Sedaris is a touch more intimate and revealing here than in his previous collections. And also somewhat more prone to discuss the darker side of humanSedaris is a touch more intimate and revealing here than in his previous collections. And also somewhat more prone to discuss the darker side of humanity. But that's just what makes his writing so endearing....more
An excellent insight into the food chain from farm (read: feedlot) to fast food tabletop.
It's not a pleasant subject to read, but Schlosser does an eAn excellent insight into the food chain from farm (read: feedlot) to fast food tabletop.
It's not a pleasant subject to read, but Schlosser does an excellent job in sticking to the hard facts and presenting them in an understandable (digestible?) manner. The in-depth (but not exhausting) exposé of the fast-food business - from the manner in which animals are raised & slaughtered, what exactly they are fed, to the working conditions of employees in slaughterhouses & the fast-food outlets themselves - presents a troubling picture.
Rather than paint a bleak future, Schlosser remains hopeful, and he explains how change can be brought about. The power does indeed lie with the consumer, and Schlosser cites several examples where businesses practices changed either because of consumer action, or due to proactive steps taken by the industry itself in anticipation of consumer disapproval. If the situation that Schlosser portrays is an ugly one, it's because we as consumers are continuing to vote for it at the register.
Since the publication of F.F.N. there have been some changes: the banning of trans-fat oils in U.S. restaurants, the decision by fast food chains not to use (some) bioengineered crops, the bill to remove sugar-laden sodas from U.S. school's vending machines, Jamie Oliver's campaign to improve school meals, etc.
- Excerpt on the use of flavor additives. This was one of the most interesting segments of the book, as it is a privileged peek into the almost invisible industry of 'natural' & artificial flavors and fragrances. ...more
It's a quick read. Fortunately, the romance genre clichés appear infrequently ("hooded eyes" appearsRecently I made a bet with myself regarding FSOG.
It's a quick read. Fortunately, the romance genre clichés appear infrequently ("hooded eyes" appears twice, compared with 9 in FSOG). The couple meet over a gruesome discovery of skeleton bones; the heroine seems to smell and feel ominous presences that others are oblivious to. The paranormal element is an interesting touch, building up dramatic tension for the reader's benefit without pitting the two protagonists in a contrived conflict or misunderstanding, just to keep the story moving forward (as was the case with FSOG). ...more
Read this under the duress of insomnia, almost in one go... and finished the last pages the next afternoon when I woke up again. Not much to say excepRead this under the duress of insomnia, almost in one go... and finished the last pages the next afternoon when I woke up again. Not much to say except it's readable. Better than SATC, for sure; although I don't think a comparison is fair to RCK. If pressed, I'd say that Amy Sohn's prose is closer to the style of Ariel Levy and Elizabeth Wurtzel. RCK reads like something they would likely have penned if they had been asked to write chick-lit fiction. Sohn can write, and is very good with narrative structures, eg. pacing, elision, as well as being able to maintain an intelligent tone of irony and sarcasm throughout the story. But there's the rub... The author can't separate herself from the point-of-view of the protagonist. Ariel the first-person narrator is a recent college graduate, who's still got some learning to do, from the real knocks-of-life type of education. But right from the start she's already got her smartypants attitude & voice. Whatever she's got she has it already from the book's opening. There's no discernible evolution in her character or narrative tone. And so the ending of the book isn't climactic or particularly satisfying for the reader. ...more