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The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes Hardcover – 25 Sep 2006

2.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; 1st edition (25 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091904900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091904906
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,001,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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.

Book Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Fell way short of my expectations.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll confess now; I didn't finish this book. I think I got about as far as Korea. It wasn't a case of being so terrible I threw it down in a fit of pique, it's just I had more gripping things to read at the time and it got put to one side, forgotten about and then disappeared in a house move. Normally if this happened it would vex me greatly and I'd make a point of procuring another copy so I could finish it but in this case... meh. I just didn't bother.

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...
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Format: Hardcover
In order to get published at all, someone who writes as badly as this would have to have a mother who married into the Royal Family......... but that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it? The style creaks, the pacing is appalling, the vocabulary limited. If there was an editor I feel sorry for them. The only remark that amuses in the whole book is when he refers to Jeremy Clarkson as gurning; then one looks at the front cover and thinks of pots and kettles. Parker Bowles and his chums ( I am sure the word he would choose) strike one as pompous, foul mouthed, and, above all, tedious. A book for the bin.

PS Amazon only allows ratings of at least one star. I would prefer to have given it no stars at all.
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Format: Paperback
I have read two chapters and just given up. Very poorly written and lacking in any substance. If you are looking for a witty, informative and engaging raconteur of all things food related look no further that Jeffery Steingarten!
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Format: Paperback
Pretty pointless book really. Not very well written and only mildly amusing. One can't help thinking that Tom Parker-Bowles wanted to be a 'foodie' as he didn't know what else to do. The writing is not very interesting and the food isn't at all dangerous.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'The Year of Eating Dangerously' is a really good read with nine chapters based in specific locations:

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!
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Format: Hardcover
Not funny and not particularly dangerous food (Fugu aside).
Stick to the newspaper columns and TV cookery shows is my advice.
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