• by Mark Kurlansky
  • Narrated by Jon Van Ness
  • 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Break out the TV dinners! From the author who gave us Cod, Salt, and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.


What the Critics Say

"Kurlansky brings Birdseye to life.... Covering the science behind Birdseye's... inventions along with intimate details of his family life, [he] skillfully weaves a fluid narrative of facts on products, packaging, and marketing into this rags-to-riches portrait of the man whose ingenuity brought revolutionary changes to 20th-century life." (Publishers Weekly, starred)
"Kurlansky tells the exciting tale of Birdseye’s adventures, failures and successes (he became a multi-millionaire) and his family, and he also offers engaging snippets about Velveeta, dehydration and Grape-Nuts. The author notes that Birdseye knew that curiosity is 'one essential ingredient' in a fulfilling life; it is a quality that grateful readers also discover in each of Kurlansky’s books." (Kirkus Reviews, starred)
"Kurlansky’s narrative gifts shine through every chapter." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I just couldn't get past the narrator

What would have made Birdseye better?

Anyone who has listened to Cod, or Salt, knows what a good Kurlansky narrator sounds like. I don't want to sound mean, but I found myself flipping it off, because of the narration. Pauses and breaks in mid sentence, gasps for air, flat toned vocals, deadpan. It felt like they grabbed a guy off the street with dyslexia and asked him to narrate a book. I made it 1/4 way and deleted it out of frustration.I bet the book is good, but the audio one stinks!

Would you be willing to try another book from Mark Kurlansky? Why or why not?

I highly recommend Salt and Cod, more entertaining books by Kurlansky.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jon Van Ness’s performances?

Not for all the tea in china. He has narrated only one book in his life, and that's one too many.

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- K. Lawrence

A Great Story That's True and Motivational

When I first started this book I didn't think I would like it. Kurlansky can be a little long winded. But it gets better and better as it goes along and I really loved it.

I not only found the history of the man and frozen foods to be very interesting, but also motivational. Birdseye really dug in and made his ideas a reality.

There's a great lesson for us all. Ideas are great but action makes things happen.

Great story, well read, fun and motivational.

Get it all right here!

Chris Reich, TeachU
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- Chris Reich

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-08-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio