julia Child S Mastering The Art Of French Cooking And Saved Her Soul Julie Powell Is Years Old, Living In A Rundown Apartment In Queens And Working At A Soul Sucking Secretarial Job That S Going Nowhere She Needs Something To Break The Monotony Of Her Life, And She Invents A Deranged Assignment She Will Take Her Mother S Dog Eared Copy Of Julia Child S Classic Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, And She Will Cook All Recipes In The Span Of One Year At First She Thinks It Will Be Easy But As She Moves From The Simple Potage Parmentier Potato Soup Into The Complicated Realm Of Aspics And Cr Pes, She Realizes There S To Mastering The Art Of French Cooking Than Meets The Eye With Julia S Stern Warble Always In Her Ear, Julie Haunts The Local Butcher, Buying Kidneys And Sweetbreads She Sends Her Husband On Late Night Runs For Yet Butter And Rarely Serves Dinner Before Midnight She Discovers How To Mold The Perfect Orange Bavarian, The Trick To Extracting Marrow From Bone, And The Intense Pleasure Of Eating Liver And Somewhere Along The Line She Realizes She Has Turned Her Kitchen Into A Miracle Of Creation And Cuisine She Has Eclipsed Her Life S Ordinariness Through Spectacular Humor, Hysteria, And Perseverance In the immortal words of Michael Bluth I don t know what I expected I knew what I was getting into with this, I really did It is a well documented fact that Julie Powell is a delusional asshole if you need a good laugh, look at the reviews for Cleaving, her second book they all essentially boil down to Wow, so turns out Julie Powell is horrible , and even if I hadn t been aware of this, there s the fact that whenever I watch the movie adaptation of Julie and Julia, I skip the Julie parts because even Amy Adams, who is literal human sunshine, cannot make that woman appealing in any sense of the word.
Actually, the whole reason I decided to get this book from the library is because the movie was on TV the other day, and I got morbidly curious about Julie Powell s side of the story I had already read Julia Child s My Life in France, which was the inspiration for the Julia parts of the movie, so I decided that it only made sense to complete the experience and read Powell s book.
Powell wastes no time letting her readers know exactly what kind of monster she is On page eight Eight We re not even into the double digit pages yet we get to see Powell s version of an Oprah Ah ha moment I mentioned this in one of my status updates already, but I feel it s important that I fully explain this scene Basically, Powell is waiting in the subway one day and witnesses a plug of a woman, her head of salt and pepper hair shorn into the sort of crew cut they give the mentally disabled, who had plopped down on the concrete directly behind me The loon started smacking her forehead with the heel of her palm Fuck she yelled Fuck FUCK The loon placed both palms down on the concrete in front of her and CRACK smacked her forehead hard on the ground.
It was only once I was in the car, squeezed in shoulder to shoulder, the lot of us hanging by one hand from the overhead bar like slaughtered cows on the trundling train, that it came to me as if some omnipotent God of City Dwellers were whispering the truth in my ear that the only two reasons I hadn t joined right in with the loon with the gray crew cut, beating my head and screaming Fuck in primal syncopation, were 1 I d be embarrassed and 2 I didn t want to get my cute vintage suit any dirtier than it already was Performance anxiety and a dry cleaning bill those were the only things keeping me from stark raving lunacy So in addition to being an asshole, Julie Powell also might be a sociopath, because who does thatHow much of a selfish, raging narcissist do you have to become in order to watch what is clearly a mentally ill person having a disturbing episode, and your first response is, Ugh, same And then you record the scene in your memoir and frame it as some kind of profound breakthrough moment for you Gee, I m so glad that person had a mental breakdown and seriously injured themselves so you could have an epiphany, Julie Powell you may be wondering how does this experience lead to Powell deciding to cook her way through Julia Child s Mastering the Art of French Cooking I read the damn book and I couldn t even tell you So anyway, Powell starts working her way through Julia Child s cookbook, keeping a blog about her progress This means we get a delightfully dated scene where Powell s husband suggests she start a blog, and Julie s like, what the hell is a blog 2002 was a simpler time As many reviewers have pointed out, the blog to memoir transition was done pretty clumsily, with scenes happening out of sequence and a nonsensical structure Powell will start a chapter about some recipe she was working on, and then break for a lengthy flashback that has almost no relation to the beginning of the chapter It s very difficult to follow the progress she s making through the cookbook, and all the flashbacks and timeline skipping meant that I never had any clear idea of where I was in the project, unless Powell directly referenced the date Along with the messy structure, another big issue with the book is that Powell isnot a great writer She s clearly trying to be self depreciating, and make us think that she s rolling her eyes right along with us whenever we read a scene of her throwing a tantrum about mayonnaise but the problem is that I wasn t shaking my head and smiling in bemusement, like Powell wants me to I was just thinking, you are horrible, and telling me that you know you re being horrible doesn t help Powell doesn t have the writing skill to redeem herself in the narrative, and on top of that, her prose is often practically unreadable Try this excerpt on for size, and see if it makes any goddamn sense to you on the first reading My mother is a clean freak, my father a dirty bird, semi reformed Between them, they have managed to raise one child who by all accounts could not care less about basic cleanliness, but whose environs and person are always somehow above reproach, and another child who sees as irrevocable humiliation any imputation of less than impeccable housekeeping or hygiene, and yet, regardless of near constant near hysteria on the subject, is almost always an utter mess Well, now I guess we know what it would sound like if Charlotte Bronte wrote all her books drunk It made me long for the effortless, evocative writing Julia Child presented in My Life in France her description of the proper technique for scrambling eggs is practically poetry And that is what really sets Julie Powell apart from Julia Child Child loved to cook, and Powell does not Her project, and every recipe she describes, are never presented as anything other than a chore she has to get through There is no joy in Powell s book, no love for the dishes she prepares And frankly, a lot of Powell s book is pretty gross Her kitchen is always a disaster scene, with dirty surfaces and piles of unwashed dishes Which, fine you re working a full time job and cooking gourmet meals every night, obviously you re going to slack off on cleaning again But then Powell discovers that there are maggots living under her dish rack, and I was fucking done With Julie and Julia, Julie Powell has managed to do the unthinkable she wrote a cooking memoir that didn t make me feel hungry, not once in three hundred pages I m pretty sure that s a capital offense in some countries.
I read The Scavengers Guide to Haute Cuisine, and I really liked it I figured this book would be along the same lines Yeah, well, it wasn t Instead of a book about cooking, it was a book about a whiny, pseudo intellectual woman who tries to cook because her life is otherwise crappy Please tell me how cooking an entire Julia Child cookbook will improve your life Actually, don t, because that is the premise for this book and it sucked.
Oh, and reading about her husband was cringe worthy This wimp drinks vodka tonics, gets shaving tips from gq, and has regular, uncontrollable vomiting episodes Hey guy, maybe when your balls finally descend from your body cavity you can write a book about that Then both you and your wife can have lame books published For the sake of fair reviewing, I only made it through just over half of this before I became too repulsed to read on So maybe it turns out awesome Maybe she gets all the recipes cooked Maybe her husband and her friends actually become interesting I guess I ll never find out, because I know I d derive ten times entertainment from smelling my fingers than I would by finishing this book.
Completely and utterly disappointing.
I was so in love with the idea that Julie came up with to recreate each of the 524 recipes in Julia Child s Mastering the Art of French Cooking I never had read her blog before, and my expectations for the book were high.
Unfortunately, Julie is a completely repulsive, unappealing and vulgar human being Her self deprecating humor, was it didn t make me find her charmingly witty rather, I just believed what she was telling me and decided that she was in fact the most disgusting person alive The fact that she keeps her crappy apartment in filthy, squalor like conditions she had maggots growing in the kitchen that she was theoretically using on a daily basis kinda made me want to throw up If it hadn t been for my fascination with food and my love of Julia Child, I would have stopped reading which is pretty rare for me.
The book isn t even about the cooking or Julia, not really, anyway It s instead just a new platform for Julie to continue with her self indulgent blogging.
What a disapointment I thought it would be a fun read, someone working through a life crisis by cooking their way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1, but I threw the book in the trash after reading the first few chapters and thumbing through the rest The profanity, baseness and the f bombs are inappropriate and don t add anything to the content.
Oh Jesus Bear with me because this is going to be long.
Mrs Julie Powell The woman, the legend The horror tale The first thing you have to know about her is she s not like other women, she reads books According to that logic, this entire website constitutes an anomaly in the Venn diagram of women everywhere, so take that as you will.
She s one of the most self absorbed people I ve ever had the displeasure of coming in contact with and on top of that she s a disgusting slob Powell repeatedly talks at length about the poor state of the house, what with cat hairs everywhere, thick layers of dust on everything, fleets of flies, maggots in the kitchen where you re cooking on a daily basis, but God forbid she actually does something about it Besides whining, that is And no, after a year of this, part of you just assumes there s gotta be some maggots somewhere around is not an excuse for your kitchen being a health hazard Now, I don t know about Long Island, but I live in a 40 sq ft flat straight out of a Polly Pocket rejected concept and I have never had a problem keeping the bloody kitchen clean Even with pets around In the end and I mean the end as in the actual end, after a year of not tidying up it s her husband who cleans the entire flat after one of her fits I feel so sorry for that man becauseon the second to last day of a year of torture imposed on the man you love, you scream and throw things and call him an idiot, and instead of slamming the front door in your face he cleans the house while you nap Amazing I don t mind her language but the melodrama gets old real quick If you have issues cutting the marrow then plan ahead and ask the butcher They re there for a reason If you re having trouble with the mayonnaise then maybe read the whole recipe beforehand instead of just tossing everything into a bowl hoping for a miracle Seriously, this is one of the things that bothered me the most she never actually planned anything She repeatedly mucks up recipes because apparently she s never read them in advance We re talking about 5 pages recipes that she just decides to go ahead and try without a bit of preparation That s unfathomable to me On top of that she consistently treats her husband like utter garbage, consistently talks shit about her friends, turning them into the butt of a joke or a misguided moral of the story look, I m messed up but at least I m not the 24 year old having sex with the married Cali guy She hops on the highest of horses and judges this friend of hers, Isabel, who decides to divorce her husband after falling in love with and English guitarist This after consistently mistreating her own husband and entertaining herself with the idea of adultery the entire David Strathairn seducing made me feel so uncomfortable I had to put the book down for a minute Funniest thing apparently, after publishing this first book because yes, she somehow got a deal for another one , she had an affair that lasted two years and was chronicled in her second book Which Alright You re no paragon of virtue, either Quite the opposite, in fact Maybe you should shut your trap and stop judging literally every single one of your friends If you still have them.
She keeps tracing this line between herself The Democrat and everyone else at work The Republicans and then proceeds to write some of the most asinine, racist, prejudiced, misogynistic sentences And, just in case you d forgotten how thoroughly American something can be, Powell makes sure to remind you every four pages or so that every other place is a Barbaric Wasteland light years behind, and America is the Only Land worth living in Which sure dampens my European spirits when all I was expecting from this book was a fun light read about cooking and living But no Racial stereotypes and prejudices abound There s the veiled daughter of a bedouin, the ancient Japanese sex position, the bigoted Sicilian women who cross themselves every time they see Julie s red headed brother, there s the Hungarian policeman who steals money from tourists, the cannibal Germans, kinky Asian euphemisms for watersports, repressed Islamic societies oh, and did I mention the gas chamber jokes Right when I thought it couldn t get any worse And let s not forget about the rape jokes, because those are always so much fun and I wouldn t want to miss out If you re wondering why I haven t talked about cooking, it s because there s not much cooking in this book Sure, Powell spends quite some time in the kitchen, but she barely cooks She yells, she cries, she throws things, she slams pans and pots on the counter top, she breaks kitchen utensils How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity is not an hyperbole Powell actually has no chill, and the last place she should spend time in is the kitchen.
I can see how this book was a successful blog It s a series of snacks than a grand a la carte meal in a French restaurant The author s endless repetition of her hatred for Republicans, her job as a secretary and the use of her favourite words fuck and suck, neither of them used sexually, probably give you the flavour of this slight one note book A snarky, sarky, endlessly whining personality that is amusing to read on a daily blog, gets a bit much in a full length book Reading it is a bit like having to eat all your meals at McDonalds every day from Sunday for a week By Wednesday, you d long for a salad and maybe a refreshing sorbet, but it would yet another ersatz burger with underdone and slightly wilted fries.
Julia Child is, for non Americans, not much than a name than some people might recognise but the imagined episodes of her life in the book are teasing and delicious She was a very unusual woman, far interesting than the author herself but the author wrote about her well Therein lies hope If Julie Powell can write this well when not writing about herself, then maybe there will be other, non autobiographical books in the future Meanwhile I look forward to the non pareil acting of Meryl Streep to illuminate both Julia Child and the film way above the standard of the book.
An addendum I used to belong to a private group on GR of women trying to lose weight They were all American They HATED this book with a passion, I mean than a passion They wanted the author punished and no one to stock her books and everyone to 1 star her What was her crime She was a Democrat I stood up for her because I am not an American and I don t know much details about internal American politics, nor do I care You don t get the same strength of feeling in the UK about who is Labour and who is Tory, so I don t even really understand it Anyway they threw me out and all of them banned me One later wrote in an IM to the mod of a private group that I was a whore who had lived with two men at the same time The mod thought it was funny It was true, except I m not a whore, but they were in different countries Now strangely, not long after this I was friendly and in a secret group with another set of Americans All Democrats There were problems over the same book They all wanted me to agree that Republicans were the devil s spawn The only man in the group took me to task about defending evil Republicans They threw me out too I wasn t respectful enough to the guy apparently Oh Right There you go These two events hurt me so much that I had to console myself with several bars of chocolate and a whole evening of Masterchef And rereading and editing this review again, I am still so distraught that I am going to have to finish the bottle of chocolate Baileys and hope I feel better then.
Kind of rewritten 4 Jan 2016 Author Julia Powell is a mix of many people From page one, when she tells us she sold her own eggs to pay off credit debt, she is much like the dreaded person seated next to you on a long haul flight that proceeds to tell you their life story in a matter of minutes She is also the TMI girl that we all know, whose narrative describes the smell of her burps and piss, bitches incessantly about her job and Republicans, describes smelly cocks, drinks too many cocktails, tells us she sleeps with her face on her husband s ass, says fuck every other word and undoubtedly finds herself witty and funny while being oblivious to the gaping jaws and cringes of those around her She smacks and insults her loving and patient husband while contemplating cheating on him and living vicariously through her slutty friends, both single and married I smell a divorce cooking In short, she is the loud girl we all wish would shut the fuck up.
She also started a year long cooking blog project an idea given to her and set up by the very husband she treats like garbage to cook every recipe from Julia Child s Mastering the Art of French Cooking She proceeds to alter and screw up recipes, partly due to their difficulty, partly due to her bad planning, and mostly due to her own stupidity i.
, boning a fowl isn t that difficult so stop stressing about it why don t you try asking the butcher if he can slice the bone marrow for you instead of trying it yourself and making a disgusting mess please don t tell us about getting lobster meat out with a tweezer We are, of course, supposed to laugh at this and find it all funny Ha Ha As she embarked on this culinary journey, I couldn t help but remember that she d mentioned having three cats and a python, and being disgusted that this was the environment in which she d be cooking But no worries She will of course tell us about the cat hair in the kitchen and in the food, along with the dead mice for her snake shoved in the same bag as her cooking ingredients And the vegetables falling on the rotted out kitchen floor, which she naturally picks up and throws into the pot And the flies in her kitchen That lead her to find the maggots In her kitchen Yummy Julie ends up getting lots of media attention, a big blog following, a book movie deal out of the whole thing An ignorant reader like myself gains a new appreciation for the complexity of Julia Child s recipes and something like but not quite admiration for the author actually going through with cooking every recipe in the book This will not go on my sucked shelf, as is certainly didn t suck I give it one star for being very readable and for being a somewhat touching story of how one nobody became somebody all by herself I simply didn t like her tone I just couldn t take it I hear she has a sequel coming out next month, this time about being a butcher Would I read it Absolutely Not because I want to read about her mutilating dead animals and describing even bodily functions we don t need to know about Really, I m dying to know if she divorces that kind husband who was by her side the whole time I m betting she did.