Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

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9780316003360: Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

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.

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About the Author:

After a misspent youth involving loads of dead-end jobs and several questionable decisions, Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia--made into a major motion picture by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams--has found her calling as a writer-cum-butcher. She lives in Long Island City, Queens, when she isn't in Kingston, NY, cutting up animals.

From AudioFile:

Listeners looking for some continuation of Powell's hugely successful JULIE & JULIA may not find it in this memoir. The subtitle of "Marriage, Meat and Obsession" sums up the book well, and with her audio presentation the obsession part seems to dominate. To distract herself from her disintegrating marriage, Powell learns the art of butchery, which she takes up with compulsive energy. In turn, much of her hard-edged manic focus is conveyed in the audio. She definitely TELLS listeners her story, with a demanding, self-centered tone. Listeners can learn a good deal about butchery but may get more than TMI about her marriage and adultery. The people and culture of Fleischer's butcher shop are interesting, but Powell's narration creates a barrier to real understanding. It all has to be about Julie. R.F.W. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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