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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

FOOD: A LOVE STORY (audiobook) by Jim Gaffigan

Published in October of 2014 by Random House Audio
Read by the author, Jim Gaffigan
Duration: 7 hours, 17 minutes

My wife and two kids and I listened to Food: A Love Story as we drove on our family trip this summer. We are fans of Jim Gaffigan (I really appreciate the fact that our children can listen and he rarely uses an inappropriate word, let alone vulgar commentary or topics.

If you are not familiar with Jim Gaffigan than stop reading this and follow this link to the Amazon page and read the lengthy excerpts that are provided. They give you a real sense of the book. If you are familiar with Gaffigan, he does go over a lot of stuff that he already covers in his stand up routines. But, he expands on them quite a bit and covers things that I never heard him mention in one of his specials.

The book is obviously about food and Jim rarely deviates from it. He is not a "foodie". He is not driving out of his way to get something new. He is not traveling with the intent to try exotic twists on old flavors. Nope, he is an every man talking about regular every day food - burgers, fries, hot dogs, ice cream, cupcakes, pancakes, etc. He gets his tips on where to go by tweeting to his followers that he is in a certain city and where should he go. He rarely gets a bad recommendation.

He includes an overview of the country with regional specialties, including a long and hilarious explanation of why he hates seafood of all sorts (me too, Jim!). He also talks about his all-time favorites, where to get some of those. My wife and I were delighted to hear him rave about Schoop's in northern Indiana and the Coney Island Weiner Stand in Fort Wayne. 

He also talks about why steak is amazing, vegetables are not and the country's obsession with certain foods as a health craze (right now it is kale). I especially enjoyed his review of famous food chains by genre (burger places, taco places, breakfast places) even if I disagreed with him on a lot of them. It seemed appropriate as we were ticking off the miles and driving past all of the exits with the omni-present McDonald's, Subways and Waffle Houses.

This is not an audiobook that I could just sit and listen to at long stretches. I could only take about 1 CD at a time (about an hour and 10 minutes) and then I just got tired of hearing Jim talk about food. But, at lunchtime stop at the McDonald's we'd talk about what he said about this place and that place as we passed their billboards and my youngest daughter would proudly proclaim that she had found the "bonus fry" in the bottom of the bag. Then, I'd pop him back in again and we would laugh some more at his observations about bacon or Dunkin Donuts or Hot Pockets.

He brings it all together with a fairly profound commentary on food and family and our short time on this world. Here's an excerpt: "My advice to you, dear reader, is to eat well and frequently. Our time here is pretty short. It's filled with disappointments and drama, and food can make it better." He recommends more cheeseburgers and you certainly can't disagree with an expert who has written a book on the topic, can you? 

I definitely recommend this for a family trip.

The book is read by Jim Gaffigan and here's all I can say about it - it couldn't have been read better if it were wrapped in bacon. Well, that make's no sense if you haven't read the book, but if you have you know exactly what I mean.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

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