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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

In 2003, Kathleen Flinn, a 36-year-old American living and working in London, returned from vacation to find that her corporate job had been eliminated. Ignoring her mother's advice that she get another job immediately or "never get hired anywhere ever again", Flinn instead cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dream: a diploma from the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.  

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the touching and remarkably funny account of Flinn's transformation as she moves through the school's intense program and falls deeply in love along the way. Flinn interweaves more than two dozen recipes with a unique look inside Le Cordon Bleu amid battles with demanding chefs, competitive classmates, and her "wretchedly inadequate" French. Flinn offers a vibrant portrait of Paris, one in which the sights and sounds of the city's street markets and purveyors come alive in rich detail. The ultimate wish-fulfillment audiobook, her story is a true testament to pursuing a dream. Fans of Julie & Julia, Almost French, and Eat, Pray, Love will be amused, inspired, and richly rewarded by this seductive tale of romance, Paris, and French food.

 PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2007 Kathleen Flinn (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Critic reviews

"Kathleen Flinn's tale of chasing her ultimate dream makes for a really lovely book: engaging, intelligent, and surprisingly suspenseful." (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)
" The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is an engaging story about a fantasy fulfilled. It's Under the Tuscan Sun goes to cooking school." (Michael Ruhlman, author of The Soul of a Chef)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

cheesy

very cheesy at times but reasonable account of culinary school and the good and bad that comes with it

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-07

liked it

This was a fun listen. I did fast forward through the recipes, but really enjoyed the view of cooking school through a student. Not sure I want to each much french food, but enjoyed the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Fleming
  • 07-05-08

Autobiography of the Woman Next Door

First the good news: the narrator of The Sharper Your Knife... is excellent. An hour into the book I checked to see if she was the author. Unfortunately not. Without her I would have given up on the book half way through. So much for the good news.
Here is a book about a woman spending a lot of money and a little time to fufill her dream. Her dream seems to be not to cook or to learn to cook but to go to cooking school or maybe to write about going to cooking school. She attends the Cordon Bleu in Paris. She recounts ALL of her experiences with the school and the new culture and comes away with the profound insights of any high school foreign exchange student. The book is too long and in the left me asking why I should care about this story of someone I've never heard of who only has cliche emotional lessons learned. The writing is competent but often corny and unremarkable.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Travel Books and Movies
  • 09-11-19

Merci, Chef

I'm one of those people who loves everything about food--buying it, cooking it, eating it, watching shows about it, and, yes, of course, books about it. Add in a dose of self-growth and discovery while traveling in a foreign country and I get extra excited.

So this book covered all of my favorite things and did not disappoint. Kathleen deftly weaves the joys and struggles of learning to cook at one of the most prestigious culinary institutes in the world (probably THE most prestigious) with her life in France, how she got there, the people she meets along the way, a new romance, and, of course--the food. Her descriptions of the food and techniques she sees, tastes, and tries to emulate is almost sensuous, but without trying to hard (a bad habit some food writers have).

I have to add that the narrator contributes greatly to the beauty--her voice is easy to listen to and there is variety to her cadence and tone without being overly-dramatic, she speaks the French phrases easily without sounding pretentious and I even enjoyed listening to her read the recipes! (Though I am excited to see a PDF of the recipes available.)

When I find myself coming up with excuses to listen to an audiobook and choosing it over other entertainment options, I know it's a good one. Merci, chef.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-01-19

great narrator!

and a good read for true foodies and those who love to cook and learn about the fine details of french cooking.

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  • Trudy F.
  • 31-07-15

Thoroughly enjoyed it.

A story about life choices based on what your heart and soul needs. It spoke to me. I loved the narrater as well she was easy to listen to. A grea t choice!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Nadine
  • 31-10-07

Cookbook

This is a French cookbook with a little bit of a story around it..... A very little bit of story. The recipe parts were just boring and unnecessary to listen to.

3 people found this helpful