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Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater
by Alan Richman
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006058629X, Hardcover)It seems like Alan Richman has been writing about food--certainly in GQ--like, forever. Turns out he made the switch from sports writing to food, primarily restaurant reviews, a mere 14 years ago. Fork It Over is his first collection of essays published in those years. He has a charming, easy voice; self-deprecating humor; well-honed wit; and a defined sense of what he does and does not like--about food, restaurants, cities, hotel rooms, waiters, and just about everything else. You are a passenger along for the ride, a willing listener of road stories. The car is decidedly American, the upholstery fine leather.
The collection is laid out like a classic menu of French parentage. In Amuse-Bouche, we are treated to "The Eating Life," an essay written for the book that establishes the writer-critic credentials and ground rules. His mother was a terrific cook; the author can't boil water, nor sees any need to. He's a regular guy from a regular background who can wax as poetic about Philly cheese steak as he can the most delectable and exotic of delicacies. From that point on--through Appetizers, Entrees, Sides, Cheese, Wine, and Gratuity--the reader is escorted from one side of the world to the other, to high-end restaurants and low-end dives. As the fellow traveler, the reader is never allowed to wander off from Richman's voice and perspective. He is, in fact, the axis mundi around which each and every essay revolves. Which is to say, Fork It Over is much more a book about Alan Richman than it is about food.
The essays that comprise Fork It Over appeared in major monthly magazines, one at a time. To read this body of work cover to cover is to run the risk of losing one's appetite in the middle of the meal. It's rich stuff. Delectable. Charming. And a little bit goes a long way. --Schuyler Ingle
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:24 -0400)
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