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The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese (Anglais) Broché – 6 mai 2014

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 “It sat silently, hoarding its secrets.”

This particular story begins in the dusky hollows of 1991, remembered as a rotten year through and through by almost everybody living, dead, or unborn. I’m sure there were a few who had it good,  maybe even made millions off other people’s misfor- tune, but for the rest of us, there wasn’t a glimmer. January dawned with tracers over Baghdad, the Gulf War. It was a bad year for Saddam Hussein and the Israeli farmer (Scud missiles, weak harvest), the Polit- buro of the Soviet Union (dissolved), and the sawmills of British Co- lumbia (rising stumpage fees, etc.). An estimated one hundred and fifty thousand people died in a Bangladeshi cyclone. The IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street, shattering the windows and scorching the wall of the room where Prime Minister John Major was meeting with his Cabinet (“I think we’d better start again, somewhere else,” said the prime minister). In the Philippines, Mount Pinatubo erupted, ejecting 30 billion metric tons of magma and aerosols, draping a thick layer of sulfuric acid over the earth, cooling temperatures while torching the ozone layer.
It was a brutal year for the ozone layer.

Here in America, it was no better: the rise  of Jack Kevorkian, Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis, Donald Trump’s dwindling empire. Rape, mass murder, and masturbation.* The country slopped along in a recession, and meanwhile, I wasn’t feeling so good myself.

To kick things off, I got dumped in January. I was twenty-six years old, making about $5,000 a year, pretax. I lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with my roommate, Miles, both of us graduate students in the creative writing program for fiction, a.k.a. Storytelling School. We each had a futon and a stereo—and everything else (two couches, black-and-white TV, waffle iron) we’d foraged from piles in front of houses on Big Trash Day.

That year, I toted around a book entitled The Great Depression of 1990, one bought on remainder for a dollar, and that predicted abso- lute global meltdown . . . in 1990.  But I, for one, wasn’t going to look like an idiot if it hit a year or two late. The advantage I had over most everyone else in the world was my lack of participation in the econ- omy, except to issue policy statements, from the couch, before our bliz- zardy TV screen of black-and-white pixels. The eleven o’clock news brought us Detroit anchorman Bill Bonds and all the bad acid and strange perversions  of the year—the William Kennedy Smith trial, the Clarence Thomas hearings, the Rodney King beating—all deliv- ered from beneath his superb toupee, woven it seemed with fine Incan silver.

Nineteen-ninety-one was the year we were to graduate, and as the months progressed toward that spring rite of passage, a funny thing happened: We, the storytellers, could not get our stories published— anywhere. We typed in fits of Kerouacian ecstacy, swaddled our stories in manila envelopes, sent them out to small journals across the coun- try. The rejections came back in our own self-addressed envelopes, like homing pigeons.

So we stewed in our obscurity—and futility. We were Artists. We* worked as course  assistants  and teachers  of  Creative  Writing  101, reading Wallace Stevens poems to the uvulas  of the yawning under- grad horde, moving ourselves to inspiration while the class spoke among itself. We kept office hours in a holding pen with sixteen other teachers, and then went and drank cheap beer at Old Town Tavern, swapping lines from our rejection letters. As it began to dawn on us that the end of our cosseted academic ride was near, the tension ratch- eted so high that we started spending extra time with the only people who were consistently more miserable than we were: the poets.
* Mike Tyson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Pee-wee Herman.

In pictures from our graduation, we—my posse and I—look so innocent, like kids really, kids with full heads of hair and skinny bod- ies and a glint of fear in our eyes, gazing out at the savage world and our futures. You can almost see our brains at work in those photos, now just hours away from the cruelest epiphany: Those preciously imagined short story collections and novels, copied and bound lov- ingly at Kinko’s, called The Shape of  Grief or What the Helix Said,* qualified us for, well, almost . . . exactly . . . nothing.

Which is what led me to a local deli, a place called Zingerman’s, to see if they needed an extra sandwich-maker on weekends.  This was Zingerman’s before it did  $44 million in annual sales and possessed a half million customers, but it was already an Ann Arbor legend, a fa- bled arcade  of fantastic food, a classic, slightly cramped New York– style deli in the Midwest, with a tin ceiling, black-and-white tiled floor, and the yummiest delicacies from around the world. The shelves over- flowed with bottles of Italian lemonade, exotic marmalade spreads, and tapenades. The brothy smell of matzo ball soup permeated the place. On Saturday mornings, before Michigan football games, people thronged, forming a line down Kingsley Street. The sandwiches cost twice as much as anywhere  else, and whenever we splurged as students, we’d go there and stand in the long line, the longer the better actually, just to prolong the experience. Then we’d order from colorful chalk- boards hung from the ceiling, detailing a cornucopia of sandwiches with names like “Gemini Rocks the House,” “Who’s Greenberg Any- way?,” and “The Ferber Experience,” each made on homemade farm bread  or grilled challah or Jewish rye, stuffed with Amish chicken breast or peppered ham or homemade pastrami, with Wisconsin muen- ster or Switzerland Swiss or Manchester creamy cheddar, and topped with applewood-smoked bacon or organic sunflower sprouts or honey mustard.
* Mine was entitled  Augie  Twinkle’s  Lament,  and detailed—some  might  say excruciatingly—the progress of a minor league pitcher to his  final game on the mound, where, after being  shelled, he exits over the center-field fence, discarding his uniform, piece by piece, in grief-stricken striptease. From there, left only in his codpiece, he goes on a laundry-stealing binge . . . and the rest, you’ll have to trust me, is heartrending, humorous, and deeply compelling.
In the days before the rise of gourmand culture, before our obses- sion with purity and pesticides, before the most fetishistic of us could sit over plates of Humboldt Fog expounding on our favorite truffles or estate-bottled olive oil, Zingerman’s preached a new way of thinking about food: Eat the best, and eat homemade. Why choke down over- salted, processed chicken soup when you might slurp Zingerman’s rich stock, with its tender carrots and hint of rosemary? Why suffer any old chocolate when you might indulge in handcrafted, chocolate- covered clementines from some picturesque village in northern Italy, treats  that  exploded  in your mouth,  the  citrus  flooding  in tingles across the tongue with the melted cocoa spreading beneath it, lifting and wrapping the clementine once again, but differently now, in the sweetest chocolate-orange cradle of sensory  pleasure? Judging by the towering shelves of rare, five-star products from around the world— the quinces and capers, the salamis and spoonfruits, the sixteen-year- old balsamic vinegar and Finnish black licorice—the quest for higher and higher gustatory ecstasies never ceased.

If Zingerman’s preached a new way of thinking about food, it was by practicing the old ways, by trying to make latkes as they’d been made a hundred years ago, by returning to traditional recipes. The idea was to deepen the experience of eating by giving customers a sense of culinary history and geography, to ask questions like: Why are bagels round?

 To my mind, such inquiry and excellence deserved me, and even if I was only going to build sandwiches, I would beam my own excel- lence in perfect slathers of mayo and mustard. After all, I needed a job, and the food and the karma were so good at Zingerman’s, it felt like a place I could make home for a while.

So one June day found me hiking up the steep stairs to the office above the deli and presenting myself as the answer to Zingerman’s problems, whatever its problems were. I came armed with my résumé bearing the proud monogram MFA, and within three minutes, two of them spent waiting, one of the deli mistresses set me straight.
“We don’t have anything right now,” she said, as seven phones rang at once, and turned back to business.
A few days later, the deli called. They wanted to see  me regarding a special opportunity. I beelined back to the office and stood before the deli woman again. “I noticed you’ve done some proofreading,” she said casually,  her eyes skimming my  résumé  to jog  specifics.  “Ari writes all the newsletters himself, and we could use someone to check it each   month.” It wasn’t for sure,  my new boss cautioned. And it might be four to six hours a month. We could try one first. To see how it went.

I thought I heard something like eight dollars an hour. “Done,” I said.
I left with a folder clutched tightly under my arm and a new sproing in my step. The newsletter, the monthly newsletter! It sat in stacks in the store. Everyone from the ebullient hard-core gourmands to the morose doctoral students read  it while waiting in line, especially because it contained a menu and you couldn’t read the chalkboards from a mile away. But it was more than that: It was part foodie bible, part travelogue, in which Ari brought to stirring life his global search for goodies  as he played out the thrilling Indiana Jones lead. From a business point of view,  the newsletter had always been a bit of market- ing genius, and now it had  become Ari’s trademark, one his followers craved reading as much as their latest New Yorker issues.

The Ari in question was Ari Weinzweig, co-owner of the Zingerman universe and a man of panache, chutzpah, and wide-roaming palate. Once he’d been a University of Michigan  history major and collector of anarchist literature; now he was caught in a daily down- pour of money from the clouds of patrons at his doorstep. Ari was tall, handsome,  with  dark ringlets  of hair,  the  overeducated  man’s Jeff Goldblum. Everybody seemed to want a word. He was ARI, gourmet argonaut, the Sherlock Holmes of nosh and niblets.* I’d seen him once or twice in the deli, wearing spandex shorts, just in from a run. He was always  trailed by a gaggle of pretty people. Long, lean, hypnotic, the magic man of food—AHHHH-REEE.
* In a New York Times article from the Business  section on May  3, 2007, about the populist rise of Zingerman’s, Michael Ruhlman, a food industry expert and writer, summed up the deli’s success over the decades like this: “There’s not a lot the con- sumer can do, really, to get Iberian ham, but Ari can.”

And so, naturally, the newsletter was a revved-up reflection of Ari’s peregrinations, and as such was never meant to be literature. His was a breezy,  conversational style,  full  of exclamations  (This  is  the best!) and enthusiasms (You gotta try it!), a pleated high-school pep squad for his personal pantry. His greatest strength was a knack for making you hungry. Back at my apartment, even as I imagined Ari up in first class on a flight to St. Petersburg in search of the world’s best beluga caviar, I dug a couple of pencils  from the drawer, then pulled the folder from my backpack, placed it on the desk, and began perusing the pages. On first read,  it was good, if a bit rustic. There was the occasional clunker, but that was to be expected. I made some marks, deleted a few words, added a suggestion. I got up and fixed a grilled cheese. Sat back down. Made more notes. Were we being a little too  effusive about the Jewish noodle kugel? Couldn’t we add a more savory detail re: the sour-cream  coffee cake? What about ex- panding our adjective horizon beyond “tasty” and “delicious”?

By late afternoon, I’d completely rewritten the thing. Ari’s style was now more . . . Cheeveresque. I couldn’t wait for him to return  from St. Petersburg, or wherever,  so I could entirely rewrite his next news- letter about beluga caviar. I put the folder aside, revisited it once more late that night while eating cold noodles. Yes. Perfect. Bill Bonds came on: Boris Yeltsin was standing on top of a tank in front of the Krem- lin; the Soviet regime had been toppled.
Things were looking up.

Back at the deli a few days later, reaction  to the revolution—my first edit—was surprisingly muted. “I think we’re trying to keep Ari’s voice intact,” said my boss, handing back my edit. Maybe we should let Ari be the judge of that, I wanted to say. But really, I needed the job. So I gathered the pages into the folder again and, home at my desk, armed with a plump red eraser, brought him back to life. I added more exclamations. In the margins, I wrote: “Wouldn’t this be a good place for a ‘delicious’?” I reminded myself that I was thrilled not only to get paid for reading  but also to be reading anything besides lit-crit books that quoted heavily from Lukács’s theory of reification.

During a time when microwave popcorn passed for dinner,  the subject of fine food also offered a vicarious thrill. While I couldn’t af- ford to eat well, I could certainly aspire to. So I read with an enthusi- asm that matched Ari’s on the page. I could taste the pickles and smoked fish. I could hear the cow moo and the butter churn. I was drawn deeper and deeper into his savory world, though I never forgot my place as foot servant. The truth is, Ari Weinzweig  never would have recognized me if we’d smacked into each other before the loaves of rye.

That,  however,  didn’t  dampen my  enthusiasm  about  our next order of business  together: the October newsletter, which was Zinger- man’s second annual celebration of Spanish food. The deli was work- ing in concert  with  the  Spanish tourist  board  and artisanal  food makers there, and sometime earlier that year, Ari had eaten his way across the country in search of delectables. Something about the evo- cation of warm sun, sangria, and gluttony just as the low ceiling of gray lake clouds closed over Michigan  for the next half year struck a chord, and while my only visit to Spain had come on a chilly Euro- pean jaunt during my junior year abroad in London—there were Uzi’d policia in the streets of Madrid  ten years  after Franco’s death and an elaborate  night  trying   to find   Salvador  Dalí  on the  Costa

Brava*—the country flashed back now through Ari’s prose.

That October newsletter was his aria, his masterpiece, his opus. The writing seemed to come from a different man. The passion was unbridled.  ¡Vaya!  He sang the  praises of Spanish olives  and Rías Baixas wine, Salamancan ham and a host of cheeses  that included Manchegos,  Cabrales,  Majoreros.  I  tightened  and added a  few “delicious”es. I padded an entry about sherry, lightened another about olive oil. I turned the page—and suddenly, from nowhere, came an entry that needed no intervention whatsoever. It was about a special cheese Ari had hunted  down, and it  appeared  under the  heading “New and Amazing,” three paragraphs buried among six type-packed, oversized pages—crammed between a primer on Sephardic Jewish cooking and an ad for a paella-making clinic.
* We ended up at Dalí’s seaside villa in Cadaqués, where a friend and I crept to the door at midnight to hear  the artist’s favorite music, Tristan and Isolde, at full vol- ume. When our knocking went unheeded, we retreated to Dalí’s high garden wall and drank two bottles of wine, which, along with high winds and a bevy of bats, fanned the flames of that haunted night until, terrified, we leaped at some sound and, entirely misjudging the drop, ended up sprained and bloody, limping miles before we found our backpacker hostel again.

 “Though I’ve saved this one  for last,” wrote Ari, “don’t let me mislead you. This is really an outstanding piece of cheese . . . so anon- ymous I discovered it by chance in London. It’s also the most expen- sive cheese we’ve ever sold. Makes me a little nervous just putting it on the counter.”

The item went on to describe how this piece of “sublime” cheese was made in Castile, in the north-central part of the country, and how, when Ari had visited the cheesemaker himself, the Spaniard had shared vivid memories of his grandmother making the very same cheese and imploring him to keep the tradition alive. When asked by Ari how he justified making such an expensive cheese, the man had said, “Because it’s made with love.”

But there was more: Each day this cheesemaker collected fresh milk from “his flock of one hundred Churra sheep.” The milk was poured into vats, stirred, and after  it had  coagulated, the curd was hand-cut into tiny pieces “in order  to expel as much liquid as possi- ble.” Each wheel of the cheese was then pressed to rid  it of any re- maining moisture and transported to a nearby cave. After the first aging, the cheese was submerged in extra-virgin olive oil and aged again,  for at least a year. The stuff of his job—the minutiae, the care, the importance of time—happened  to sound a lot like the job of a writer.

“It’s rich, dense, intense,” sang Ari, “a bit like Manchego, but with its own distinct set of flavors and character.”
There was something about all of  it, not just the perfection of Ari’s prose, but the story he told—the village cheesemaker, the an- cient family recipe, the old-fashioned process by which the cheese was born, the idiosyncratic  tin in which it was packaged—that I couldn’t stop thinking about, even as I went on  to contend with misplaced modifiers in a passage about marzipan. It occurred to me that there we were, living through cursed 1991, in a crushing recession—when the national dialogue centered around whether Clarence Thomas had uttered the question “Who  has put pubic hair on my Coke?”—and along came this outrageous, overpriced, presumptuous little cheese, almost angelic in its naïveté, fabulist in character, seemingly made by an incorruptible artiste who, with an apparent straight face, had stated that its high price tag came because it was “made with love.”
Was this for real?

I went to the deli. At $22* a pound  for the cheese, I had no inten- tion of buying  any. I’d come, however odd it sounds, to gaze upon it. Thus I timed my visit for in-between rushes. I picked up the finished newsletter at the door and stood for a while, reading as if the words were not only brand-new to me but the most fascinating thing I’d ever had occasion  to  trip  over.  I watched  a few  other  nicely  dressed people—quilted jackets, colorful scarves—reading it, taking pleasure in their pleasure. Then I dove in, jostling through holes in the line, moving across the black-and-white-checked floor until I found myself face-to-face with the cheeses behind the nursery glass: There were the Manchego and Cabrales, Mahón and Garrotxa . . . and there was my cheese. It seemed to hover there, apart in its own mystical world. It came in its white tin with black etching that read páramo de guzmán. The package, which was almost oval in shape, bore the emblem of a gold medal for supreme excellence above all other cheeses, an honor from some agricultural fair,  it appeared. And perched there in the display, before a pyramid of the tins, was a piece cut into three wedges. Unlike its paler Manchego and Mahón brethren, it possessed an over- all  caramel hue. It may sound strange to call  a cheese  soulful, but that’s what this cheese seemed to be, just by sight. It had traveled so far to be here, and from so long ago. I let myself fantasize about what it might taste like, as I could only fantasize about a gourmandizing, dandy’s life  in which I might  pen the  words “. . . discovered  it  by chance in London.”
* Twenty-two dollars equaling eight chili dogs, or seven falafels, or five bibimbaps, i.e., a week’s worth of dinners.

 And this is when an odd shift occurred inside: That little hand- made cheese in the tin, and its brash lack of cynicism in a rotten year, gave me a strange kind of hope.  I sensed the presence of purity and transcendence. I felt I knew this cheese somehow, or would. It sat si- lently, hoarding its secrets. How long would it wait to speak? 

A long time, as it turned out. But when it did,  the cheese had a lot to say. Unlike that day in 1991, when I felt so pressed to leave the deli in order  to put the finishing touches on another one of my overheated homing pigeons of prose, it became nearly impossible for me to walk away.

Revue de presse

“Captivating . . . Paterniti’s writing sings, whether he’s talking about how food activates memory, or the joys of watching his children grow.”—NPR
“A gorgeous and impassioned monument to the art and mystery of storytelling, The Telling Room is rich, funny, humane, devastating, and beautiful. It made me want to applaud, it made me want to cry, it made me want to move to Spain. Michael Paterniti is a genius.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Unforgettable . . . a must-read for all who think of Spain as magical, who consider cheese as the ultimate gift of love, who love stories of betrayal, despair, revenge and redemption.”—The Wall Street Journal
The Telling Room embodies the spirit of slow food and life.”—Michael Pollan

“Elegant, strange, funny, and insightful, The Telling Room is a marvelous tale and a joyful read, a trip into a world peopled by some of the most remarkable characters—and, yes, cheese—in memory.”—Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
“By the time you hit the tenth page of The Telling Room, you realize you’re in the hands of a storyteller so masterful, emotionally subtle, and smooth that you’re willing to follow him anywhere, even into a cave. And you will.”The Daily Beast
“Rich and shaggy, full of Castilian-size detours . . . one hugely likable book.”The Boston Globe
“Exquisite . . . [a] gripping tale. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly
“Breathtakingly cinematic . . . reads like Bill Buford’s Heat, conveying the passions of both author and subject, but with David Foster Wallace’s gift for digression.”The Tampa Bay Times
“Paterniti dives deeply into Spain’s political history, the pleasures of craft, and the motives and methods of storytelling itself.”Harper’s

“Few writers can write about the taste of food with Paterniti’s vibrancy and precision. . . . [He] is a master of finding and telling great stories (the finding, for most writers, often being as difficult as the telling) that appear to be about something small, such as cheese, but are actually about something far larger—in this case, the whole of human existence. . . . As much as The Telling Room is about a Spaniard’s quest to create a cheese that embodies all the love and pain and joy he’s ever known, it’s also the story of a writer’s quest to channel that obsession into the perfect story.”Esquire

“For my money, Paterniti is one of the most expansive and joyful writers around—big-hearted and humane and funny. This book is a wild and amazing ride.”—George Saunders, author of Tenth of December
“The list of writers I would read even if they were to write about a piece of cheese has always been short, but it includes Michael Paterniti. He has proved here that if you love something enough and pay a passionate enough attention to it, the whole world can become present in it. That’s true of both the cheese and the book.”—John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead
“An amazing achievement, The Telling Room is an inspired, masterly epic that expands and refigures the parameters of the storyteller’s art.”—Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
“Michael Paterniti is one of the best living practitioners of the art of literary journalism, able to fully elucidate and humanize the everyday and the epic. In his hands, every subject, every moment of personal or global upheaval, is treated with the same curiosity, respect, empathy, and clear-eyed wisdom.”—Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King

From the Hardcover edition.

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90 internautes sur 98 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Writing at its Finest 27 mai 2013
Par Evelyn Uyemura - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
A couple of chapters into this book, I was asking myself, "How have I never heard of this writer before?" And before even finishing the book, I was ordering is previous work (Driving Mr. Albert) simply because I didn't want this book to end. This is a masterpiece, on a level with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air or Richard Preston's The Hot Zone, in which it doesn't matter that you had no previous interest in Mount Everest or biological warfare, or in this case, Spanish cheese.

Paterniti takes a more or less simple story of a farmer in Spain who creates a fantastic cheese and then, through mismanagement, loses the company he has built, and turns it into a reflection on how life is to be lived, how it feels to be a young father, what is worth living for, how time changes, and yet doesn't change, everything. He has a huge man-crush on this guy whose language he doesn't even speak at first, and he manages to spend so much time with him that he falls completely under his spell, bringing his wife and kids not once but twice, to spend weeks in a dessicated village in Spain.

Life in the village of Guzman is everything that life in modern America is not. People spend their time in rooms that Paterniti calls Telling Rooms, caves, actually out on the hillside, where wine flows freely (wine they themselves have made) and food is shared lovingly with friend and stranger alike. No "stranger danger" here, no hours spent before screens "chatting" electronically with disembodied strangers. This is life as it has been for centuries. And yet, it is also real, not a stage-setting put on for the benefit of lost americanos who always go home to their clothes driers and air conditioners and ipads. And yet, beneath this hypnotic surface, there are also ancient (or not so ancient) hatreds that can never be explained, much less resolved. It is village life at its most comforting and also its most claustrophobic. And somehow, Paterniti allows us to experience it.

It took him over a decade to write the book, and a fair amount of the story is about writing the book, or more accurately, being unable to write the book. Although a journalist, and a very successful one, writing long-form journalism for magazines, Paterniti can't find an ending, can't bring himself to commit the story to paper in only one way. In the end, there are ironic footnotes at length and much self-referential spinning of wheels. And yet, it is a book of great sincerity and honesty.

I loved it. Your book club will love it. I hope it will be a best-seller. Both author and publisher deserve it, as do the people of Guzman.
50 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A really intriguing story about cheese! 28 mai 2013
Par feemeister - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
The first 40 pages of this book did me in. I almost just tossed it. But it finally started picking up and getting to the actual story.

There are two things I don't like about this book. The first is, the author uses way too many adjectives and similes, etc., for my taste. The unusual part though, is that sometimes he uses them, and other times he doesn't have any at all. (Once he gets into the actual story, there aren't nearly as many.)

The second is, he has far too much information that doesn't apply to the story. He includes things about his personal life and family, and lots of other side items that aren't pertinent to the story. I WILL say though that many of the things he does puts in footnotes, so it's easy to skip over them. Some of them are actually good stories and worth the read. But I really think this book could have been shorter and more on point, and I would have enjoyed it more (I would have given it a 5 then.)

Now for the story. The story was WONDERFUL. It pulled me right in (when he got to it) and kept me going. Ambrosio was larger than life, and the small Castilian town he lived in sounded like a really nice, old-world place. The story of the cheese was just spectacular. The author was really drawn into this, and I can understand why.

Ambrosio was definitely bigger than life (I picture him as looking just like Eli Wallach) and he didn't do anything by halves. I want to say more about him, but I don't want to ruin it for those who haven't read it yet.

This book is definitely worth a read, and seems very heartfelt by both the author and the participants in the story.

[For those who have already read the book---I LOVED the author's story of his special trip to Mon Virgo. But I couldn't figure out if he actually finished his business there or not. I also wondered if he told Ambrosio what happened there. I laughed really hard, mainly because that's what would have happened to me! I don't think us city dwellers are cut out for that kind of thing!]
46 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Even Teenagers Like It!!!! 31 juillet 2013
Par PossumLover - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I am a 14 year old girl, and I am writing this review to say that even teenagers can love and treasure this book the way I have. Normally avoiding nonfiction of any kind I was apprehensive to say the least. But as I started this heartfelt story I was pleasantly surprised to find that in fact it rated just as well as the beloved fantasy I avidly read. The writing is optimistic and endearing and I was thoroughly enraptured in this fabulous tale of cheese (who knew cheese could be exciting!?) I loved the shifting narrative between Paterniti's life and his hero's, Ambrosio. A strong ending, interesting footnotes, and Paterniti's voice make this truly a wonderful read for all ages.
122 internautes sur 152 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
There's a Book in Here Somewhere 29 mai 2013
Par takingadayoff - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
The book is described as part travel narrative, part food essay, part family drama. So far, so good. Then there's the "magical cheese." A little odd, but there are definite possibilities, story-wise. Once I started reading the book, I found it was also the author's story, the tale of a young MFA student struggling to be the best darned Writer ever.

The overwrought prose kept getting in the way of the story. A few times, the author even mocked himself about this -- "...put the finishing touches on another one of my overheated homing pigeons of prose..." Page after page went by and still, there was no story. I skipped ahead. Now it was about the author's contract with his publisher and his failure to meet deadlines. Year after year passed. I skipped ahead. He finally made it to the tiny village in Spain, home of the possibly mythical magical cheese. No detail was too small to include in this slowly evolving story. Often, Paterniti recognized that the details were slowing the story to a crawl, and relegated them to footnotes. There are many footnotes.

A book ten years in the making, The Telling Room is a letdown, and I could not find the patience to keep at it. It was so many things that in the end, it was none of them. Instead of chipping away at the block of marble cheese to find the perfect form hiding inside, Paterniti slapped more and more plaster, paint, and spare parts onto it until it became a hideous hybrid. Now how's THAT for overheated prose?
20 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Enter the Room 30 juillet 2013
Par Anja Hanson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I read this book having neither been to Spain nor claimed the title of gourmand, but I am a greedy reader, and the immersive, joyful spirit of The Telling Room won me. What I loved was Paterniti's ability to expose all the overt and covert pleasures of storytelling with nuance and humor. I also loved the chance to see what it might be like to follow a passionate interest from the easy, early love to a hard-won, deeper affinity and understanding. Take a chance to discover many things "ribald and holy" in The Telling Room.
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