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Publisher's Summary

“You can almost taste the food in Bill Buford’s Dirt, an engrossing, beautifully written memoir about his life as a cook in France.” (The Wall Street Journal)

What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and pack up and (with a wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow) move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new and very foreign city turns into a wild five-year digression from normal life, as Buford apprentices at Lyon’s best boulangerie, studies at a legendary culinary school, and cooks at a storied Michelin-starred restaurant, where he discovers the exacting (and incomprehensibly punishing) rigueur of the professional kitchen. 

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to bring an exotic and unknown world to life, Buford has written the definitive insider story of a city and its great culinary culture.

©2020 Bill Buford (P)2020 Random House Audio

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What listeners say about Dirt

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Non non non!

Stick to writing and leave the narrating to...well anybody else!
If you have anything equal to or more than elementary French do not listen to this book, do yourself a favor and read it because his French is incomprehensible. The book may be good but I couldn’t ignore the train wreck, why not hire a French language consultant if you don’t know what you are saying??!!
He often puts an “r” where there isn’t one and painstakingly exaggerates the guttural “r”s to the point where the name or word is incomprehensible.
The most frustrating is his not knowing that many words end with a silent letter, for instance... Lyon...a city he supposedly lived in for five years is pronounced Lyonne more often than not!!!
Stick to writing!

11 people found this helpful

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Horrible narration

I listened to the first 10 minutes of this book and could take no more. This is a great example of why book authors need to separate their egos from their book and let a professional narrator read it. This author, it seems, got behind a microphone and said to himself, “Wow! I’m a real narrator now!” No, you aren’t. You seem to have something of a lateral lisp, and the excessive drama in each sentence of your delivery is quickly overbearing.

It might have been a really good book. I will never know as I can’t possibly listen to another minute of it.

Write well and then get someone who can narrate as well as you write to read it well. You did not do this here and it shows.

9 people found this helpful

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Like Listening to a Teenage Whine About Life

I bought this expecting a tale of someone learning to cook. Instead, I got a story of an overgrown child who makes life-changing decisions on a whim and leaves others to clean up the mess. Everyone else was always at fault, it was never due to his issues.
A lot of sniveling, a little cooking.

7 people found this helpful

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Hire a professional reader

This was an entertaining story but so garbled by the reader, the author. His French is too guttural rendering it difficult to decipher. Reading the novel may have been more pleasurable than listening.

5 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Very unpleasant voice to kisser to for so long. Overpowering. Loud, loud, loud.
Great story. Fascinating.

3 people found this helpful

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Such a pleasure

I’ve been waiting for the followup to HEAT even longer than another novel from Mark Richard. And found even more pleasure in Mr. Buford’s reading aloud. I did not want it to end. And selfishly want another course.

3 people found this helpful

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delightful

If you are interested in France, cooking or just fun, this book is sheer joy.

3 people found this helpful

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A most fulfilling meal

Strong narrative voice conveying a story of French cooking, food and those who prepare the meals worth eating and writing about.

2 people found this helpful

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Perfect for a Summer Book

Now is a great time to take long walks (with a cigar) and Dirt is a great companion. Relax into the story and enjoy a perfect follow up to Heat. A combination of food, cooking, travel, family, personalities, new friends found and lost.

I read the poor review from one listener, don't believe it. Highly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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A worthy sequel to Heat

Buford is the best. Hilarious, poignant, illuminating. Looking forward to his explorations of Asian cuisine!

2 people found this helpful