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Extended Audio Sample Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, by Julie Powell Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (2,729 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julie Powell Narrator: Joshua Ferris Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she’d ever do, until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her latest memoir, Cleaving.

With her marriage challenged by an insane, irresistible love affair, Julie decides to leave town and immerse herself in a new obsession: butchery. She finds her way to Fleischer’s, a butcher shop where she buries herself in the details of food. She learns how to break down a side of beef and French a rack of ribs, tough, physical work that only sometimes distracts her from thoughts of afternoon trysts.

The camaraderie at Fleischer’s leads Julie to search out fellow butchers around the world, from South America to Europe to Africa. At the end of her odyssey, she has learned a new art and perhaps even mastered her unruly heart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “From the title to the last page, former blogger Julie Powell’s startling second memoir, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, is smart and compelling…Powell’s steadfast femininity and confident voice are refreshing.”

    San Francisco Chronicle 

  • “Got a hobby you consider therapy? You’ll eat up this second memoir by the author of Julie and Julia. In it, Powell tries to end an adulterous affair by immersing herself in an apprenticeship at a butcher shop—and embarks on a world tour of meat. How she finds her way home is the marrow of this tell-all travelogue/love story. Well done!”


  • “As intoxicating as baked bone marrow…Powell is reckless, yes, but also incredibly brave as she cuts through the raw flesh of her marriage, exposing every quivering nerve. It is an evisceration not without its insight and hard-won rewards. It’s also funny…The book’s joys are many…In her self-gutting story we see our own fleshy vulnerabilities when it comes to the intricacies of love.”

    Houston Chronicle 

  • “Julie Powell’s follow-up to Julie & Julia paints a visceral, compulsively readable picture of what it looks like when you fully indulge with a fantasy object who isnt your spouse…Powell has honed her writing chops along with her culinary skills, and her extended metaphor is dead on: how we can systematically hack each other apart without ever getting to the heart of our desires.” 


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Julia | 2/19/2014

    " I rarely read non-fiction, but it seems that I can handle it when it has to do with food. I liked Cleaving. I liked Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. The cover of the book says that it's about obsession, so you shouldn't be surprised. Having such a brutally honest record of an unhealthy relationship is fascinating and instructive, and the bits about butchery are fascinating. And I have to like someone who's so fond of Buffy. I will be interested in Julie Powell's next book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ally | 2/14/2014

    " While I appreciate Ms. Powell's willingness to share the intimate details of her life and marriage, I found myself hating her self-deprecating manner. Several times throughout the book I felt that all she needed was to get over herself, find a good therapist and a couples therapist and get her life back on track. However, I think she is the type of person that thrives on that kind of drama in her life. I like her writing style and the way she approaches the material, but hope that her next book is more informative and less "self-discovery". "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Kathleen | 1/10/2014

    " sooooo dark and icky. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Lauren | 1/9/2014

    " I just couldn't get past how much she whined in this book. "

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