• The French Chef in America

  • Julia Child's Second Act
  • By: Alex Prud'homme
  • Narrated by: Alex Prud'homme
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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The French Chef in America  By  cover art

The French Chef in America

By: Alex Prud'homme
Narrated by: Alex Prud'homme
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Publisher's Summary

The enchanting story of Julia Child's years as TV personality and beloved cookbook author - a sequel in spirit to My Life in France - by her great-nephew.

Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America's first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her French chef persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

©2016 Alex Prud'homme (P)2016 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not the best

Would you try another book from Alex Prud'homme and/or Alex Prud'homme?

I probably would not. "My Life in France" was quite charming. This not so much

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alex Prud'homme?

Barbara Rosenblatt but everything should be read by Ms. Rosenblatt

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Tough question.....If it was treated as a continuation of the Julia part of "Julia and Julie"

Any additional comments?

If you only have time for one Julia Child biography, and I think I've read them all. I highly recommend "Dearie"

7 people found this helpful

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Even If You Think You've Heard it All...

Surprisingly, even if you've read several biographies of Julia Child, this one manages to give a very thorough overview of events in Julia Child's life up until her death, and to keep it fresh along the way, especially in contrasting Julia's personal thoughts (gleaned from letters and so on) compared to the Julia we saw that was her public persona. (The same can be said for her collaborators, Simone "Simca" Beck and Judith Jones.)

The narration was well done. It's well researched, insightful, and well written. If I have one criticism it's with pronunciation of some of the names of people. Pierre Franey's last name is pronounced to rhyme with Rainy rather than rhyming with Fan-Bay. Dione Lucas is pronounced as Dee-Own when it should be Dee-Oh-Knee. And so on.

Overall, highly recommended. It was a pleasure to listen to from beginning to end, and a fond remembrance of many of the events in Julia's life and memories of our own revisited along the way here.

4 people found this helpful

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Ok, but not as engaging as My Life In France

I am a HUGE Julia Child fan. I grew up watching her PBS TV shows with my father who loved to cook. This "part 2" by a great grand nephew with whom she co-wrote My Life In France does not live up to the previous book. The author is the narrator this time and I think a professional actor would have done a better job with the voices and the pacing (Kimberly Farr did a GREAT job with MLIF). The book feels like a rather dry recitation of facts and events. Somehow this part did not capture Julia's spirit or personality as the previous book did.
Prud'homme did do a lot of research and includes many interesting tidbits, but there are MUCH better books about Julia out there.
I recommend: My Life in France, Dearie and Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child, and Avis DeVoto (Not available as an audiobook as far as I know, but a GREAT read!)
TL/DR?: An OK book for fans. But better reads and listens available that cover the same ground.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story - Narration not so much

Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Julia’s life makes for a very entertaining read/listen. I only wish they had gotten a better narrator. I was drawn to this book because of Mr. Prud-Homme’s “My Life in France” which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially the narrator.

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Another Great Biography of Mrs. Child!

Often, in other biographies, the narrative just trails off towards the end of Julia's life. This focuses upon it and ties it up nicely. Also, since it is partially from a first-person perspective (through Mr. Prudhomme's eyes) it's nice to get to see snatches of the parts of her life that weren't on camera.

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Julia enthusiast

I loved it. I have always admired Mrs. Child. I am a culinary arts teacher and turn to teach my students to love cooking as much as Julia did.