Thursday, February 17, 2011

Toast | Nigel Slater

I have mixed feelings about this autobiography. I read it because it is well regarded and has won awards but for me it was an unsatisfying read.
Nigel seems to have had a sad and lonely childhood. He loses his mum at a young age and as he was really close to her, he suffers well into his teens from this loss. His Dad marries the housekeeper and life just gets worse for Nigel as he has a distant relationship with his father and a dismal one with the stepmother.
The only ray of hope in Nigel's life is food. There is a lot about chocolates and sweets, food he tried to cook himself and his mothers terrible attempts at cooking. His stepmother is far better at it but there is an inference that all the good cooking and baking caused Nigel's father 's heat attack and death. Amongst it all are the dubious sexual encounters, as a child and as a teen.
The title of each chapter is a food of some sort and the vignetter of life he describes centers around food, so we see and interpret the people in his life through a particular food group or disaster. the short chapters leave us wanting to know more and have some resolution to what he describes. It seems like we are looking at a photo album full of family photos of which we are given fleeting comments on before we rush off to the next photo.
He is now a renown chef, which I guess is the resolution of his obsession with food.
Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger
Buy at

No comments:

Post a Comment