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Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything Hardcover – 19 May 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (19 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416576029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416576020
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,672,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A snappy and entertaining book ... although this is an account of Majumdar's international love affair with food, it's his deep affection for those with who he shares it that really nourishes the soul' (Daily Telegraph)

'Excellent foodie travel memoir ... Majumdar is often genuinely funny and can spin a good story ... highly readable, and ofren highly entertaining but to be avoided if you are on a diet' (Clover Stroud, Sunday Telegraph)

'This book made me quite patriotic about our over-boiled vegetables and cauldrons of stew' (Sunday Express)

'Ballsy, often hilarious foodie travelogue ... Majumdar's comic-yet-brazen voice carries the reader swiftly and winningly from foul to fowl in a book that's funny and delectable' (Publishers Weekly)

'If you're a slave to your taste buds you'll love Eat My Globe' (Wanderlust)

'As Jay Rayner says, Majumdar "writes like a dream and eats like a pig". It's a riot' (Tribune)

'Through the exuberant enthusiasm of Majumdar's writing we share his excitement' (Waterstones Books Quarterly)

'A very satisfying read ... there is a lot to enjoy' (Matthew's Table)

'One for serious foodies ... Majumdar successfully brings to life the tastes and experiences associated with his global quest ... but this book takes the reader way beyond that' (Adventure Travel)

Majumdar's passion for all things edible is evident and he has an amiable, engaging writing style (Observer)

A journey for travel enthusiasts, foodies and anyone who's ever had a 'what am I doing here?' life crisis (Irish Tatler) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

One year to go everywhere and eat everything

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What I have found interesting about some of the poorer reviews is the comments about him complaining. I think that these people are missing the point. The author's view is that of all travellers and all foodies, how many times have you had rubbish service and just brushed it off. What Majumdar does is the equivalent of Peter Finch in Network pointing out that if the food is rubbish then say so (although he is more Niven than Finch).

The idea of packing it all in and travelling the world in search of food is something that, I think, we all want to do but never get (or make) the opportunity. This book gives all who view "foreign" food as pizza the chance to look further afield even if they are never going to travel to the countries mentioned. At no point does he try and hide his background or upbringing (like many food writers) and is quite happy to lampoon his stance as a food obsessed Yorkshireman (the pie chapter is my favourite).

Majumdar tells it how it is and, unlike many food writers, does not judge a restaurant by how good he is told it is or how many stars it has, he makes up his own mind and you with him. He is as happy with a proper cup of tea from a truckers halt as he would be spending ten times the amount if the tea is good after all a good cup of tea is just that.

Read this book and you will find yourself looking at world food in a different way. I can almost guarantee that you will reach for the cook book to try something new.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Outhwaite on 3 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, informative, and amusing food travelogue. I certainly agree with most of the author's viewpoints. I found only one error, and that is that the Galata Bridge in Istanbul does not go from Europe to Asia and crosses the Golden Horn, not the Bosphorus.

Buy it. It's a good read.
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By Tim Holden on 10 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
Yes, this book has all the faults that other reviewers have pointed out. But on the plus side it is a refreshing travel read, given that he skips over any detailed history or cultural aspects almost completely. Given that he spent only a few days in many of the places he visited and the brevity of each chapter, he sums up his travel experiences very well. Overall I found this a very funny read, and found it hard to put the book down. The criticisms are all true. He doesn't travel with much sensitivity, grabs the freebies wherever he can, and is only concerned with his taste buds. But that is his intention from the start, and the introduction to the book makes that quite clear that this is his aim. Job done. I still have 10 chapters left to read, and he hasn't mentioned any airplane food yet, but if he does I know I will be laughing out loud, for not the first time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bert Heynderickx on 13 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Hilarious. Very varied destinations and meals. Every time I read a bit, it puts a smile on my face. Great stuff!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 51 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing debut from a prominent food blogger 14 Jun. 2009
By Joseph Adler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
On the Food Network, there is a show called "The Next Food Network Star." It's a fun reality show; the competitors are portrayed as charming, interesting, and genuinely likable people. When they compete on the show, they're sometimes told things like "you made my mouth water when you described the food, that's a true talent." Unfortunately, they're often also told that they sound unenthusiastic, or pedantic on camera. When I read Simon Majundar's book, I felt like a judge on "The Next Food Network Star." This book shows moments of brilliance, but is uneven, unpolished, and unprofessional.

"Eat My Globe" is a book about a set of trips that Majundar took around the world, trying to sample many different dishes from many different cultures. The book gives a lot of facts: names of people he met, restaurants he visited, places he ate. It reads a little like a calendar: he tells you where he ate at breakfast (and what he ate), where he went next, what he ate for lunch, etc.

I found this book very tedious and difficult to read. Sometimes he'll describe in detail what he ate at a specific meal (for example, BBQ in Texas), but other times he'll just throw out the name of a dish and not describe the flavor, texture, or aroma. Majundar manages an unusual trick: he has written a book that is both too long and too short. He provides too much detail in the book about the minutia of his travel planning. However, he spends far too little time talking about the people, places, and foods that he encountered.

Worse yet, Simon is a terrible writer. As an example, here is what he writes about a woman called Tina, a stranger who invited him to Thanksgiving dinner via email: "I took the plunge and wrote back saying I would be delighted to join her for Thanksgiving and, over the next six months, we swapped regular e-mails so, by the time it came for me to pick up my rental car and make the short drive from San Francisco down to Santa Cruz, I already felt like I knew her and knew I would like her." Yes, this is an overly complicated, run-on sentence. But worse yet, that is almost all that Simon tells us about this woman. He doesn't tell us how she was dressed, where she was originally from, what her house looked like, what she did for a living, why she liked food, what type of accent she had. This happens again and again in the book: Simon says "I met this wonderful person and liked them a lot" and then doesn't tell the reader anything about the person.

Even worse, he does the same thing with food: he doesn't tell us how dishes are prepared, where the ingredients come from, when they were developed, why they were eaten. And, I have a sneaking suspicion that he was eating a lot of tourist food. Outside of the western world, meat is still an expensive luxury. I think that Simon ate meat for three meals a day for most of his trip.

I was very disappointed by this book. Simon clearly knows and loves food, and spent a year of his life going to interesting places and eating interesting things. But it's a shame that he only managed to turn that journey into a 264-page book. I didn't learn anything from this book, and I didn't walk away from this book wanting to go anyplace he went, or eat anything he ate. It has brief moments of brilliance, where he does a great job capturing a specific meal. But on the whole, I can't recommend this book.
16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
His ego is bigger than his stomach 8 Jun. 2009
By Jo Ann Graham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was deeply disappointed in Simon Majumdar's tale of traveling the world to "eat everything" in a year. As a part time foodie and semi-pro chef I was anticipating exciting descriptions of foods, ingredients and restaurants around the world. That is not this book.

The pronoun "I" is used more in this book than any other word. The book is disappointingly not about the food but is about Simon and his travels. Simon comes off as a self obsessed, self professed and self impressed lover of food but primarily unusual (to an American palate) foods. His descriptions of the food are limited and he spends more time talking about his walks through the cities and countries he visits. I had anticipated reading succulent word pictures of the many foods he ate. These are missing from this book. Instead we are told he ate "a dish of crunchy green beans with garlic", or "Sichuan-style spring rolls and a dish of fiery pork" -- nothing inspiring about the descriptions and no recipes or even clues to recipes to recreate some of his more "normal" food adventures (I will pass on the still beating cobra heart). Instead of telling us that he drank 30 year old sherry, could he have shared a name or brand?

The inclusion of recipes in this book or even pictures of the foods, people and places would have added a great deal to this journal about Simon and his travels because his words are not enough.

Most disappointing was Simon's unnecessary and gratuitous inclusion of repeated references to his genitalia and self perceived sexuality. Was it really necessary to be told he dreamed of carrying a large sign saying "will drop trou for food"? (He'll starve doing that!) Wouldn't it have been sufficient to tell us he thought of carrying a sign that said "will work for food"? Do I need to know what his tailor told him about his limited personal endowments or that he walks around in front of strangers in a short silk robe and nothing else? None of this was enticing nor did it add to the book. I guess it made his ego feel better.

And that is what this book is about -- Simon's ego. The food is not the star.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Travel, Food, and a Project 30 Jun. 2009
By Jennifer Donovan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My favorite sub-genres of the memoir include the "project memoir," followed closely behind by the "travel memoir." So when I came across Simon Majumbar's Eat My Globe, I thought it would be a book I'd enjoy since it combines two of my favorite types of non-fiction.

Here's the thing about memoir. If you don't like the memoirist, the book will get old really fast. I have a feeling that's why some of you avoid memoir like the plague. You may have read a few and wondered why people love this genre full of people self-absorbed enough to write about the minutiae of their experiences, often sharing too much information along the way.

So, that said, I liked Simon Majumdar. He made no excuses for the fact that he might, in fact, be a bit of a jerk. He shares his shortcomings with a bit of a swagger as if to say, "This is me. Like it or lump it." That self-awareness and self-deprecating humor helped make this the kind of book that made me grin while I was reading it.

I didn't only grin, but my mouth literally watered many times as I was reading his descriptions of the food he ate while on the road -- whether prepared by an acclaimed chef or eaten from a street vendor (in fact my mouth is watering now as I'm writing about it). I also cringed a few times when he recounted some things that he ate bravely for the sake of meeting his mission to "eat everything." Some of these included cod whale sperm, rat, dog, and fermented shark (in fact I'm cringing now as I write it).

This book was an enjoyable read. As you can imagine, taking a year to travel the world and take in the food that the regions are known for, resulted in just a cursory investigation of each cuisine or culture. However, because Majumdar was mostly guided by people who he had met on web-based food sites, he found out interesting tidbits about the people or the food. He didn't just eat fine cuisine either (in fact, he ate very little of that). Instead, he ate what the locals ate at street vendors, local cafes, and in people's homes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
not awful 17 Jun. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My review title of "not awful" damns "Eat My Globe" with faint praise, but I couldn't really work up more enthusiasm for it. The book read easily for me and there were parts that evinced a grin or two, but in many other ways I was disappointed.

First, someone seems to have told Simon Majumdar that snarky sells, so he plays up the curmudgeonly, cranky, ill-tempered traveler bit to the point that I began to see him as unlikeable. Second, in his introduction, Simon tells us how important food is to him; he says "I can recall every meal I ever ate... We (the Majumdar family) signpost our lives by what we have eaten and when." That leads me to ask WHERE'S THE FOOD??? Meals the author describes as some of the best on his trip get one paragraph, each dish a sentence. He gives that much and more to hotel room accommodations and train trips. I understand that the book is both a food memoir and a travelogue, but the food drives the trip, so I found it disappointing that the descriptions were so weak. I don't know if it is because the author simply hasn't the skill to write descriptively and at length when he's not complaining or if the book was edited by a food-hater.

As I said, the book was an easy read and I didn't think I wasted my time reading it, but it just wasn't all it could be. In the constellation of travels to eat, Anthony Bourdain still shines the brightest. His "No Reservations" digs enthusiastically into the culture of a city or country and the joy he reveals in sharing food, his humanity in learning about people eloquently transports the reader. "Eat My Globe" takes the same concept but stays in the mundane.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Premise is interesting but actual execution is a miss 15 July 2009
By Chicago Book Addict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first picked up this book I assumed it was not possible for me not to like it. The premise is that Majumdar leaves a job he is not particularly thrilled with to explore the world though its food. As a foodie this sounded like the dream trip of a lifetime and one that I was more than excited to read about if I couldn't take it myself.
Unfortunately, the resulting book doesn't do the premise justice. To be honest, as soon as I started the first chapter "I Hate My Job" Majumdar was already starting to rub me the wrong way. He comes off as a bit of a pompous complainer and not tremendously likeable. Maybe he was trying to be humorous when complaining about his life which he describes as being "hardly described as uncomfortable with a smart flat, highly paid job..." or when he talks about criticizing the meals made by former girlfriends. If he was his tone was not overt enough for me to get it. However, I was determined to not let this get in the way of my enjoyment of the rest of the book since I was reading it to hear about the meals, not the personality of the author.
I disliked the rest book for entirely different reasons. The biggest issue for me was that for a book that was supposed to be written about traveling the globe in search of great food, the food seemed to get the least description and detail in the book. It isn't that Majumdar's writing is straightforward or adjective-less it's just that a lot of the description goes into describing things that aren't related to the food like his brother's processes for planning travel, various illnesses suffered by him and his companions along the way, or the presence of "girlie bars" near the food markets. I wouldn't have minded these tangents if his writing about food was good, but it left something to be desired. His descriptions were often brief. The descriptions were too short and straight forward to give me a sense of what the eating experiences were like. There was also often no context in terms of the cultural significance of the dish, how it was typically consumed, etc. In short, not only did I had a hard time envisioning the dishes he was talking about, but I didn't feel like I learned very much about them either.
On the positive side, I do have to give him credit for a couple of things. I like that he went to some less typical destinations and made a point to eat high end cuisine, street food, and home cooking. However, the descriptions weren't enough to do them justice.
The bottom line is this: I would recommend this book only if you're already a reader of Majumdar's blog and familiar with his writing style. If you're not and still want to read this I would tell you to save your money and find a copy at your local library. I would also recommend books like The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family, Libation, A Bitter Alchemy, or The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School. The writing in each is much more descriptive and there is still some global travel involved in each so they are much better options.

Not recommended.
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