Lately no book has been able to hold my attention after a few pages. When I sit to read I’m reminded of the hundred other unfinished tasks that tear me away from the book in hand. Instead, I resort to magazines and anthologies which are less-demanding of my attention and time. I also listen to audio-books when I drive. When the audio-book “Julie & Julia”, written and narrated by Julie Powell, presented itself to me I gladly picked it up. I have watched the movie by the same name a few times and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. I sort of knew what to expect from the audio version. Well, I was wrong.
If you haven’t watched the movie yet, this is the gist of the story; In a swirl of chaos- a dead-end secretarial job, a tiny apartment in Queens, inability to conceive and a sad frame of mind- Julie is drowning. A battered old book, “Mastering the art of French cooking” written by the acclaimed chef “Julia Child”, that she casually picks up from her mother’s shelf literally saves her life . That year she sets herself up for a gargantuan task of cooking all the 524 recipes mentioned in the book in 365 days; And blog about the whole experience.
As she plows through the recipes, one at a time, or sometimes juggling 2 or 3 at the same time, she suffers meltdowns. This is where I thought the movie was altered to make the character playing the author a bit more likeable. Because the actual Julie hurls profane words like she is playing squash at you. You better not read or listen to this book if you’re the goody two shoes type. It might make you detest the movie too.
But I loved it and found myself laughing at her mishaps! What do I say about the pleasure of listening to a good audio-book while running errands or waiting for the husband outside his office for about 20 minutes to pick him up after work! Nothing feels annoying then, except, maybe when I have to pause every few minutes to entertain my girl strapped to her car-seat.
Even though most recipes required meat and Vermouth as their ingredients, being a vegetarian and hardly a wine-drinker, I found myself drooling over the description of the author’s cooking. Was it the mention of sticks of butter in every recipe or the author’s breezy voice (I thought the French names of the meals she prepared like Potage Parmentier or Boeuf Bourguignon rolling off her mouth sounded sexy!) that made this such a delicious listen I’m not sure.
What also made this book special was listening to her talk about her husband, Eric. He is helpful, doting, encouraging and ready to take whatever crap his wife throws at him when having her innumerable breakdowns. In short, just like my husband, Prasad. Right now he is trying to feed Medha her dinner so I can finish this post in peace. I think I’ll just buy the audio-book as a keep-sake of my attempts at blogging and my husband’s constant support.