Janice Schultz, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Janice Schultz)
We all new Julia Child as a cook book writer and television star showing us the ins and outs of French cooking. I wasn't sure this book would teach me anything new about her; but I was so pleasantly surprised! This book made her human to me. Her childhood, young adult life and marriage, and then finally her journey to cooking fame was a facinating read. I think anyone who is struggling with what to do in their life would be insprired by this woman who knew no age barrier and just went all out in life.
Michelle Hill, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Michelle Hill)
This biography is so much better than "Appetite for Life," published shortly after her death. Spitz' research appears to be thorough; it was good to read more about her life before she became the Julia Child of PBS fame. You also see chinks in the facade, not just in Child but in those that surrounded her. These chinks are not destructive or overly critical--they make Child even more human. It's a good read.
takingadayoff, August 12, 2012 (view all comments by takingadayoff)
ANOTHER bio of Julia Child? Is there anything else worth saying? Yes! What Bob Spitz reveals in Dearie, even as he shows great affection for Julia, is Julia's Evil Twin. We are accustomed to reading about the irreverent Julia, who brings a blowtorch to the kitchen to finish off the creme brulee or who sends Valentine's Day cards of herself and husband Paul naked in a bubble bath. What we haven't heard about until now is the Julia who walked off the Live With Regis and Kathie Lee Show in a fury. The Julia who hired a ruthless and unpleasant lawyer to act as her agent, to the distress of her longtime colleagues who had to deal with the agent. The Julia who drove Jacques Pepin to fits of swearing by making unannounced last minute critical changes to their joint live and TV appearances, to his on-air consternation. The homophobic Julia, who to her credit, would later change her opinions.
Dearie clocks in at over 500 pages, and it never felt bloated or too long. The Julia Child that emerges from it is focused and ambitious. She knew that her fame, and therefore her success, was based on her being on TV, on being in the public eye. She was protecting her brand before anyone thought to use that now overworked term. This may not be the most likeable Julia Child you've read about, but it's well-documented, gripping, and very revealing.
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Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
0 stars -
Knopf Publishing Group -
by Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,
"A biography perfectly suited to its subject — as lively, fascinating, and singular as Julia Child herself."
by Lev Grossman, Time magazine,
"It's a revelation."
by Kirkus Review (starred),
"Spitz captures another side of [Julia's] complex personality: her fierce diligence in mastering the science as well as the art of cooking through detailed experimentation and her concern to translate the preparation of complex French recipes for readers in America....An engrossing biography of a woman worthy of iconic status."
by People magazine,
"A rollicking biography that captures the vision, pluck and contagious exuberance that were the essence of Julia Child"
by Publishers Weekly (starred),
"In this affectionate and entertaining tribute to the witty, down-to-earth, bumptious, and passionate host of The French Chef, Spitz (The Beatles) exhaustively chronicles Child's life and career from her childhood in California through her social butterfly flitting at Smith and her work for a Pasadena department store to her stint in government service, her marriage to Paul Child, and her rise to become America's food darling with the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her many television shows....Released to coincide with Child's centenary, Spitz's delightful biography succeeds in being as big as its subject."
The definitive biography of Julia Child — with access to Julia's diaries and letters — written by the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed The Beatles and timed to Julia's 100th birthday.
From Pasadena to Cambridge to New York, Washington, D.C., India, Ceylon, Paris, Marseilles, Santa Barbara, and Maine, Bob Spitz re-creates an extraordinary life. He takes us beyond the image of Julia as the tall, eccentric woman with a funny voice who taught America how to cook, to establish her as a genuine rebel and beloved icon, a woman who redefined herself in middle age, helped to change the role of women in America, set the standard for how to create a public personality in the modern media world, and altered the way America eats and thinks of food. There might not be a Food Network or even a PBS if Julia had not blazed the trail. Spitz chronicles Julia's friendships, her struggles, her heartwarming romance with Paul, and, of course, the story of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her triumphant TV career. A thorough, surprising, affectionate and extraordinarily entertaining account of a truly remarkable life.
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