book review: cleaving, by julie powell

by - 5:02 PM

Do you ever excitedly buy a book only to find out you really hate it after starting? I picked up the memoir "Cleaving" by Julie Powell - same author of "Julie and Julia" - at a used bookstore and started reading it a couple weekends ago.


Thankfully I only paid $2 for the thing because I. Hate. It. I mean, really. I am only half-way through but really want to chuck the thing out my window. Or into the trash. Because I wouldn't want some poor sucker to find it on the ground and be unknowingly pulled into the horribleness that is this book.

A description from Amazon:

Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she'd ever do--until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her new memoir, CLEAVING.

Her marriage challenged by an insane, irresistible love affair, Julie decides to leave town and immerse herself in a new obsession: butchery. She finds her way to Fleischer's, a butcher shop where she buries herself in the details of food. She learns how to break down a side of beef and French a rack of ribs--tough, physical work that only sometimes distracts her from thoughts of afternoon trysts.

The camaraderie at Fleischer's leads Julie to search out fellow butchers around the world--from South America to Europe to Africa. At the end of her odyssey, she has learned a new art and perhaps even mastered her unruly heart.

The book was given glorious reviews by media but not-so-great reviews from customers. So, there ya go.

2/3 of the book focuses on her time spent in the butcher shop (duh) and page after page details how she cuts different parts of meat. Great. Don't really care for that much detail, thankyouverymuch. Yes, I walked into this.

The other 1/3 details her love affair and discusses her distress when her lover dumps her. Yep, feeling really bad for you Julie. It's a rough life you're leading.

I'm sure this book is full of deep irony around the *meat* and *love affairs* but I just don't care. I just want it to be over.

Has anyone read it? Does it get better? It really can't get worse.

And now I feel a lot better. Thank you.

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