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2010 Book Review

July 15, 2010

21.  Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

When I first picked up this book, for some strange reason, I thought it was a fictional murder mystery.  As it turns out, Bourdain has written a couple of murder mysteries, but this was not one of them.  It was an interesting read, and it really made me want to read Kitchen Confidential.  I was aware of Bourdain as a chef who went to weird places and ate weird foods for the joy of eating them, but I never really understood what Kitchen Confidential was about until now.  There is a chapter in here on the sorts of things that every person should know how to do in the kitchen, and why he feels that it’s important that our society move towards not just viewing cooking as cool, but viewing not being able to cook as not cool.  If it weren’t such a long section, I would quote the whole thing for truth.  In fact, after I read it, I made Moose listen to me read it aloud.

A6.  The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

One of my major complaints about this series is how Jordan has some pretty sensible characters do some pretty stupid things later on in the books.  Moose thinks that part of my problem is that I sort of skimmed over the fact that the characters are so young.  But really, I think my problem lies in how Jordan has taken the attitudes and habits of *modern* teenagers and plopped them down into a quasi medieval society, where 17 means that you are an adult, and you survival depends on you acting like one.  I also probably approached the books with the mental expectation that hey, these kids were about my age, and therefore should be mentally and emotionally as mature as me.  Seen from this end of the “mostly adult” spectrum, I can step away from that somewhat.  I still think that the characters occasionally act like twits for no reason, but it’s less annoying.

All of the above to say this: I didn’t absolutely hate this book when I first read it, and I still don’t absolutely hate it now.  I realized while listening that there were several things I missed the first time around, and it helped to fill in those blanks.  Hopefully listening to them back to back will give me a better perspective on the actions of characters in later books, and it will make more sense.  Jordan does do an admirable job of establishing early on where some of the later plots come from, and his ability to talk about the politics and history of his world without coming across as lecturing is admirable.

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