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Let Me Eat Cake [Audiobook] [Paperback]

Paul Arnott
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2007
From the moment the six-year-old Paul Arnott sampled the contents of Tate & Lyle's magnificent green and gold tin of Golden Syrup, it was love. As he looks back over his life as a constant enthusiast, an occasional connoisseur and a relentless collector of sweet sensations, he remembers the Great Royal Icing Disaster of '72, High Tea at Buckingham Palace, Seb Coe and Treacle Tart, and discusses the legal implications of cake-naming in Vienna. Inevitably, such dedication to sweet stuff has taken its toll - which is how Paul found himself dressed as Father Christmas, no padding required. But this is not a man who believes that eating cake is a sin. It's an indulgence. And the experiences that cause every extra pound should be revered and celebrated.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (6 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340923989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340923986
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,823,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'This is a lovely book - Arnott has written a story that is by turns thoughtful and comforting, and nostalgic as hell.'

(William Leith, Guardian )

'Arnott is adept at telling wonderful stories, but it's his warm, affectionate take on growing up, and out, that makes this such a lovely book...I was won over by the sweetness of it all.'

(Independent on Sunday )

'A nostalgic sugarfest. Arnott writes extremely well, icing his prose with subtle, ironic humour...A light, funny, informative, highly enjoyable confection that offers much instant gratification. Enjoy'

(Daily Mail )

'If T.S.Eliot's life was measured out in coffee spoons, Paul Arnott's has been punctuated by bars of dairy milk chocolate and Mr Kipling's exceedingly calorific cakes. His sweet, funny, sugar-coated memoir is light as a fairy cake.'

(The Times )

From the Back Cover

From the moment the six-year old Paul Arnott sampled the contents of Tate & Lyle's magnificent tin of Golden Syrup it was love. As he looks back over a life as a constant enthusiast, an occasional connoisseur and a relentless collector of sweet sensations, he remembers the Great Royal Icing Disaster of '72, High Tea at Buckingham Palace, Seb Coe and Treacle Tart, and discusses the legal implications of cake-naming in Vienna. Inevitably, such dedication to sweet stuff has taken its toll - which is how Paul found himself dressed as Father Christmas, no padding required. But this is not a man who believes that eating cake is a sin. It's an indulgence. And the experiences that cause every extra pound should be revered and celebrated.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the gym, read 'Let me Eat Cake' instead! 24 Jan 2007
Format:Hardcover
This is a gem of a book that will lighten the dark, cold, post Christmas evenings, and will keep you chuckling throughout.

A beautifully observed and humourous journey through the key moments in his life, Paul Arnott shares numerous slices of delicious treats with us, and ladles on extra cream with every portion.

It's the perfect antidote to the grumpiness of so much writing by 40 somethings these days, who all seem so angry and doom laden. Arnott's book is such a pleasingly nostalgic, warming and comfortable place to be for an hour each night, and I am in awe of how devoted he's been to his subject over the years. It's so refreshing to read about someone indulging themselves and celebrating the feeling, without displaying the slightest bit of guilt.

I love the way he weaves his cast of sweet delights into his biography, like the comfort of friends, many of which you will know and remember with nostalgia; wagon wheels, mars bars, battenburg cake, treacle sponge, bakewell tarts and Genoa cake.

I laughed out loud at the story of Arnott's 400 metre race against the now enobled Sebastian Coe, in an inter University athletics competition in the 1980's. His ignominious defeat, torn hamstring and subsequent aquaplane across the track headlong into the longjump sandpit, reassures us all that it is all about the taking part after all, and that the British Rail tea and piece of Genoa cake were as memorable as the contest.

I literally salivated at his first proper Apple Strudel, because it took me back to 1967 and the Café Tyrol in Innsbruck on my first skiing trip en famille, and my first taste of a real apple strudel - sheer heaven - I could have eaten six slices.

At a time when everyone is yelling at us to join a gym and go on the cabbage diet, do yourself a favour, save the money and buy 'Let me eat Cake' instead!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfort food 8 Jan 2007
Format:Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this fondant fancy of a book - it has certainly sweetened the dour days of January. It is a funny and at times a surprisingly and rawly moving account of a long term relationship with golden syrup and all things cake and pudding like. It is not just confectionary porn but has a strong narrative romping through the events of the last 40 years and Arnott's place in them - lots to make his contemporaries feel at home. Neither is it all frivolous sweetness and light but contains well researched and informative material on everything from golden syrup to the slave trade. This is the clever and very welcome literary equivalent of comfort eating.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I don't know about other readers but I just don't seem to be able to find books which make me laugh recently, but for the last few nights I have had complaints from my husband as I've hooted out loud reading this book while he is trying to get to sleep. Paul Arnott's writing has more than a touch of Wodehouse about it, but with an entirely modern flair, and if there is a better anecdotal memoir on the shelves at the moment I'd love to see it. Amazingly, in amongst a feast of stories - some touching, others a little rude - he has weaved a brilliant story of the sugar industry, the history of chocolate, and a plea for the Viennese way of eating cake while talking big ideas. He is a seriously likeable narrator, and if you're as tired of the bullying of people who enjoy their food as I am then this book will be right up your street. Last time my book club met we met we discussed The Trouble With Kevin and we all wanted to kill ourselves afterwards - Let Me Eat Cake is the antidote!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yummy! 13 Oct 2007
By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The thought of a book celebrating everything sweet really appealed to me, especially at a time when those of us with a sweet tooth are made to feel guilty every time we indulge! The book handles this brilliantly ( and the comments about Gillian McKeith, were particularly enjoyable!!)

The early chapters brought my own childhood back in glorious technicolour, who could forget the joy of receiving a mini-dairy milk chocolate dispenser, or having your Christmas presents delivered in pillow cases? I particularly enjoyed the description of the syrup sponge that was so sweet, 'I could almost feel the enamel hissing on my teeth' and the thought that someone wouldn't mind having their tonsils out becasue it guarenteed them ice cream for two weeks.

For me, the early chapters were a bit better that the later ones, but the whole book was hugely enjoyable.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes me back ! 31 Jan 2007
Format:Hardcover
What a lovely book. It is so well written that I can imagine myself back in those days when I would buy penny sweets from the corner shop and all of those cakes and biscuits which epitomise your childhood and then disappear forever. We can all relate stages in our life to events, music or some such thing. In Paul Arnott's case it is cakes, but for that, we can all substitute our own and watch our lives develop in a similar fashion (hopefully minus the waistline !). I enjoyed it from start to finish, which did not take me too long.
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