Book Concierge's Reviews > The Cookbook Collector

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
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Mar 17, 12

Read in March, 2012 — I own a copy

Audio book performed by Ariadne Meyers

I admit I was seduced by the cover of this book, just as one of the characters is seduced by the possibility of scoring a rare book find. But unlike the character, I should have just said, “No.”

Goodman is apparently a talented writer of short stories (based on reviews and articles I’ve read), but this novel really misses the mark. She’s combining three (or four) plot lines to form this larger work, and as a result, none of them is satisfactorily explored. The most interesting story line to me was that of the title – the cookbook collector. But I was kept waiting for ages before this story appears, then it’s dropped in favor of a story following the dot com explosion of the late 1990s. Of course once you get involved in that story you’re yanked back to the cookbook collection. ARRRGH.

I’d read some reviews that seemed to compare this work with Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility …. Well … there are two sisters, one of whom leads with her heart while the other relies on her head. But the similarity ends there. Goodman’s dialogue is tortured, while Austen’s sparkles with wit.

Ariadne Meyers did an acceptable job of narrating though she had a tendency for the male characters to use either a deep growl or a sort of stoned-out hippie teen voice.
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Cari Zancanelli I totally agree with your review - especially the male voices...


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