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Unless you are a die-hard fan, don't buy this book blind.
on 3 December 2012
A bit of a strange book, to be sure, that is probably aimed at the ultra-obsessive "Mad Men" fan. A promised look inside the various kitchens, bars and restaurants that featured in a (popular?) American television series.
The book describes best its raison d'être: "To ensure an authentic Mad Men experience, every recipe is introduced through a specific scene in the show. And to enhance your enjoyment of the food and drink we scoured period cookbooks and magazines for tips on throwing a successful cocktail or dinner party."
OK... So what do you really get? Essentially recipes taken from back-in-time. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh, but it is wrapped up with elements from the television series. Does it work? To someone who has never seen the series it just looks like a poor attempt to shoehorn some recipes into a book. To a devoted fan? Maybe it is different. You might enjoy the references to the series, might find additional inferences and links of benefit and maybe even enjoy recreating a meal or drink from a favourite scene.
If you are looking JUST for classic old recipes, perhaps for a dinner party, there are many many great books out there to help you achieve your aims. This book is probably not one of them. This might sound unfair but the additional packaging just gets in the way of it being a good recipe book that could fulfil a need. As a composite (unofficial) tie-in to a television programme it might be a totally different proposition. Certainly there appears to be a lot of tie-in material that could appeal to hardcore fans. But to the passive viewer or even a non-viewer, sorry it doesn't work. There is not even a significant amount of period information that could drip into the reader's consciousness through osmosis either to make it an interesting curio.
So a mixed bag. OK the price is not so high and undoubtedly it will be available for a much lower price if you look around hard enough. If you see it in a bookstore it might be worth a browse but you might need to adjust your expectations accordingly. Unless you are a die-hard fan, don't buy this book blind.