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Monday, December 7, 2009

Gourmet Rhapsody - Muriel Barbery GIVEAWAY!

Ok. This is going to be a doozy of a review.

I won a copy of Muriel Barbery's novel Gourmet Rhapsody through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. Wait. I won an AUDIO copy of this book. And that's where this gets tricky.

I rarely listen to audio books. My mind tends to wander and I end up rewinding a bunch. And then there's the issue with the narrators. A bad narrator can ruin a good book. Thankfully that was NOT the issue with this audio book. I loved the various narrators' voices. I just had other issues...mainly my own.

First of all, I tried listening and doing things on the Internet. Bad idea. Then I decided to sit and knit while listening. Better idea. Forgot to turn the shuffle thing off iTunes. Bad idea. So I listened to about half of the book in shuffle mode. Yeah.

Anyway, here's the gist:

Gourmet Rhapsody takes place in the same affluent apartment building as The Elegance of the Hedgehog (read my review). This book, however, revolves around an elderly food critic, Monsieur Arthens, who is on his deathbed. The story flip flops between the food critic desperately trying to remember a specific food or taste while he revisits old memories of his lifetime. The rest of the story is narrated by the various people in his life: wife, cat, children, etc. Some of them liked him and some absolutely loathe him. (Almost every section of the audio book is narrated by someone else with a lot of flashbacks, so you could see how I might not have known it was on shuffle.)

At first I did NOT like the food critic. Pompous. Vain. Wordy. But as I sat and knitted, I just started to salivate. I wanted to curl up with a glass of wine and listen to all the foods. (My husband just laughed at that because I am not what you'd call a foodie person.) And then I started to like ol' Monsieur Arthens. He's just on his deathbed remembering fond tastes and smells and experiences while all around him family and friends are judging him.

Anyway, there you have it. I did like it. Even after all my technical difficulties. I want to re-read it (not listen) because there are so many things said that I loved. No dog-earring with audio copies.

***Would you like my Audio (CDs) copy of The Gourmet Rhapsody?

To enter:

1) Tell me your favorite foodie book. I mean one that makes you want to eat whatever they are.
2) Your email. Or your blog. Or however I can get a hold of you.

Contest is open world-wide and open through Friday, December 11th. So hurry up and enter!

Also Reviewed by:
Medieval Bookworm


  1. I absolutely loved My Life in France by Julia Child!

  2. I love Nigella's Christmas cookbook.

    bibliophilebythesea AT gmail DOT com

    (I'd love to win this book)

  3. Chocolat by Joanne Harris and Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series.


  4. Just popping in to say this is posted at Win a Book for you. No need to enter me.

  5. Ooh I would love to enter this. I am getting the first book for Christmas, so it would be lovely to have this one too, if I win. My favourite fictional reading book is Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. I was desperate to try the recipes in the back of that one. I also like reading cooking books too though, especially Jamie Oliver's new one America.

    My email is here

  6. My favourite foodie book is Julie & Julia!!
    I would love to be entered in your draw.

  7. I love Ellie Krieger cookbooks. Please include me in your drawing...thanks.

  8. I just love the covers of these books!

    Anywho, I would have to say that Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is my favorite foodie book. It doesn't necessarily make me want to eat (sometimes far from it), but it gives a fabulous glimpse into the underbelly of a restaurant--the kitchen-- and boy does he speak some truths!

  9. right now I am reading Jamie Oliver..

  10. LOL @ Shuffle mode - that totally sounds like something I would do!! I am recently all about audio books on my commute to my new Library job, so I would love to win this! Thanks for the chance, doll!


  11. Oh, and I loved The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark - that one made my tummy growl a bunch of times!!

  12. hard to choose one, but a food book I really loved was Isabel Allende's book "Aphrodite" because its so delicious in words as well as food.

  13. Nigella Lawson's express cookbook. Easy, very easy to understand even for a novice.


  14. I love Tender At the Bone by Ruth Reichl. Such great food writing. The Italian portion of Eat, Pray, Love made want to gobble pasta like it was my job too.

    rmanwill at gmail dot com

  15. Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray had me salivating for days. Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com


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