Garlic and Sapphires

  • by Ruth Reichl
  • Narrated by Ruth Reichl
  • 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic. What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various disguises, she finds herself changed not just superficially, but in character as well. She gives a remarkable account of how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites. As she writes, "Every restaurant is a theater...even the modest restaurants offer the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while." Garlic and Sapphires is a reflection on personal identity and role playing in the decadent, epicurean theaters of the restaurant world.

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What the Critics Say



2005 Audie Award Winner, Biography/Memoir
"[A] vivacious, fascinating memoir." (Publishers Weekly)
"Garlic and Sapphires pulls back the curtain on Reichl's six-year tenure at The Times, and it's never less than fascinating." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Book

If you liked Tender At The Bone, you will love this book. You haven't read Tender At The Bone? You will love that too. Ruth Reichl is the best writer on food and the best autobiographer we have writing today.
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- Penny

Way too abridged!

This is a good book. I picked the abridged over the unabridged this time, because the abridged version is read by the author. But so much is missing! In the book, chapters of narratives end in Ruth's newspaper column, which serves as a conclusion for each story. Those are cut out (so the stories are left to dangle, without the readers knowing how her article turned out). The entire "umani" sushi experience is gone, as well as other great segments.


Stay with the unabridged! I am very sorry that I didn't.
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- ciniminis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2005
  • Publisher: Random House Audio