A witty cultural and culinary education, Immoveable Feast is the charming, funny, and improbable tale of how a man who was raised on white bread—and didn't speak a word of French—unexpectedly ended up with the sacred duty of preparing the annual Christmas dinner for a venerable Parisian family.
Ernest Hemingway called Paris "a moveable feast"—a city ready to embrace you at...more
Short summary - really enjoyed it! Made me want Christmas in France as part of a French family with a fantastic cook! Not as a guest....or the cook!
One day I was listening to The Book Show on our ABC and they interviewed an Australian author who had spent many years living in Paris after shorter stints in the US and Britain. They were talking about his book The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: a Pedestrian in Paris and given my infatuation with al ...more
It focuses on sacred French culinary tradition at Christmas and was a lovely little peak into the lives of John Baxter, an Australian married to a lovely French woman, and his extended French family. He is tasked to prepare a highly anticipated Christmas meal for sixteen people and ...more
John Baxter has written several books about his experiences as an expatriated Australian married to a Frenchwoman and living in France while negotiating the rough, but rewarding, waves of cultural differences. In this book, he focuses on his task of cooking a traditional French Christmas dinner for his wife, teenage daughter and numerous French in-laws at a big family home in Richebourg, in the northwest countryside of Pas de Calais. His chapters that lead up to this event are filled with fun ob ...more
This was my favorite holiday book of the year, a Christmas present from my son. John Baxter (who I never even heard of...) is funny and true as he tells the story of preparing Christmas dinner (and many memories of Christmases past)for his wife's family. I loved the food; I loved the writing and what is not to like about a man who cooks, espcially a man who names his Christmas pig!
A couple of my favorite quotes:
"To the French, sin - provided it is conceived with imagination and ca ...more
Baxter goes on to explain that there are no hotels and r ...more
I especially liked the passage where Baxter indicates the extent to which his Christmas expectations were often influenced by books and movies, since I myself have frequently found myself in the same boat since childhood...
"A solitary child ...more
Cooking a meal for your new in-laws is probably one of the most nerve wracking events imaginable, but when those in-laws are French, and Parisians at that, then it becomes a nightmare. Even worse if, like John Baxter, you are Australian and have been raised on good plain tucker and beer.
John Baxter is a well known film critic and book lover and this is his story of how he fell in love with a French lady, married her and moved to Paris. He writes with w ...more
The author is an Australian who married a Frenchwoman in a whirlwind-ish romance (friends for 14 years and then all of a sudden in love).
The book chronicles Christmas dinners past with her French and picky family. Each chapter addresses a type of food and also not only its history in French food but also how the author used it in meals past. The chapters veer toward individual meal courses near the end, as the author ...more
The book is light, engaging, and fun. I thought perhaps that there would be more mishaps and pratfalls, but it turns out that the author is actuall ...more
I found his musings less than fulfilling. Had the content been edited down and more focused it might have rendered a couple of decent magazine articles.
If you're a major foodie and love French food or an über Francophile then you might find some merit in this little book. I usually really like food and travel memoirs, but this one just didn't work for me.
Baxter has lived in Britain and the United States as well as in his native Sydney, but has made his home in Paris since 1989, where he is married to the film-maker Marie-Dominique Montel. They have one daughter, Louise.
He began writing science fiction in the early 1960s for New Worlds, Sci ...more