Magila's Reviews > Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure

Around the World in 80 Dinners by Cheryl Alters Jamison
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Nov 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, memoirs-biographies, food, travelogues
Read from November 22, 2011 to January 28, 2012

It is a policy of mine to not speak negatively of others, or their reviews, however I'd suggest that you take with a grain of salt any review featuring cap locked words that are spelled incorrectly.

Finishing this book took me longer than usual, owing to the fact that I felt weird reading it at home or on the ground. If you pick this book up while traveling, I think you'll especially enjoy it. Sure, some of the dialogue did read contrived, and I asked myself if the authors were serious. Then I read a few restaurant reviews, in the Times, (which use the same sort of phraseology) and noted the authors mentioned having tape recorders with them, and I was able to suspend disbelief.

I recently read another travelogue, one that has a higher average rating, for which I did not care. The masses seem to want to hear from pretentious "I have to travel on a shoe-string budget" types, who themselves are anything but average, or thoughtful. If you have a beef with this book, based off your view of the authors and their experiences, I'd suggest the following:

1st. Take a deep breath.
2nd. Note that these people prepared for this vacation explicitly for over 4 years.
3rd. Note that this was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
4th. Consider how much even one week at DisneyWorld costs, to include buying hamburgers and apple slices at the park.
5th. Realize maybe you overreacted about the inaccessibility of these experiences and give them a break.

Part travelogue, part memoir, with contact info and recipes, this book is a jack of all trades and master of none. It is enjoyable, and worth taking one chapter at a time. It highlights interesting places you might be surprised to hear about (South Africa for example) and it gives you a roadmap to turn the book into a choose your own adventure. And I for one fell in love after the first chapter, because Bill's experience with the airline is like deja vu to me. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves to travel, and food.

In absolute terms, probably a 3.5, I rounded up because this book is unnecessarily taking a beating by reviewers.
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