The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, by Kathleen Flinn

After losing her corporate job at the age of 36, Flinn decided to pursue a long-term dream: a degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Although the renowned French cooking school now has branches all over the world, Flinn opted to head to the original, in Paris. This book is about her experience there, along with the story of her courtship and eventual marriage.

Flinn pulled me in immediately. She made me care about how she did at the school, even though she never intended to use the degree professionally in a restaurant. She presented just enough detail about her fellow students, the chef/teachers, and others in her life to make these people seem multi-dimensional. Yet the various anecdotes about the people in Flinn’s life never distracted from the main storyline. Her descriptions were strong without being overloaded with extraneous verbiage. I felt like I might even recognize the rooms at Cordon Bleu were I to somehow find myself plopped down into them.

So this was a well-told, engaging book with a charming narrator. On that level, I recommend it.

However, this blog provides book reviews for animal lovers, and I’m going to have to deem it MOSTLY SAFE instead of completely safe, which is generous on my part. There are no animal characters, but Flinn doesn’t flinch from describing how we get from animals to meat. My farmer-grandmother killed poultry in front of me when I was a child, so I’ve seen it. But if you’re not used to that, Flinn’s descriptions might be a bit too much. The other thing is that the French eat a fair amount of rabbit and horse meat. Here in the United States, we consider rabbits and horses to be pets, which means they are a sort of “friend” – and we don’t eat our friends. So there are cultural issues here that might be hard for some to get past. However, if this kind of thing isn’t a deal-killer for you, and you want to know what it’s like to spend a year at one of the world’s most renowned demanding cooking schools, then definitely pick up this book. You’ll find it hard to set down.

By the way, this is the last of the books I read on vacation way back in late October, early November. Next post will be a Christmas Eve miscellany.

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December 21, 2008 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews, food, pets | , , , , , , ,

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