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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the gym, read 'Let me Eat Cake' instead!
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...
Published on 24 Jan 2007 by David Chandler

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3.0 out of 5 stars Only for the sweet-toothed
This is the auto-biography of a very, very greedy boy. If you enjoyed Nigel Slater's Toast, you'll probably enjoy this although Arnott isn't nearly as gifted a writer. (It's best, I think, to read it in very small slices - one short chapter at a time - or you'll risk a sugar-high and indigestion because it does get a bit same-y.)
Liked the story of how he was...
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by booksetc


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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
By 
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (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
By 
A. Ashton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly funny pro-cake memoir for real humans everywhere, 27 Dec 2006
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (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 (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (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
By 
G. D. Roberts - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yummy!, 20 Jan 2007
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (Hardcover)
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 Wonderful, ,witty book about growing up through cake, sweets and anything containing sugar!, 18 Jan 2007
By 
AnnaY (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (Hardcover)
This book is so funny - his description of golden syrup had me reaching for my tin, just to look at the label, and then I took out the spoon... This is a book about cake and sweets but also so much more. It is about childhood and growing up, and all the mishaps, heartaches, and joys that go with it, all through the eyes of a boy in love with sugar. Paul Arnott really knows his sugar. But then come the food fascists... It will make you laugh out loud - and cheer for all things sweet again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny look at sugar, chocolate, cake and overweight, 12 Jan 2007
By 
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (Hardcover)
I heard the author on our local radio station and his chat with Fred McCauley was so funny that I ordered the book straightaway. I've got a real thing for sweet food and Paul's take on this and his acceptance of its implications for his waistline was about the most human thing I've heard anyone say about food for years. If anything the book is funnier than the man, and it does a very clever thing by telling you loads about the entire world of sugar without you really noticing it. Each chapter is like a short story in its own right, though I read it cover to cover in two days, and though most are very amusing there are some touching tales in there too. The nearest thing I can think to it is a book called Toast which came out a few years back which I also loved, so probably if you liked that then Let Me Eat Cake will do the trick for you too. I just wish it had been out for Christmas because for anyone with a sweet tooth this would be a fantastic present.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant entertaining memoir, 20 Dec 2006
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (Hardcover)
This is anti-food-fascism, so I suppose I shouldn't say that Paul Arnott believes that you are what you eat. But he consumes - and has consumed - a lot of cakes and has a sweet style, full of witty one-liners and hilarious anecdotes. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only for the sweet-toothed, 22 Oct 2008
By 
This review is from: Let Me Eat Cake (Paperback)
This is the auto-biography of a very, very greedy boy. If you enjoyed Nigel Slater's Toast, you'll probably enjoy this although Arnott isn't nearly as gifted a writer. (It's best, I think, to read it in very small slices - one short chapter at a time - or you'll risk a sugar-high and indigestion because it does get a bit same-y.)
Liked the story of how he was headhunted for an office job at Buckingham Palace - where the perk was stupendous afternoon teas, and in the office next door the young Diana Spencer was answering sacks of congratulations on her forthcoming wedding. (If she was pigging out, too, he maintains a discreet silence.)
While it's heartening to see someone so blatantly disregarding the health police, and he's very funny about the very unpleasant 'Dr' Gillian McKeith and her bullying TV series, I did find myself wondering what Paul Arnott looks like (there's no photograph). Actually, he says he's 13stone - hardly that drastic for a man! - so maybe he's just got a better metabolism than me!
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Let Me Eat Cake
Let Me Eat Cake by Paul Arnott (Hardcover - 11 Jan 2007)
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