The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes Hardcover – 25 Sep 2006
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"Tackles eating the weird and wonderful with a refreshing lack of machismo ... Like Redmond O'Hanlon at his maddened best" (Rose Prince Daily Telegraph)
"His descriptions of food are more often meant to turn your stomach than to encourage you to salivate, but they are nonetheless precisely worded, vivid and, in the case of dog soup, all too compelling ... I think Tom Parker Bowles is going to be a real writer with a feeling for food and drink" (Observer)
"An engaging read ... Tom is such a likeable narrator, enthusiastic, open, candid and sweary. He also has a fine line in self-deprecation ... Most of all he loves his food and communicates that zeal really well" (Daily Mail)
"Inquisitive and acutely observed, it's an intimate, often humble account, full of warmth and honesty and underpinned with serious thought. Laugh-out-loud funny too" (Delicious)
"Hilarious, macho and full of abstruse knowledge" (Country Life) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A hugely entertaining, vividly written account of Tom Parker Bowles culinary adventures in search of the world's most extreme and authentic foods --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I found his exploits into dangerous eating pretty harmless, mundane and to be honest, quite depressing.
TPB comes across as a pretty humourless fellow who despite his alleged quest for culinary extremes gives the impression he would have been far happier sat at home in front of the television with his favorite dog eating a very large portion of shepherds pie.
It's not that Tom Parker-Bowles is a terrible writer... he's just not a very good one. As one of the other reviewers notes; writing well about food is very hard to do. You need to have a real way with words to describe taste; to capture the subtleties and nuances of a mouthful of food from the first punchy flavours, to the less obvious hints of seasoning , to the lingering aftertaste.
Probably you should also have an in-depth knowledge of your subject. I didn't get much of a sense of this from this book either. The "dangerous" foods weren't exactly life threatening (excluding potentially the puffer fish...). Mostly they were just outside the norms of the English diet or in some cases mildly icky. All in all, the foods he choose to write about seemed fairly pedestrian. What is the one "crazy food" Koreans are known for? Dog. What is the one "extreme" thing everyone knows about Mexican food? Chillies. Come on Tom, surely there was something you could have found to investigate in the American diet that was a bit more interesting than really-seriously-quite-large servings of barbequed meat? (although perhaps, in some ways, this does actually fulfil the "dangerous" brief better then most of his subjects...Read more ›
PS Amazon only allows ratings of at least one star. I would prefer to have given it no stars at all.
Gloucestershire (hunting for elvers)
New Mexico (chillies)
China (all sorts of strange things!)
Nashville (barbecue championships)
Tokyo (puffer fish)
Korea (dog stew)
Laos (various bits and pieces)
Spain (extreme fishing with percebeiros trying to find the ultimate barnacle) and
Sicily (dinner with the mob)
Parker Bowles comes across as charming and self-aware (he knows that he's no Bourdain!) Occasionally he comes across like an overly-exuberant puppy on his quest for new tastes and flavours. But, this has to be balanced against all the times he gets horribly hung-over and is unable to taste anything. There are times when the locations seem to take over and he seems more like a frustrated travel writer rather than a gourmand!
This is a really enjoyable read, but I did prefer some chapters to others. The Nashville Barbecue and the quest for the ultimate chilli experience in New Mexico were highlights for me.
Recommended, but next time can we have a little less 'place' and a bit more 'plate'. Thanks!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
On the surface this seemed like it should be an interesting read. Nothing wrong with the concept - sort of like 'Around Ireland with a Fridge' but with disgusting food as the... Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2007 by Bookworm
I found it hilarious. The author is clearly passionate about his food. Made me want to travel the earth in pursuit of culinary excellence.Published on 15 July 2007 by Gaie
Food is by far one of the hardest subjects about which to write, most of us just not possess the vocabulary leave alone the talent to do it. Read morePublished on 17 April 2007 by S.M. Gidley