October 07, 2013

Living In A Foreign Language by Michael Tucker

This could have been such a beautiful book. Too bad the author turns you off in the first part of the book by alienating about 99% of the population. "There were other people--regular people--but you can't imagine how easy it is to tell the difference." And "I mean it's hard enough being a star, but when there's nobody there to worship you, it's damn near impossible." And plenty more just like that.

Michael Tucker and his wife Jill have been tv stars for awhile (LA Law I think?) and after the show ends they find themselves floating adrift. But then, at a birthday party in Italy, they discover a little villa called The Rustico that they fall in love with. They buy it and start changing it, having friends over and finding great food in the area. They also decide to go back to work and so spend their time between the States and Italy.

I've already mentioned my distaste for the author's ego. Maybe he was a really good actor, I don't know, I've never seen him in anything, but it's still not flattering to have quite that much conceit. Although at least he was impressed with his wife and you can tell that he appreciated her. I guess that's a redeeming point in his favor. She herself is only described through his eyes, but she seems like a very focused individual. And they had a ton of friends. One, Caroline, seems to be a helper/surrogate daughter and we definitely know she's Korean, as that's how Tucker described her mostly. But the rest of the people were so numerous that a really great description is never given.

Although that's completely different for the food. That's the best part of this book. I may not like Tucker but he can write about food. All his descriptions of the courses and pasta and deli that he incorporated into the book made me salivate. I wanted to hop a plane to Italy and just eat until I burst. There were stories that weren't about food, but food was definitely the focus. I was surprised by the amount of cursing in this book. It didn't start out that way, but by the end f-bombs are dropped all over the place. Which doesn't bother me but I know a lot of people don't appreciate reading it and so I thought I'd provide a warning.

I can't say that I wholly enjoyed this book. Just the descriptions of food. For those comparing it to Under the Tuscan Sun, I can see similarities, but it is definitely a different kind of book.

Living in a Foreign Language
Copyright 2007
252 pages

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