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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2004
Keith Floyd amuses us with some charming stories from his life and career. I have to say I enjoy his television shows and I enjoyed this book (as much as his book Floyd In The Soup).
There is plenty of detail about his career in which he practically gets into just about anything. You really go on an adventure with Floyd as you read this book - not knowing what on earth he is going to do next.
For anyone who has the slightest interest in Keith Floyd I would recommend this book. I found it hard to leave this book down and read through it quickly. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that its a darn good read.
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on 12 February 2001
I have grown up with Keith Floyd, from Floyd on Fish and Floyd on Fire onwards. He has always been a bit of a hero of mine as he is as passionate about food and cooking as I am, takes life not too seriously, has a laugh and a few drinks and enjoys himself.
I read his first autobiographical jaunt - Floyd in the Soup, which is, I think, a great book still (I have read it several times) and I wasn't sure what to expect of this one. Well, it goes into a lot more detail of his early career, the ups and downs (there are plenty of those). It shows what a brilliant man he is, a bit naive and perhaps slightly gullible - I dunno - but it's all honest stuff, and it had me gripped (I've managed to read most of it in a day - couldn't put it down).
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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2003
In this autobiography Keith Floyd gives a charming and discursive view of the ups and downs of his life over the last 50 years. The style is charming and roguish but with a rather sad twist. As recounted here, we have a warm-hearted man who, in financial matters at least, was too trusting and naïve.

He confesses that he kept no notes, diaries or copies of his books and as such we may wish to doubt his memory on some of the more outlandish stories. However, he does tell a rattling good yarn, and it was easy to read this book in not much more than a single sitting.

Most people will know Floyd from his excellent cookery series from the 1980s onwards. Never less than hugely entertaining, his exploits still stick in my mind - he's one of the few "television chefs" that you'd like to share your meal with, as well as to cook it in the first place. However this is a wide-ranging gallop through the adventures of his life, and his television career gets precious few pages. The book is no worse for that, and a jolly good read showcasing the passion that he has for cooking. And for life.
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on 7 February 2010
i dont read a lot of books because i get bored with some books,but decided to buy this because i wanted to see if floyd was as interesting off screen as he was on,this book didnt disapoint,would recomend to anyone,ps didnt get bored once
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on 26 June 2010
Keith Floyd wrote a more recent autobiography, which I have not read. This one came out in 2000 and is vastly entertaining. Much is, it seems, skimmed over or omitted (as in the old saw about "if you remember the 1960's, you were never there!"), but all the same, it is a good read.

Floyd was born into modest rural circumstances in Berkshire, but brought up in Somerset, his parents struggling to provide him with a good and fee-paying education at Wellington School (the one in somerset, not the grander College in Berkshire), also the alma mater of Jeffrey Archer. He then, after a spell as a cub reporter on a local newspaper, became a short-service officer in a tank regiment, but left when he realized that he preffered cooking to driving tanks. He started a bistro in Bristol, armed with some kitchen experience and a few books by 1950's and earlier (classical) writers on cuisine; Elizabeth David was influential and, from what I could gather (knowing little of cuisine) French provincial was his basic style. He then went on to become a full-fledged restarateur and TV personality.

I feel, from reading the book, that his personality was split between his modest family origins and the veneer of slightly snobby provincial bourgeois aspirations pushed into him by his school and the officers' mess. He had to struggle to find his own way.

I only watch TV chefs when their personality and the location is interesting, so Floyd, The Two Fat Ladies and few others. His ownn programmes very vastly entertaining to me, not least when he got drunk and messed up a bit (or a lot, even creating fires on occasion).

The book details or rather outlines his three marriages, many homes and (mostly failed --from the money viewpoint--) businesses etc. He appears to have been entirely disorganized and was obviously royally ripped off by many. I imagine that he, like me, was bemused to read that other chefs, like Marco Pierre White and Jamie Oliver, have made anything up to £70 million from TV and ad work. Floyd in his own mind was a chef/restarateur, not a TV personality. He needed (as he admits) a business agent and only sometimes had one.

I never met Floyd and have to say that, judging from the TV shows, I rather liked him and thought him basically decent. My wife once encountered him one evening when he was drunk and obnoxious at a social gathering in Wiltshire and still loathes him! Who is right? Perhaps both.

In the end, this is a good read and that is all one can say.
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on 13 July 2010
Keith Floyd appealed to a whole generation of men, who realised that it was OK to cook. Although clearly not an easy man to work with, Keith put his heart and soul into life in general.

This autobiography is rather more reflective and self critical when compared with previous versions. A perennial Jack-the-lad, Keith probably represents what many men who grew up in the 1980s and 90s aspired to; even if we ignored the reality of it! A thoroughly likeable man with passion and enthusiasm who was incapable of looking at the big picture, he provides us with an entertaining resume of his life up to 2000.

In many ways Keith Floyd typifies the 1980s aspirational era when money flowed and where money could be easily made. Only... Keith couldn't!

Take a punt and buy this book and you won't be disappointed.
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on 16 January 2008
As a big fan of Mr Floyd I found this book a bit of a letdown. In general the book begins with detailed and amusing anecdotes - great stuff. However, three quarters of the way through everything speeds up to a flat, disappointing and rushed ending. I know that it's a slice of life, and life can be normal and mundane, even for celeb chefs. However, the latter part of the book feels like Floyd was against a deadline and therefore dispensed with the wit, energy and detail of the first part of the book. It is now somewhat out of date too.
Keith.....Re-write the last third, update, and re-release. I would buy it!
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on 17 July 2009
A proper read about a genuine,talented man. Well wrote and a brutely honest account of his rise to becoming for me one of the best presenters to grace our screen.He covers the early non-tv years to the glory years.The book makes you really appreciate how many chefs copy his matter of fact/no nonsense approach to cooking.I just wish we could be bleassed to one more series.Highly recommend.
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on 28 October 2010
What a turbulent life, success & failure, inspirational & cautionary at the same time. Difficult to put down, an insight on his times as well as life. Guess that the journalistic experience & desire to be a writer show through, as easy to read. Some cooking tips included as well.Enjoyable.
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on 25 October 2013
An insight into the life of a true character - officer and gentleman - and an amazing cook, to say the least. The book has been poorly edited, with numerous typos but this is the only negative.
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