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People who have any experience w/ addiction are sure to enjoy and draw valuable lessons from this book, even if they don't love food. But for a food addict like myself, this seems to have it all: food virtually brought to life (food porn in words, which can be just as good as the real thing w/o the calories), dead-on descriptions of the rationalizing that precedes the binges and the guilt, regrets and dejection that follow, the sometimes unpredictable relapses, etc. I plan to go back to this book every time I can feel one of these last looming.
The book wasn't simply instructive or drool-inducing, though. It's worth a read (or listen) based on the merit of its prose alone. I also enjoyed the other parts even if their focus was not on food, such as the loving descriptions of the author's family, esp. of the two most important people (women) in his life, and his interesting "run-in" with one of America's most influential restauranteurs. Many parts had me in stitches, and passers-by who failed to notice my earphones must have thought me crazy.
The narration was just as good as that by professional readers and less nasal/annoying/exaggerated than some very popular ones. It was also unabridged, which seems to become more and more of a rarity w/ books narrated by authors (Ted Sorensen's autobiography was almost alone in this category until Born Round came along).
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Bruni takes the listener on the grand tour of his life. From his childhood and coming of age in a food-centered Italian family to his starting out in his career and various posts he held through his mid-40's. Much of this is a poignant story of a young man with disordered eating and various coping mechanisms to limit its physical effects- diuretics, laxatives, purging and more. There are few stories of this type from men and Born Round is extremely valuable for that alone, but Bruni's story is a universal, relatable, and he charms the listener with his confessional style. I want him to be my new BFF.
The intersection of his eating/exercise habits and his life's journey thus far is a fascinating one. It has many light moments, some very sad ones, and one that made me sit down and weep, a big, ugly cry with tears streaming down my face as I listened to him narrate what must have been the worst day of his life. (No spoilers)
I recently saw Bruni give a talk at Temple University where he told a few of these stories (prompting this purchase) and they were equally well delivered in person and in this audiobook. Bruni will not disappoint.