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Extended Audio Sample Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise Audiobook, by Ruth Reichl Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,061 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth Reichl Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2005 ISBN: 9781415925300
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Ruth Reichl’s bestselling memoir of her time as an undercover restaurant critic for the New York Times

Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erocchio | 2/15/2014

    " Fun read! Interesting facts/observations about food critics. Reichl has a great sense of humor "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jocelyn | 2/15/2014

    " took a while after finishing to appreciate the emotions described here. made me very hungry.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Boyette | 2/11/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book about a critic from the NY Times. Parts are laugh-out-loud funny. Well-known, she adopts all sorts of disguises to go to restaurants undetected. The book is full of descriptions of food I've never had and probably never will, as well as some easy recipes. Fun read that makes you hungry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen Gilstrap | 2/8/2014

    " Satisfied the foodie in me but made me hungry the entire time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leonie | 2/8/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book but I must admit I flagged a little towards the end "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 2/6/2014

    " Enjoyed very much learning about the trials and tribulations of not only bring a restaurant critic but also working for the New York Times. Reading about meals that I would never have dreamed existed and know I will never have the pleasure of eating was intriguing. I thought being a restaurant cretic would be a dream job bit now realize when you have to do it to make a living it can become drudgery. I keep wondering though...how did she not gain 400 lbs.? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirshoff | 1/25/2014

    " Love her writing... This was as good as the first book I read by her, "Tender to the Bone" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe | 1/24/2014

    " This book was absolutely delicious to read; it made me so hungry to read all of the descriptions of food! Also absolutely hilarious; I had not realized the lengths that some food critics go to in order to not be recognized. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Elkin | 1/19/2014

    " Ruth Reichl takes on disguises and totally new personas to review restaurants for the New York Times. She loses and finds herself on her way to becoming the editor of the now extinct Gourmet Magazine. Not sure I believe all the stories, but it was a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Virginia | 1/8/2014

    " Great!! I read Reichl's other two autobiographical books before this, although this could be read by itself. Made me very hungry, although not any more inclined to visit upscale NYC restaurants. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 12/24/2013

    " Interesting memoir by food critic for LA Times, then NY Times. Great stories about eating out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jomie | 12/24/2013

    " Listened to this in the car over spring break. The food descriptions were amazing and Mattie loved the disguises/characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christina | 12/12/2013

    " Made me hungry. The woman can write food. But I'm giving her three stars because I'm stingy with stars, too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 12/8/2013

    " Because I listened to the audiobook, its hard to tell whether or not I liked the reader or the content of the book itself. Entertaining and funny either way...or I think so, at least... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/29/2013

    " What an interesting life Ms Reichl lives. So glad I could live it a little with this book. Cannot wait to try the recipes slipped into each chapter. Like "Kitchen Confidential", this book makes you hyper aware of the food & the service you receive at restaurants. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Swenson | 5/13/2013

    " I enjoyed this much more than I expected; the New York Times restaurant critic reflects on how her personality shifts when she's in different disguises (to avoid special treatment on the job). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 4/8/2013

    " Great writing, interesting subject matter. A great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie (a.k.a. QE3) | 1/10/2013

    " Amazing! Aside from the endless descriptions of food. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Murdoch | 8/7/2012

    " I really liked this book about a New York Times restaurant critic. I enjoyed reading about her quirky disguises and personalties as she critiqued some of NY's best venues. What a fun job that would be! Thanks B. for the recommendation. I might not have picked up this book on my own. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Beth | 3/20/2012

    " What a fun read! I enjoyed the anecdotal tales of Ms. Reichl's life, but I LOVED the parts devoted to describing the foods at all of those fabulous New York resturants. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 11/28/2011

    " Loved, just loved, this book. I read it while vacationing through the Champagne region of France and eating lots of great food, so it was perfect. I love how Reichl writes about food: she's real, honest, emotional, and ties her love and experience of food to greater themes at every step. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny | 5/16/2011

    " Loved this book - such a fun read, and made me add "food critic" to my list of dream jobs! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenbren13 | 5/14/2011

    " My sister gave me this book to read and I really enjoyed her humor and writing style. Made me hungry though:) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Darling | 5/9/2011

    " So fun to get a look at the business of critiquing food. Wouldn't we all love to be in her shoes... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 5/7/2011

    " This is a funny book, but working at the NY Times apparently is not. While I enjoyed reading about Ruth's escapades, I began to wonder if she would ever tire of her "job." The ending did not disappoint. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 5/4/2011

    " This book was SO fun!!! I loved her witty writing style, her stories and her description of the food she ate! If you love to cook or eat or both... this is totally worth it!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 4/27/2011

    " Kind of abrupt ending, but very insightful read about elite foodies in NYC. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 4/26/2011

    " Awesome read for people who love food! Makes me want to try all the fab new restaurants in town!
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 4/24/2011

    " started off strong but got way too into the disguises which got boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmie | 4/24/2011

    " Even more than her disguises she used to remain anonymous as the NY Times restaurant critic, I loved her descriptions of just tasting food. The full sensory experience of some of the dishes she experienced seemed to transport beyond time and place. I wanted to taste it all with her! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Molly | 4/23/2011

    " i thought this would be funny, and while it had it's moments, it had a much more contemplative tone. ruth reichl's food writing is outstanding and i enjoyed those passages the most, despite the fact that she mostly described courses of dead animal parts ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Genevieve | 4/21/2011

    " 4.5 - I really enjoyed this. Great combo of memoir, info about an interesting topic I don't know about, but would like to know more, restaurant reviews and recipes. I think it falls under the "true enough" slogan, but who cares. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 4/21/2011

    " Bookclub read. Very amusing tale of a food critic and her efforts to be anonymous. It was very interesting how she found herself assuming the characters of the disguises she assumed, and then what she learns about herself. Very well done, with some great recipes I want to try. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/20/2011

    " It was interesting to read about the life of a food critic, but I felt that this was a bit braggadocio. I much preferred her first book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 4/17/2011

    " What's not to like? The life of a food critic sounds delicious.





































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About the Author
Author Ruth ReichlRuth Reichl is the bestselling author of the memoirs Garlic and Sapphires, Tender at the Bone, and Comfort Me with Apples and the novel Delicious! She was editor in chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two cats.
About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.