The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl

Last year some time, a woman Dave works with had her wig fall off of her bald head while she waited for a Metro train. To the astonished child nearby, she blithely chirped, “cancer survivor!” before glaring at a gawking adult who should have known better than to stare. And this is the second thing I thought of while reading of Ruth Reichl’s entertaining account of her time as the New York Times food critic.

With her picture plastered all over the kitchens of New York’s better restaurants, Reichl had little choice but to plop on an assortment of wigs and otherwise disguise herself in order to get the same kind of service that her readers would experience. As she changed her appearance, her personality changed as well. Dressed as vibrant “Brenda,” she became charming and cheerful. Dour “Betty” brought out Reichl’s negative side. Et cetera, through a number of different styles of hair, dress, make-up, and behavior. And restaurant people responded differently to Reichl according to which character she was. None of this surprised me, but I was totally intrigued by it nonetheless. Reichl is a great storyteller, giving depth not only to restaurants and food, but also to issues concerning her family and NYT colleagues. She also includes some of her restaurant reviews (I loved her description of Tavern on the Green) and a few recipes. I highly recommend this book.

As for the animal aspect, there are some shrimp that are boiled and some cats that sleep on the bed, but really no animal characters. So this book is SAFE for animal lovers.


December 12, 2008 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews, food, recipes | , , , , , ,

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