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Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Frank Bruni

RRP: 28.28
Price: 25.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  128 reviews
59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I devoured this book 8 Aug 2009
By Maeri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've always enjoyed reading Frank Bruni's down-to-earth restaurant reviews in the New York Times and his memoir, Born Round is written in the same easy-going and engaging style. Bruni writes about his food-centered Italian-American upbringing and his lifelong struggle to keep his weight under control. As a female reader, it was interesting to read about weight control from a male perspective. But what I really enjoyed most about the book were the portraits of his mother and Italian grandmother. He obviously loved them dearly and his portrayal of them is, to me, the heart of the book. Bruni is an open-hearted and accessible writer. Highly recommended!
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The joy and sorrow of food 2 Aug 2009
By wogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For many of us this will at last be a book to identify with. It seems most fight with addictions to something which can range from the most thought of - alcohol and drugs to physical exercise and what so many are fighting today - the addiction to food. This book is an excursion through Frank Bruni's ages of food - his love and pure joy of it engulfs and overwhelms his child hood and about the first 100 pages of his story, then falls into his growing battle with weight gain.
His descriptions of food loved and memories of childhood foods and his Italian family can make you laugh in pure pleasure and remembrance. His ability to draw you into his feelings and life are readily apparent from the first page to the last; including his marvelous description as the middle child caught between the charismatic and confident older brother and the younger space cadet. Ah yes, but Frank can out eat any one and so begins his war with his body and proceeds with his narratives of what he's thinking and the food obsessions as he goes through his high school, college and professional years.
So many of us can identify with dates postponed, old friends put off because weight has been gained and the diets that will start Monday with a binge before the diet and failure by Wednesday.
This book is an interesting read, but could just as well be used as psychological study, one that can explain the lure of food to those who just don't understand. It can also be a cathartic read for those of us that struggle - you aren't the only one out there - recognize the cop outs we use: it must be the weight ...I'm not getting dates, not getting invited to parties, not getting promoted. This can allow you to see yourself or someone you care about.
Bruni is astute enough that he sees how excess weight can result in your brain fooling itself that one does not look as large as one does and how it put his life on hiatus. He will not do this or that until the weight is gone, which will be sometime in the near distant future.
Frank Bruni becomes a New York food critic, an amazingly tough job for anyone. At the risk of giving away the end of the book smaller portions and exercise win out; but then it ends with the realization, that as with all addictions you can fall again. Those of us that wish to understand either our, or other's food problems would be well advised to read this book. Of course those who would just like an interesting book to read would be well advised to read it too.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest - the side of food you might not see. 20 Aug 2009
By Adrian Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are those people who can eat a buffet-table full of food and not gain an ounce. You know them... heck, you may be one of them. For some of us, this is sadly not always the case. Frank Bruni's brutally honest memoir stands out as an accounting of a life where this may be true. Food isn't just food, it becomes a habit. A lifestyle. A ghost in your life that everything else revolves around. This is the story of his struggles and exaltations regarding it.

Bruni is a great writer. This book is engulfing. It's a, forgive the phrase, entertaining melancholy, of sorts. It's no small task to write an autobiography that is always interesting, and for the most part, this book is. Most often, I skip the "childhood chapters" in such books, but here I found myself engrossed, and reading them. Perhaps it was because I've had to fight this struggle, myself.

The transformation from being a slave to food, to liberated under it... truly, Mr. Bruni has conquered so much. We all must find peace with our ways of life, and this is not a tale about a struggle with food (well it is, of course) but so much the story of a man who has conquered his inner demons to fulfill his potential. It's inspiring and encouraging to read.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Food and Angst 18 Sep 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The problem with writing about your weight problems is that they loom so very large in your own mind, but really aren't quite as interesting to those around you. Frank Bruni is at his best when he is discussing the overwhelming love of his family and how it centers around massive amounts of elaborate food. While the reader may identify with Bruni's obsession with his yo-yoing weight, after awhile it gets old to read about. Never does he stop to question whether or not he really is only as valuable as he is thin. "Born Round" is fascinating as a chronicle of food in an Italian-American family, and as a memoir of Bruni's career in journalism, it is far less fascinating as a tale of triumph over eating issues.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To be honest, I'm glad I'm finally done reading this 18 Sep 2009
By *rose* - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The book has some wonderful parts to it. I loved reading and learning about his family and the foods his mother, grandmother and aunts created and served. The abundance of food served at family gatherings along with the sweet game of 'I'm going to serve much more food than any one else in the family!' that the ladies in the family partake in are things that mirror the happenings in my own family. Some parts made me laugh out loud with familiarity while others made me grimace and groan with understanding. These parts were my favorite parts of the book.

The rest of the book, the yo-yo dieting, the struggle with weight that Frank Bruni went through got less and less interesting to me. Page after page and chapter after chapter... I struggled along with Frank just trying to get through the book.

It's worth reading if you are interested in what someone might go through to keep their weight at a level which they are happy with. And some of the ways he tried to do that were indeed fascinating to read. But, for me, the parts of the book that really shine include his family and food.
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