BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses

Review by Jax

Book Blurb: In Aphrodite, the internationally acclaimed writer Isabel Allende brings her magical storytelling powers to a highly personal and charmingly idiosyncratic look at the intertwined sensual arts of food and love. Blending personal reminiscence with folklore from around the world, historical legends, and memorably moments from literature - erotic and otherwise - Allende spices her narrative with equal portions of humor and insight.

Assembling a feast of fascinating facts about the aphrodisiac powers of food and drink, Allende serves them up with both convincing admiration and due irreverence. She offers suggestions, both ancient and modern, for luring a lover, kindling sexual ardor, prolonging the act of love, and reviving flagging virility. Dipping into the cauldron of history, she reports on the lascivious appetites of everyone from the emperor Nero to Catherine the Great to France's notorious Madame du Barry.

A personal ode to the pleasures of food and sex, Aphrodite celebrates the sensual life with joy and imagination. Allende's exuberance, storytelling powers and naughty sense of fun make this memoir an irresistible treat for the senses.

Back of Nude, painting by William Merritt Chase,
 just one of many beautful pieces to be found

My thoughts: this book isn't just a memoir of the senses, it's a delight to them. I could wax poetic about the prose in this book, but it's hard to add to the blurb! It is a magnificent read, Allende's own tale well seasoned with quotes from poems, stories, plays, novels and erotica. I love the way she describes not just the foods, but the settings - a glorious reminder that setting the mood means as much as serving the meal. In reading this book, I was reminded to savor more than the flavor of what is offered. In everyday life, it is so easy to simply go through the mechanics of eating. Usually on the go. Allende encourages you to truly partake of what's offered. The house slowly filling with mouthwatering scents. The careful preparation and presentation of the meal. The slow unveiling of the dishes. It's not just the ingredients that act as an aphrodisiac, it's the process. And she shares that so well. 

Aphrodite is also a cornucopia of art from the world over. It's like having an art gallery in your hands. If that isn't enough, there are these darling nymphs and satyrs that dance through the pages - sketches contributed to the feast by her friend Robert Shekter.

And lest you think this book is all talk - there are fabulous recipes to try at the end. So gather a group of your most daring friends and see what the evening brings!

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: March 24, 1998

This book is owned by the reviewer.

1 comment:

  1. Aliende is a wonderful author!
    I have enjoyed m,any of her books, but have unfortunately missed this one!!
    Thanks for the review!


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