A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

Book - 2009 | 1st ed.
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316003360
Branch Call Number: 641.5092 P884p6
Characteristics: 307 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Dec 06, 2014

Absolutely agree. I read the book because I wanted to learn about the "being a butcher" but her personal life story was tawdry and made the book schizophrenic. She's lucid and descriptive and it's educational when she's writing about the butcher shop, or Argentinian gauchos or sausage making in the Ukraine, and then this really way to much information about her personal sex life and drinking throws off the flow. I think she needs to write a memoir of her childhood to get whatever demons she has out of her system. A shame because I can't really recommend this book to anyone.

Sep 08, 2012

Ugh. I enjoyed Julie and Julia because of the Julia Childs portion of the story but even in that book I had a hard time liking Julie Powell. Here, in Cleaving, I would have liked more blood and guts from butchery, and less emotional carnage. Far too much personal information of a person and a life I found repellent. Another reviewer used the term 'self-indulgent' and I heartily agree.

Oct 11, 2010

I agree with kpalichuks' comment. The butchery part is quite interesting and the few recipes sound good. Her personal life though is not really my cup of tea. I've never disliked someone in a novel, non-fictional or fictional but I can make an exception in this case. I would skip this one.

May 28, 2010

Julie and Julia is a far better book. I could do without the drama in this novel.

Jan 29, 2010

Usually, I quite enjoy books that speak to cooking (Heat comes to mind). Not this book. I thought it was a self-indulgent, embarrassing piece of work. The parts on butchery were ok, and the rest was, well, too much information. If she needed to work out her issues by writing them down, that's one thing, but I really didn't need to know any of this. No conclusion, no self-awareness, no nothing.

Q: The Podcast (CBC) interviewed Julie Powell on February 9, 2010. Link is here:

Jan 25, 2010

Waste of time.

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