Monday, January 04, 2010

Julie and Julia

In high school I went on a field trip to a downtown theater. We saw a play that was loosely based on The Marriage of Figaro. I was thoroughly charmed by the play and the lead actress. So much so that I was willing to tell people of this great little play down at the "Hamburger*" theater**. Anyway, as part of the field trip the actors did a question and answer seminar after the performance. Perhaps it was stupid on the part of the theater to allow 16 year olds to ask questions, I don't know, but some of the questions were not the most intelligent. Even so, the actress whose performance I had thoroughly enjoyed turned out to be the most obnoxious diva. She tore down a 16 year old for asking what I thought was an innocent question. My high appraisal of the play and the actress completely changed and I wanted nothing more to do with it.

Reading the book versus watching the movie of Julie and Julia was exactly the same experience.

I was thoroughly charmed by the movie and Julie, the main character. I caught Julie's blog at the end of her original blog project and was disappointed that I couldn't read along with her journey. The movie captured something that allowed me to connect and relate to Julie and Julia. It was very well done.

So, I picked up the book at the library. I guess I expected Julie's actual blog postings. I expected the same charm as the movie. I was sorely disappointed. There is a scene in the movie where Julie learns of Julia's reaction to her project. Julia's response, as told by a reporter over the phone, was that she felt Julie didn't have a lot of respect (or something, I can't recall exactly and I am not looking in the book to find it). I didn't understand the response in the movie. Why wouldn't Julia be impressed that someone would use her book to learn the art of French cooking? Julia wasn't. Why?

Reading the book it became perfectly clear. The book is full of profanity. Not just a little, but A LOT. So much so that I wondered why I was reading the book. I persevered to the next chapter hoping the profanity would lessen. Instead the profanity was joined with explicit descriptions of sex. I had the same reaction as I did way back in high school. No longer charmed, I cannot recommend the book and I really don't want anything more to do with the author. The only reason to write this review is to warn those who watch the movie and decide to read the book.***

Julie Powell just recently released her second book, Cleaving. I am not reading it because it is more of the same. I wonder how her family tolerates her writing so many intimate details of their lives. It makes me wonder how much of the book is truly factual? How many memoirs do we need on Julie's infatuation with food and all things food related?

Book Rating: Yuck, don't go there

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

* This is a beloved nickname of locals because the name is Herberger and the theater architecture resembles a hamburger.

** I am not sure how much influence a 16 year old would have had on selling theater tickets.

*** Maybe you will like the book. I am not sure what your tolerance level is for reading this kind of trash, but go for it if you choose. I think there is a thoroughly charming story underneath. Sure wish the editor has found it.

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