While interesting enough to put on your audiobook wish list, this story by the great-nephew of sublime food writer M.F.K. Fisher is better in theory than in the actual telling of it. Barr’s descriptions do evoke a time (1970) and a place (Provence) in which happenstance brought together culinary geniuses. He documents the convergence of these iconic food writers, men and women who changed culinary landscapes, and brings out their humanity.
Yet too much of this book is fatty, undercooked, and in need of trimming. Though Barr does quote from these writers’ extensive correspondences, there is far too much conjecture, too many conversations that verge on the possible rather than the factual. It ends up sounding more like a gossipfest than the revelatory and gastronomical delight it could have been. John Rubinstein, with his deep, soothing voice, is as pleasing to hear as ever. Grade: B-
(Read by John Rubenstein, Books on Tape Library Edition; 8 CDs, 9 hours)