‘All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why’. Rick Stein's childhood in 1950s rural Oxfordshire and North Cornwall was idyllic. His parents were charming and gregarious, their five children much-loved and given freedom typical of the time. As he grew older, the holidays were filled with loud and lively parties in his parents' Cornish barn. But ever-present was the unpredicatible mood of his bipolar father, with Rick frequently the focus of his anger and sadness.
When Rick was 18 his father killed himself. Emotionally adrift, Rick left for Australia, carrying a suitcase stamped with his father's initials. Manual labour in the outback followed by adventures in America and Mexico toughened up the naive public schoolboy, but at heart he was still lost and unsure what to do with his life. Eventually, Cornwall called him home.
From the entrepreneurial days of his mobile disco, the Purple Tiger, to his first, unlikely unlikely nightclub where much of the time was spent breaking up drink-fuelled fights, Rick charts his personal journey in a way that is both wry and perceptive; engaging and witty. Narrated by Rick Stein himself.
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His life in his voice - what a treat!
Yes - I always enjoy his soothing voice
Rick - he is honest about his own shortcomings and misdeeds
I have the Food heroes of Britain and Seafood Odyssey on DVD, but listening to his life story on audio, as I drove to work was a special treat.
Laughed at some bits, was made very hungry at some of the scrumptious descriptions of food! I was also taken aback at some things, like his father's death, and other unexpected events that were quite shocking!
Fascinating man and fascinating life.
Honest, but tedious and unreflective
I found him very honest especially in his discussion of his family and his relationship with his father and also his sexuality. But he displays so little maturity or self awareness, especially in relation to his relationships with women, and the events which comprised his travels. I would have preferred not to have heard this unflattering autobiography.