Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cleaving - Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

I should have suspected that Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, Julie Powell's second book, was a stinker when I put my request in at the library and it appeared in my pick-up list almost immediately.

I enjoyed Julie & Julia, the book, when I originally read it, but when I tried to re-read it prior to the movie release, I just couldn't get into it again. I am probably not the only one who sat through the movie wishing the movie was just Meryl Streep channeling Julia Child in a full picture based on My Life in France (Illustrated Edition)[Rough-Cut Edge] by Julia Child.

Casting Amy Adams probably made perfect sense in the context of the movie, but if you've seen Julie Powell doing any TV interviews, you'll probably agree with me that Rosie O'Donell might have been a more apt choice.

Which is why it's even harder to get into Cleaving, which is as much about Julie Powell's constant cheating on her husband, as it is about her new found obsession with learning to butcher.  I don't really object to the adultery so much on a moral level, as I do with her descriptions which range from boring and self absorbed, to just kind of icky. 

I found the descriptions of bits of gristle and blood clinging to her after a day at the butcher shop more palatable than her descriptions of her affair.

I only made it to chapter 6, about a third of a way through, before I determined that was enough.  It's kind of like taking a few more bites of the sandwich before determining, yes, I didn't imagine that smell, this is putrid.

Glancing at the reviews on Amazon, it looks like I am not alone in my take on this book.  If you are dying to check it out, I'll be dropping mine back at the library tomorrow.  Or give it six months for it to hit the bargain tables for less than a magazine.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. Despite the fact that I'm developing a curiosity about butchering, I think I'll skip this one.


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