La Petite Américaine's Reviews > Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
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's review
May 16, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: auto-bios-etc, frenchie_stuff, food, rants
Read in November, 2009

Author Julia Powell is a mix of many people. From page one when she tells us she sold her own eggs to pay off credit debt, she is much like the dreaded person seated next to you on a long-haul flight that proceeds to tell you their life story in a matter of minutes. She is also the TMI girl that we all know, who contemplates the smell of her burps and piss, bitches incessantly about her job and Republicans, describes smelly cocks, drinks too many cocktails, tells us she sleeps with her face on her husband's ass, says fuck every other word and undoubtedly finds herself witty and funny while being oblivious to the gaping jaws and cringes of those around her. She smacks and insults her loving and patient husband while contemplating cheating on him and living vicariously through the lives of her slutty friends, both single and married. (I smell a divorce cooking.) In short, she is the loud girl we all wish would shut the fuck up.

She also started a year-long cooking/blog project -- an idea given to her and set up by the very husband she treats like garbage -- to cook every recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She proceeds to alter and screw up recipes, partly due to their difficulty, partly due to her bad planning, and mostly due to her own stupidity: i.e., boning a fowl isn't that difficult so stop stressing about it; why don't you try asking the butcher if he can slice the bone marrow for you instead of trying it yourself and making a disgusting mess?; please don't tell us about getting lobster meat out with a tweezer. We are, of course, supposed to laugh at this and find it all funny. Ha. Ha.

As she embarked on this culinary journey, I couldn't help but remember that she'd mentioned having three cats and a python and being disgusted that this was the environment in which she'd be cooking. But no worries. She will of course tell us about the cat hair in the kitchen and in the food along with the dead mice for her snake shoved in the same bag as her cooking ingredients. And the vegetables falling on the rotted out kitchen floor, which she naturally picks up and throws into the pot. And the flies in her kitchen. That lead her to find the maggots. In her kitchen. Yummy.

Julie ends up getting lots of media attention, a big blog following, a book/movie deal out of the whole thing. An ignorant reader like myself gains a new appreciation for the complexity of Julia Child's recipes and something like (but not quite) admiration for the author actually going through with cooking every recipe in the book.

This will not go on my "sucked" shelf, as is certainly didn't suck. I give it one star for being very readable and for being a somewhat touching story of how one nobody became somebody all by herself. I simply didn't like her tone. I just couldn't take it.

I hear she has a sequel coming out next month, this time about being a butcher. Would I read it? Absolutely. Not because I want to read about her mutilating dead animals and describing even more bodily functions we don't need to know about. Really, I'm dying to know if she divorces that kind husband who was by her side the whole time. I'm betting she did.
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02/13/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

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La Petite Américaine Did you read the book or see her on TV or something?

message 2: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel She didn't divorce her husband, she had a bunch of affairs and documents them in her current memoir.

message 5: by David (new)

David absolutely hysterical review and dead on!

Shannon After I heard that she'd done a 'no show' as a judge on a Food Network thing, I did a bit of googling on the internet. I had read the book and kind of liked it but thought the movie was far better. Julie's a frickin' train wreck (I do think the divorced happened but am not sure). Thank goodness the movie focused far more on Julia and lightened up the Julie...couldn't stand one more story about getting drunker and chain smoking!

rivka Shannon wrote: "Thank goodness the movie focused far more on Julia and lightened up the Julie."

Yeah, that was a smart choice.

Audra (Unabridged Chick) Great review as usual, La Petite -- I can't wait to see your thoughts on Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession.

message 9: by Emily (new)

Emily I used a quote from your review in my blog...

Let me know if this okay. If not, I shall remove!

La Petite Américaine That's awesome! Thanks for telling me. I can't wait to start reading your blog. :)

message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily La Petite Américaine wrote: "That's awesome! Thanks for telling me. I can't wait to start reading your blog. :)"

I'd love for you to! Thanks for your permission. :)

message 12: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Julie Powell is too disgusting for words.. I would not give this book even one star. Zero stars, that's what. When I found this book too tough to choke down, I threw it in the charity bin, although maybe that's not a good idea as it belongs in the garbage.

La Petite Américaine Thank goodness tou didn't read her followup book "Cleaving." It's horrid.

message 14: by Ani (new) - rated it 1 star

Ani I really enjoy your comments:) Right to the point, with a brilliant sense of humor... Waiting for the next one:)

La Petite Américaine Thank you, Ani!

message 16: by Edward (new)

Edward Waverley You are very funny and deserve many accolades for your humor! I cracked up. Would never have gone near this idiotic book with a ten foot pole anyway, but reading your demolition of it was highly enjoyable.

message 17: by KJ (new)

KJ I haven't even read this book (and now probably won't) but your review had me cracking up! You are a really fun/witty/interesting writer!

Mehvish LOL. Great review! And in my opinion, the movie was WAY BETTER than the book!

La Petite Américaine Mehvish wrote: "LOL. Great review! And in my opinion, the movie was WAY BETTER than the book!"

See, that's how you know a book truly sucks: when the movie is better.

message 20: by Laniec (new)

Laniec Loved your review. Very funny.

message 21: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Jul 05, 2014 07:30PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

La Petite Américaine Maybe you ought to read the review again. I said the book wasn't bad and that the author was horrid.

What I can't stand is people new to goodreads who, in looking to promote their blog, leave comments on my reviews. You're basically trying to get someone else to do the work for you, Eva.

message 22: by Bob (new)

Bob My wife made me go to the movie with her. It was really awful.

La Petite Américaine Much like we tolerated the book for Julia Child, most people tolerated the movie for Meryl Streep, I guess?

message 24: by Bob (new)

Bob That is the only Meryl Streep movie that I did not like very much. This surprised me.

La Petite Américaine @Bob: Not every movie she makes is great, but she's great in every movie she makes. :) Or something.

Katie Most accurate review ever? Glad I'm not the only one extremely grossed out by the maggots

Jessica Woofter Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is one of the few books I've ever read that I truly loathed. I hated her and I hated the book.

message 28: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara Holland Your review seems more like an indictment of her character than of the book.

La Petite Américaine Sara wrote: "Your review seems more like an indictment of her character than of the book."

It is.

It's a memoir. She is the book. I can do that.

message 30: by Christy (new)

Christy Oh my gosh, I know that you read this a long time ago but I just saw it for the first time! How gross--nothing like she comes off in the movie. I can see know why Julia Child refused to meet her!

La Petite Américaine She only got this published and made money off of it because of the mention of Julia Child...

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