Julie and Julia

  • by Julie Powell
  • Narrated by Julie Powell
  • 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 30-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 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 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 more complicated realm of aspics and crepes, she realizes there's more 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 more 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.

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What the Critics Say

"Both home cooks and devotees of Bridget Jones - style dishing will be caught up in Powell's funny, sharp-tongued, but generous writing." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good laugh

This book has induced several full-blown belly laughs as I listen with my headphones on, making my husband wonder what I could possibly be listening to. When I tell him it's about a woman who is cooking her way through a Julia Child cookbook, he looks nonplussed. The author, Julie Powell, reads her own work very well; her intonation and comedic timing are dead on. She is very irreverent ( I love how she refers to Julia Child as "JC"!) and does have a fairly foul mouth, but I have to say that I find this refreshing. So many foodie books seem to take themselves all too seriously. Like my favorite food writer Ruth Reichl, Julie Powell shows that she loves food but isn't a Food Snob. I can't wait to get back to the book as I potter around my kitchen.
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- Elizabeth

AUTHENTIC AND ENTERTAINING

I was attracted to this book because of its author's desperation to find meaning in her life--and the creative approach she took to resolving this all-too-common symptom of our empty-calorie society. Happily, I was not disappointed. The desperation of a bright young woman about to hit 30 who's mired in a life that's much too small for her is palpably felt in this book's prose, as well as in the author's voice (She's both a talented writer and an expressive reader). That she chose a formidable French cookery tome by Julia Child to prove her mettle is both highly entertaining and metaphorically satisfying. Her "hunger" for acknowledgment, for a proving ground, for salvation is gradually sated as she checks off one of Child?s bizarre and intimidating recipes after another. As the author records her personal and culinary failures and triumphs in a blog, she begins to attract dedicated fans, as well as CBS Nightly News, CNN, The New York Times, and a major book publisher. With her journey complete and the rewards more lavish than she could possibly have dreamed, she assumes the status of authentic mythological heroine very much like the archetype described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. To complain that the book contains too little food-related content is to miss its compelling point. This is a book about emotional and spiritual hunger that satiates on every level.
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- Elizabeth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-27-2005
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio