This is much more than a good fish cookbook. It tells you all about all stages of getting a fish and cooking it. It tells you how to kill a fish, or how to buy it, how to clean it, how to cook it, what to do with the leftovers.The book is in three parts - Understanding fish (how fish live, sustainability issues, how to buy a fish, basic fish skills), Fish cookery (raw fish, smoked, barbecued, baked, soups, frying, cold fish, and fish thrift and standbys), and British fish (a complete list of all fish that swim around Great Britain).These guys love fish, and it shows everywhere. They love cooking and eating fish. They are willing to go to great lengths occasionally (not just catching your own fish, but also building your own smoker, etc.) but they are also comfortable with really simple recipes - even a few with canned fish. All the recipes are there to let the fish shine, not to let the cook show off. They also feel they have a large responsibility towards fish, and they will educate you, and you will probably enjoy that too.If you love fish, you need this book.
This is Sacks' first book, and it shows. He still has to find his style. There are two problems with this book. The first one is a profusion of medical terminology (brachycardia, ptosis, myoclonus...). This is also a problem in Awakenings (his next book), but Awakenings doesn't suffer from the second problem: case histories instead of persons. In Awakenings and all later books, the person always shines through the case history. His other books are about how persons deal with (medical) afflictions, this book is about the migraine itself in the first place, and the persons who have the migraine are almost inconsequential.Only read this if you are very interested in migraine, or extremely interested in Oliver Sacks.
Even though I had resolved not to read any more McEwans as they all tend to be so cynical, this book sucked me in. And I do not regret that at all, as this book, while as clever and intellectual as all the others, has a softness to it that I liked.
I don't know what to think of this book. It is clearly a book for intellectuals: if you want action, or romance, look somewhere else. If you like long philosophical musings, you might like it. Or you might not, as I did.I thought the structure was weird, and I don't see any reason for it being like that. It is as if the writer had a lot of ideas that he wanted to communicate, which he admittedly did quite well, and he did have some idea that people want a story with their ideas, but he did not know how to actually make a story apart from making a lot of different persons and letting them interact. I especially didn't like the story threads still hanging at the end, going quite a bit farther than just an "open ending".Yet, this might be one of those books that grows on you after reading. I'll see.
I am finding this book too alarmist. The topic (how the quality of our food is steadily declining) is important enough, but the style does not help at all.He always starts by naming a problem (vitamin C in our potatoes is declining!), then elaborating on the worst case scenario from that (description of all the symptoms of scurvy), en then saying: "Is it really going to be that bad? Well, we don't really know, actually. But I've got another problem here." And then he moves on to the next one.It never becomes clear how bad any single problem actually is, and some things are definitely exaggerated: I am sure the point that all food becomes more poisonous than nutritious (the End of Food of the title) is not near at all. He is also very un-nuanced about the role of corporations - they all caused this to us unsuspecting customers because they are so greedy. If only things were that simple.I will probably finish it, as there is a lot of information hidden in the polemic, but I am not enjoying it.
This book makes a pretty good case for the idea that our culture has at the present time only one background story left, and that's an economic one. The case that this used to be different is weaker - she does show that there used to be different stories, but not really that they were any less monolithic. As a matter of fact, the stories she tells about how things were before the economic story seem a bit arbitrary sometimes. Why the breadwinner model, for instance?Still, it is good to see how something as subtle as the background story really influences the situation, and she also has some ideas about how to free yourself from this story.