- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Union Books; PB Reissue edition (4 April 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908526238
- ISBN-13: 978-1908526236
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.6 x 17.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
You Aren't What You Eat: Fed Up with Gastroculture Paperback – 4 Apr 2013
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‘Scathingly funny and well-researched attack on ‘foodism’. As a polemicist, he’s highly readable and isn’t scared to slaughter holy cows. As well as tearing into the soft underbelly of contemporary food culture he provides belly laughs aplenty.’(Guy Dimond Time Out)
‘His eye for the absurd and the hypocritical is sharper than a flashing Sabatier. Making mincemeat of celebrity chefs and food historians, Poole’s pungent satire becomes more serious when he takes on the political implications of organic food or ready meals. To steal a line from Masterchef, writing about cooking doesn’t get tougher, or funnier, than this.’(Victoria Segal Guardian - Paperback Review)
’A feisty and inflammatory little book, and well worth thinking about in the event that your gift-giving ritual lacks either of those qualities.’(Zoe Williams Guardian, Best Food Books of 2012)
'Stephen Poole's You Aren't What You Eat rips into all aspects of foodie culture gleefully, eruditely and, as far as I can see, irrefutably. If there's any justice, it should put an immediate end to all those incomprehensible menus, absurd claims about the 'art' of cooking, and to chips inexplicably served in beakers.'(James Walton Spectator)
'An overdue and well-directed acid-tipped dart at the modern obsession with food.'(The Herald (Glasgow))
‘The more this book on gastronomy lays into its practitioners, the better it gets. He is brilliantly and consistently and winningly funny.’(Jonathan Meades Observer)
'Poole is very entertaining as he mocks all manifestations of foodism, from obscure ingredient-raves to gastroporn and the chefs who take it all too seriously — in Poole’s phrase, “bunny-broilers getting a Christ complex.'(Alex Renton Evening Standard)
‘Steven Poole puts the eating disorders of gastroculture through the food processor of his wit and chops it into meaty little bits.’(Saga Magazine)
‘Fearless new book takes a blowtorch to our modern obsession with the once-simple business of cooking and eating food’(Reader's Digest)
About the Author
STEVEN POOLE is the author of Trigger Happy (2000) and Unspeak (2006), a book about contemporary political language. He writes about books, music and other cultural matters for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Times Literary Supplement and has appeared at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Bath and Edinburgh Literary Festivals, the Rotterdam Film Festival and GameHotel, as well as on BBC television, BBC radio, NPR and ABC radio. He lives in London.
Top customer reviews
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It is very well written (but see below) and academic in style with loads of references.
When it moves away from the soft targets to discuss organic food, imported food, local food etc. it gets rather more contentious.
A note on style. The author uses a lot of obscure words. Unless you have the sort of vocabulary that puts you in the top 1% you are going to need a good dictionary at your side.
Truth-be-told he's somewhat obsessed about it. When he's
not calling upon the likes of Jacques Derrida and Roland
Barthes (how very quaint!) to support his clumsily wrought
narrative he's being more than a little rude about some of
the World's foremost chefs, describing, for example, the great
Paul Bocuse as a "pioneering gastroporn artiste", which in my
books is nothing short of unforgivable. (Although he does seem
to have a bit of an unhealthy preoccupation with Delia Smith!)
He's not beyond dining Chez Heston when the mood takes him,
however. Definitely a case of biting the hands that fed him.
The main problem is that Mr Poole's targets are far fewer in
number than he clearly believes them to be. His notion of
hoards of "foodists" (foodies no-longer) worshiping at the high
altars of gastronomy as a way of life is, in reality, restricted
largely to those who can afford to do so. The majority of us go
about our lives doing the best we can with the odd tasty treat
(and one man's treat may be another man's poison and so what!)
here and there when we can afford it. We are free to some degree to
choose what we eat but only within the limits placed on us by income,
access, culture and habit. Mr Poole's tone is never less than
condescending. It might be apposite to quote Jean Cocteau but for
those of us who may not speak French the absence of a translation
to elucidate the point he is making is a bold-faced impertinence.
A snide, mealy-mouthed and extremely patronising little book.
At Your Own Risk.
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