Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
Would you consider the audio edition of Provence, 1970 to be better than the print version?
I'd consider them equal, depending on one's preference. The narrator is mostly quite good.
What other book might you compare Provence, 1970 to and why?
Reflexions by Richard Olney would be a good companion read to this.
What does John Rubinstein bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
A very good narrator, I just wish men would learn not to attempt women's voices, as Rubinstein does to a small degree when speaking M.F.K. Fisher. I never like this. It always reminds me of Norman Bates speaking as his mother to some degree. To Rubinstein's credit, it's a small degree of annoyance, nothing that matters much as some others do (listen to the narrator of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt released on the same day -- much worse [in that case I decided to forego the audiobook as a result]).
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No, but it enriched my understanding, gave a different perspective somewhat, and showed these people such as Julia Child more humanly than their public personas allowed.
Any additional comments?
It's the first audiobook that makes me want to start all over after I've finished.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I found this book interesting reading for several reasons. The first is that it gave me more information about and insight into Richard Olney and M.F.K. Fisher, and their work. And then it brought them together with our more well known friends the Childs, Judith Jones, James Beard, and Simone Beck for various rousing encounters. This book was just an all around feast.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I don't have much sympathy for the aristocratic snobbery and whining of these folk. I find all but Julia Child and her husband and James Beard really not very nice, self absorbed egotists, taken with their own self importance. Boo hoo. MFK Fisher goes to Arles in the cold of winter when all the fine restaurants are closed. Thank heavens the food culture has morphed.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Only if they where seriously into the minut back story the way American cooking has developed
Would you listen to another book narrated by John Rubinstein?
Im not going to go looking for him
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
You have got to seriously want to know the back story of these people and this topic to be interested in this book. I couldnt have read this book, if it haddent been on audio Id never have finished.