Here is the no-holds-barred autobiography, read by the author, of one of the nation's best-loved cooks. Her life has led her from wealth and privilege to alcoholism, bankruptcy, and eventually fame in Two Fat Ladies.
As a privileged child, shooting and hunting were the norm, and pigeons were flown in from Cairo for supper. Clarissa's mother was an Australian heiress; her father was a brilliant surgeon to the Royal family. But he was also a tyrannical and violent drunk who used to beat her and force her to eat carrots with slugs still clinging to them.
Clarissa was determined and clever, though, and her ambition led her to a career in the law. At the age of 21, she was the youngest-ever woman to be called to the Bar. Then disaster struck when her adored mother died suddenly. It was to lead to a mind-numbing decade of wild over-indulgence. Rich from her inheritance, in the end Clarissa had partied away her entire fortune.
It was a long, hard road to recovery, along which Clarissa finally faced her demons and turned to the one thing that had always brought her joy: cooking. Now at last she has found success, sobriety, and peace. With the stark honesty and the brilliant wit we love her for, Clarissa recounts the tale of a life lived to extremes. A vivid and funny story, this audiobook is as moving as it is a cracking good listen.
©2007 Clarissa Dickson Wright; (P)2007 Hodder and Stoughton Audiobooks
"Clarissa Dickson Wright's (Spilling the Beans) has lingered in my mind since I heard her voice crack with emotion, then firm up with doughty panche. Her father was a tyrant who refused to pay for her education as a barrister. But she made her way until her mother's untimely death, and she turned to gin. She frittered away a fortune, then scanned the small ads for a job as a cook. How she got there to Jennifer Patterson's sidecar is hilarious and moving."(The Times)
Local Government Officer, listens to audiobooks whilst commuting, loves Biographies of quintessentially English eccentrics.
Beautifully written. A glorious use of language, beautifully read. Honest emotion affects Clarissa's reading at certain points and is all the more moving for it. I adored this book and didn't want it to end. Honest, funny, sad and insightful. Loved it!
I must admit that I knew nothing of Clarissa Dickson Wright's life, but I am a fan of her cook books, so I decided to try her autobiography and what an amazing and very moving story. Although not a long audiobook (just under 2 hours), I listened to the whole book in one sitting, it was gripping. The fact that Clarissa narrates the story herslef is wonderful, as not only does she have a wonderful voice, you can feel the emotion coming through. I had no idea about her alcoholism, her abusive father and the fact that she had been homeless and penniless...what a remarkable story and lady. I would recommend this book to anyone, just be prepared to be moved.
I loved this book. Clarissa Dickson Wright is a great narrator for her own book. It's abridged and thus fairly short at just under 3 hours, but its wonderfully condensed and takes you through her life story up to the present. A fascinating, honest portrayal of a life that has been really interesting and downright awful at times. It's a great story that I rattled through in one sitting. Recommended.
Whilst always a great fan of two fat ladies this book goes in depth into the true, no holds barred life of this most wonderful of truly British Characters. Eccentric ?, I don't think so. Just a marvellous story of triumph over adversity. You won't be dissapointed.
The audiobook is all the better for being read in the authors own voice. The title of the book is very fitting. A good listen over a few days. Would recommend.
Unlike in most autobiographies Clarissa Dickson Wright tells you not just WHAT happened but how she felt about it. I was very moved in places (as was Clarissa during the retelling). Even though I'm not into the huntin' and fishin' lifestyle she tried so hard to protect I still enjoyed this autobiography immensely and was very sorry to hear it end after only a couple of hours. Very enjoyable.
I recently listened to Bring on the Empty Horses by David Niven and while I enjoyed it I didn't really feel like I knew him better afterwards. In Spilling the Beans Clarissa has been wonderfully candid particularly about some of the more shameful aspects of her past. This book could bring comfort to anyone effected by addiction.
Being born into a life of privilege didn't insulate her from a childhood full of violence or a slow decline into alcoholism but her indomitable spirit ensured she absolutely made the best of it.
Say something about yourself!
With an absolute brute of a father and her own problems with alcohol to contend with, this wonderful lady should be applauded for achieving as much as she did. A good "listen", although far too short - I was really quite irritated when I realised I had used a credit on a book that only had two (!) chapters and was less than 2 hours long. Ah well, never mind, in Clarissa's hands it was an entertaining, if brief, ride.
"Clarissa is a Character in the Truest Sense"
The honesty was brutal. She lived a fascinating life and hit the highest highs and lowest lows in her time with us.
Clarissa Dickson Wright of course. She was truly, one-of-a-kind.
Droll: aptly humorous and timely without trying. It is genuine and earnest. And yes... funny.
Sensitive: clinical at early on, but you feel the heartache when her heart aches.
Resilient: few have the staying power that Clarissa states as matter-of-fact. Simply stated, it was the way it was.
The point where this "tough one" relates the loss of her dog due to the depths of alcoholism was incredibly moving to me. For all of Clarissa's strength, there is a most fragile heart revealed in moments like these.
"Spilling the Beans" is an easy listen and a brief one too. I enjoyed it. Perhaps more so because I was new to her story. I arrived here not as an ardent fan rather knowing her merely as one of "The Fat Ladies" and casually so. Upon getting wind of who this woman actually was, I realized that this was a woman of depth with a compelling story to tell. At that, I wasted no time finding this book and am glad for it.
"a good read about her life .inspirational"
many parts left me laughing out loud and also tearing up. she is an inspiration to those with fought beginnings
"Refreshing and inspirational!"
Inspire of her many challenges, Clarissa always presents her life with a sense of hope and delight. An excellent story.
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