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Under a Mackerel Sky Audiobook

Under a Mackerel Sky

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Publisher's Summary

'All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why'. Rick Stein's childhood in 1950s rural Oxfordshire and North Cornwall was idyllic. His parents were charming and gregarious, their five children much-loved and given freedom typical of the time. As he grew older, the holidays were filled with loud and lively parties in his parents' Cornish barn. But ever-present was the unpredicatible mood of his bipolar father, with Rick frequently the focus of his anger and sadness.

When Rick was 18 his father killed himself. Emotionally adrift, Rick left for Australia, carrying a suitcase stamped with his father's initials. Manual labour in the outback followed by adventures in America and Mexico toughened up the naive public schoolboy, but at heart he was still lost and unsure what to do with his life. Eventually, Cornwall called him home.

From the entrepreneurial days of his mobile disco, the Purple Tiger, to his first, unlikely unlikely nightclub where much of the time was spent breaking up drink-fuelled fights, Rick charts his personal journey in a way that is both wry and perceptive; engaging and witty. Narrated by Rick Stein himself.

©2013 Rick Stein (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (68 )
5 star
 (34)
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3 star
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2 star
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4.3 (60 )
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4.2 (58 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Pete Lachaise Rayleigh, United Kingdom 03/03/2016
    Pete Lachaise Rayleigh, United Kingdom 03/03/2016 Member Since 2014

    Happy to try anything in literature, especially books friends recommend.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
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    "Pleased Rick Stein is a chef and not a writer!"
    What would have made Under a Mackerel Sky better?

    Like most people who bought this book, I quite like Rick Stein. However being a successful chef and a competent author are rarely achievable and I regret Rick Stein is no writer and his narration is mind-blowingly boring and monotone!Like a football match this is a book of 2 halves. The 1st half before Rick Stein starts opening restaurants is a good read and enjoyable. The 2nd half however when Rick Stein starts his restaurants is, I regret pretentious twaddle. How anybody believes that listing names of wines and foods is interesting to the reader I have no idea. Furthermore I note the early in the biography Rick Stein states he wanted to be a journalist. Luckily nothing ever materialised and I'm pleased he did not succeed as the writing here is very poor. I could not see him even succeeding at a local newspaper.One thing that really annoys me about books nowadays is when the author takes quotes from other books. I never find that interesting and often I wonder why they do it unless it for ego.It's like look at me I'm well educated! It adds nothing to the book in this case.Talking about ego, Rick Stein repeats several times that people and journalists now refer to Padstow as Padstein. I read and have read quite a lot of newspapers and have been to Padstow on a number of occasions but I've never heard of this and wonder again if this is ego massaging.The last few chapters deal with the breakup of his marriage and the way it is written Rick Stein seems rather proud that he dropped Jill, his wife of 20 odd years who had stood by him through thick and thin and married Sass whom he met on a restaurant reviewing panel whilst in Australia. Rick Stein tries to make you sympathise with his position but to be honest, even from his the death of his father, I feel absolutely nothing.I put this down to poor writing.Funnily enough the stories I did enjoy in the book I'd heard before or seen on TV i.e. the situation where Keith Floyd calls him Nick and the mandolin cutting episode and in my opinion they are the funniest parts.Just to conclude, I still like Rick Stein I find him interesting though I do get irritated with the way he throws down his knife and fork on his plate after eating a meal. Also he always has a downer on what we British eat or decide not to eat. However he is entertaining but regretfully this book does nothing to promote him.One final point, I note that reviews which only give one or 2 stars are usually neg'ed by fans and as such I can't see many fans of Rick Stein getting this far in the review and I expect to receive the abuse of many Rick Stein lovers. I've tried to write when I believe to be a true reflection of my view of the book.


    Has Under a Mackerel Sky put you off other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rick Stein’s performances?

    No, his narration is awful.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Please see long review.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R J Clayton 19/07/2014
    R J Clayton 19/07/2014 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
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    "Biography or list of sexual conquests?"
    Would you try another book written by Rick Stein or narrated by Rick Stein?

    No I don't think so.<br/>His narration is quite flat.


    Has Under a Mackerel Sky put you off other books in this genre?

    No


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Rick Stein?

    I don't really know. It is usually best if the writer also narrates but sadly Rick Stein is not that good at the latter.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Under a Mackerel Sky?

    All the boring descriptions of his many sexual conquests and the details of the clothes the girls wore and the music they listened to.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom 19/11/2013
    Ian Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom 19/11/2013 Member Since 2017

    Living the dream....

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Warts and all."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I have no problem recommending this book, It's well written very interesting and Rick is not afraid of highlighting some of his own personal, as he sees them "weaknesses". <br/>However surprisingly Rick is not a great narrator considering how good he is in front of the TV cameras, but don't let that put you off he get's better as the book progresses.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
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    "boring"

    I struggled but persevered to finish it. I am a fan of Rick but found the book hard going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 21/04/2017
    Peter 21/04/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable"

    A well written book. Very enjoyable. Read by the author which always helps convey a good atmosphere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart Nelmes Bristol UK 26/01/2017
    Stuart Nelmes Bristol UK 26/01/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating insight"

    This is without doubt my favourite chef of all time.
    I was a chef myself for many years, travelling around Europe and the UK.
    It was wonderful to hear how Rick drifted into the business through necessity. His early years were a wonderful tale and Rick tells it in an affectionate way.
    I will treasure this book always and listen again on a relaxing summer holiday, probably in Cornwall! 😀

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10/03/2016 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    9
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    "Who knew Rick was so rampant!"

    Good read, lovely stories and a must read for any Rick Stein foodies out there

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Veenus Aberdeen, Scotland 10/08/2015
    Veenus Aberdeen, Scotland 10/08/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under a Mackerel Sky to be better than the print version?

    Definitely


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rick Stein


    What about Rick Stein’s performance did you like?

    He read his life with real emotion, and you felt like you got to know this enigmatic chef even better


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs P. 03/02/2015
    Mrs P. 03/02/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Bought back happy memories of Cornwall & Australia"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    On whole I enjoyed listening to this book but Rick Stain's voice is monotone so you couldn't pick up on emotions of the words he had written or was reading. The only time you heard some emotion was near the very end when he was telling us about his 2nd Wife and the love he has for her is very clear.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A


    What three words best describe Rick Stein’s performance?

    Monotone


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Yes but for the locations only


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dillie Bubble 30/07/2014
    Dillie Bubble 30/07/2014 Member Since 2017

    Live, learn, love.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
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    "Real eye opener into the life of Rick Stein"

    I've watched many of Rick Stein's programmes and I have to say, I couldn't have been more wrong about the man I thought he was. I won't ruin the book by writing too much, just listen to it and make your own opinion.

    Well read and on the whole, interesting to listen to, even if you end up with a very different view of the man in the end.

    Take home message for me: Anyone can do anything if you've got the bottle to have a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kelly
    SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States
    07/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "His life in his voice - what a treat!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under a Mackerel Sky to be better than the print version?

    Yes - I always enjoy his soothing voice


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rick - he is honest about his own shortcomings and misdeeds


    Have you listened to any of Rick Stein’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have the Food heroes of Britain and Seafood Odyssey on DVD, but listening to his life story on audio, as I drove to work was a special treat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughed at some bits, was made very hungry at some of the scrumptious descriptions of food! I was also taken aback at some things, like his father's death, and other unexpected events that were quite shocking!


    Any additional comments?

    Fascinating man and fascinating life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catheryn
    07/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Honest, but tedious and unreflective"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Rick Stein again?

    No


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I found him very honest especially in his discussion of his family and his relationship with his father and also his sexuality. But he displays so little maturity or self awareness, especially in relation to his relationships with women, and the events which comprised his travels. I would have preferred not to have heard this unflattering autobiography.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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