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

Very Enjoyable!

I was surprised and pleased by how much I enjoyed this title. Most of the author's commentary was witty and funny, and only occasionally marred by the unnecessarily childish vulgar language that better suits a blog perhaps than a book.

My biggest problem is not with the author as author, but rather with the author as narrator or perhaps the lack of appropriate directing/editing which is characteristic of not only this audiobook, but most audiobooks based on any significant percentage of French vocabulary.

How much extra time and expense would it take to consult a French dictionary or even just a French person and get some phonetic spelling to permit French words to be pronounced with some resemblance to French?

The whole purpose of listening to an audiobook is to HEAR the text. This is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE when no attempt is made to pronounce an entire specialized vocabulary within the book correctly. Further, there is no point in recording a book with lots of French words in it if they are mispronounced--the author might as well use English words if she didn't need the French ones in the text-and if she did need the French words then she ought to have learned how to pronounce them correctly for the audiobook.

If people don't speak French they can at least look the words up when they see them written on the page, but for those who actually DO speak French, there is no way to solve the problem of figuring out a mispronounced word in an audiobook. I think the producer, director, editor, whomever ought to be responsible for making sure an audiobook with this much French vocabulary is comprehensible to those who listen and want to understand what they hear.
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- Doggy Bird "Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan."

Such a waste

I was so looking forward to this title and so disappointed when I listened to it. I loved Julia Child and her cookbooks and couldn't wait to read of one person making all recipes to Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. In the first hour and half (out of nearly 6 hours) of this audiobook she address 2 recipes! When she says at 1:20 minutes into the the audio "Day 38 recipe 46", I wanted to scream, "What about the other 45 recipes!" She is obsessed with 9/11 as she worked as a temp secretary for some some federal agency after the attack. The language can be foul at times and I'm no prude. I really don't want to hear about pink dildoes and c*ock (not the rooster) in a book on Julia Child's recipes. Nor do I want to hear her bashing GW Bush (and I'm no fan of this president). This simply isn't the forum for that. She's also a frustrated actress and her reading style shows this. She even goes so far as to refer to Julia Child as JC. If you want to know about Julie Powell's life over a one year period then this is for you (which you could read for free on her blog). But if you want the insight on what it is like to make all of Julia's recipes from her first book in one year, skip this one. And why is this audiobook abridged?
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- James

Book Details

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