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on 16 November 2009
This book was written at the very end of Keith Floyd's life,and although I found it very sad it is essential to read it to round off his story. The "Ghost", James Steen, has done an excellent job, Keith Floyd was in the mood to talk and reminisce about his past, at times angry, sad or resigned, and Steen has condensed what must have been many hours of thoughts and words into a well rounded book. So many people in Floyd's life took advantage of his generous nature, and in this book it all comes back - unlike the previous episodes of his autobiography where he was still positive and full of optimism. In this book he talks in greater depth of the saddest times, holding nothing back. There will never be another Floyd, I was lucky enough to meet him at a book signing and he was just as his TV self, a real gentleman with humour, a great love of food, wine and life. Floydy, you will be sorely missed.
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on 5 November 2009
I eagerly awaited this book and was not disappointed at all - it's a great insight into the life and times of one of my all times heroes - Keith Floyd. The book details his early career, rise to fame, time when work was either non-existant or scarce and when the demons of life became too much. Some of the book is well known and previously documented but much was a revelation to me and some was down right uncomfortable to read and bordering on being far too honest for his own good.
It is with great regret that this book came out as Keith's life ended but is a fitting tribute to the man who made cookery interesting, honest and fun - today's chef's just do not come close.
This man is the reason I enjoy cooking so much today - no buggering about, just good wholesome regional cooking without frills or fancy.
My one regret is having been in the presence of Keith I never had the bottle to get his autograph.

Rest in Peace Keith and thanks for the fun, the food and the memories.............
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on 22 March 2010
I have always admired and enjoyed the work of Keith Floyd and do believe that he started a whole generation of would be amatuer cooks as well as quite a few professional ones! I watched the programme on him just before he died and was quite saddened and amused at the same time and for me this is what Keith was and what his book relays - a whole mix of emotions! I was glad when the snow arrived in January after receiving my book, as it meant that rather than drive to work, I could use the time on the bus, to read it as I didnt want to put it down! I was very sad when I came to the end of the book as I knew that this was it - there would be no more Floyd. If you enjoyed his TV programmes you will enjoy this.
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on 31 March 2014
This is a well-written / ghosted biography - easy to read and running at a fair pace.

There is no doubt that KF had absolute control over the content - awkward bits are mostly glossed over, while the positives are given rather more airtime. The story mostly focuses on his business adventures, with a smattering of personal bits and pieces; thankfully (from my point of view at least) there is little in the way of cheffy stuff.

However, I was struck by several apparent conflicts in the narrative. KF claimed to hate all the celebrity stuff, but put a fair amount of time and effort into the equivalent of supermarket openings - appearances on strange TV programmes, guest speaking at odd events, etc - all inadequately justified (if he needed the cash, why not just say so?).

He was also, shall we say, unlucky in love. And extraordinarily useless in business. No financial acumen at all - multiple restaurant failures, employing obviously-unsuitable staff, etc, etc.

Still an enjoyable read though - and I could hear Keith's voice narrating the story throughout. Still the best of the celebrity chefs!
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on 16 December 2014
Like thousands of other people worldwide I came to like the cheeky chappie who cooked anywhere and everywhere, glass or bottle at hand for a 'slurp' making me watch a type of programme I would never watch usually, a cooking programme. His on screen persona was carefree and mainly jolly mixing with practically anyone no matter who they were. But having read his book I look on him a bit differently now with mixed feelings at how callous he was, especially regarding his wives, of course he was brave enough to put all his thoughts down whilst being very ill but at times I found it uncomfortable reading of the cheeky chappie.

His talent was never in doubt he made people sit up and take notice of food and the cooking of food but he seemed an impatient and at times and impertinent person and having achieved stardom seemed selfish in pursuing that lifestyle whilst still purporting to be the boy next door. The only people who never seemed to occur his wrath were his rugby playing mates and although he admits to neglecting his children during their formative years, again being away in some far flung place, he found comfort in the bottle rather than actually trying with his wives to make a marriage work.

Of course his is not here now to defend such accusations and of course I have never tasted his exotic lifestyle but from his own words he was not the Floydy of the TV screen in real life a fact people tended to forget, and when he did get time to sit back and enjoy the fruit's of his success he couldn't he wanted to be back out there to help with the never ending money problems he had throughout life, he seems to have found some resemblance of peace towards the end of his life. But of him, we have the same birthday by the way, after reading his book I am still a fan, but slightly less so.
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on 24 December 2013
Keith Floyd had the true chef's knack of great timing. He happened to start cooking commercially in Bristol ahead of the "New Wave" of TV celebrity chefs at a time when Bristol was full of BBC programme-makers looking for new characters and ideas. So all the menu items were there for what followed, with "Floydy" as the secret ingredient to recreate the distinctive flavour of cooking-to-camera. In picking up (by Floyd's own admission) the mantle of The Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, Keith re-set the template for the next twenty years through Rick Stein and Antonio Carluccio to Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver. So plenty to thank him for (and plenty to blame him for too!). And after a roller-coaster twenty year career in and out of the spotlight, Floydy eventually sets about putting it all down in writing and then promptly dies as soon as his ghosted autobiography is finished. But if he had a talent for timing, there were many other areas of life where he was less than proficient, including financial management, judging people's characters, sustaining relationships, etc, etc. Every time the author picks himself up off the kitchen floor, you know it won't be long before he's flat on his face again. He claims his trade-mark glass of red wine was a mere stage prop, but booze seems to have been the key part of his regular downfalls. The dominant flavours of this book are the author's charm and charisma which mean you are always on his side as he goes through business failures, divorces, bankruptcy, loneliness and finally illness. There's a genuine sense of loss at the end, and a feeling that we all should have appreciated Floydy a bit more when we had the chance.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2014
I've just finished the Audible version of this book and was totally immersed. I loved Floyd as a TV chef in the 80's. He was articulate, informed, intelligent, irreverent and above all, entertaining. This is a warts and all account. It moved me to tears and laughter in equal measure. He was a man with talent, energy and above all, a heart of gold.

Forthright when required, it seems his honesty gained him a reputation for appearing 'difficult'. Well done that man; he was unafraid to say what he believed. His approach to food and cooking was honest and inspirational. His perceived affectations belied a man with real talent for food and taste, without pretension. His financial and personal dealings seem to have been troubled but I have no doubt that he was a good and honest guy. The final chapters were particularly moving. In his mid 60's, having reached a point where major health, personal and financial issues were resolved or positive he was at a composed and peaceful place in his life with much to look forward to. Poignant doesn't begin to describe the heartbreak that the final pages describe...

But overall, this was a delightful romp through the life and places which shaped a truly unique individual. The world is poorer after his passing but the legend lives on and I loved this book.
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on 29 October 2013
I'm a fan of Floyd, although he was without doubt a cantankerous and obnoxious individual. He makes it clear that he only wrote this (using a Ghost) because he needed the money. It is interesting enough to keep me reading but the style is surprisingly "immature". I expected more sophistication. Maybe I expected too much. I think that if anything, this has left me liking Floyd less than when I started reading it - he doesn't come across as a nice individual, although he's undoubtedly interesting.
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on 30 July 2015
What a life this man led. It has made me pick up my dusty Kindle and fall in love with it all over again. Reading this, watching Floyd on France and Rick Stein's "Under a Makerel Sky" consecutively was fascinating. It was interesting to read the other sides of the stories and to read his interpretation of the scenes we know from the TV series.
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on 1 December 2013
A bitter sweet book in which Floyd reflects on the events of his past in his later years. Interesting insight into the way in which exploitation of the nicer side of Floyd seems to have taken place. A good read for those sympathetic to this talented if rather quirky personality and presenter that due to the passage of time, fashion and technology is unlikely to be replaced.
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