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Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of PerfectionRoasting in Hell's Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection by Gordon Ramsay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Celebrity autobiographies are always a mixed bag. They're equal parts self-promotion and self-medication more often than not. But sometimes they're revealing in ways they don't intend, and occasionally the author (or, frequently, the ghost writer) is pleasant to read.

So let's take it in reverse order.

The writing is not objectionable. There is an over-reliance on the simple declarative sentence. I'm not sure if that is pandering to the perceived audience or if it is a style choice/author ability statement.

For me not much was revealed. But, to be fair, I've seen most episodes of every one of his TV series (ones from Channel 4 in Britain included) except for the British version of Hell's Kitchen, and only about half of the Master Chef episodes. So I have a sense of the public persona that is Gordon Ramsay, and occasionally there are hints of who the man is Tana married, and who the kids call Daddy. If you've only seen Hell's Kitchen that is only a slice--authentic, but just a slice. All this book did for me was fill in some chinks of what I already knew.

So--self-promotion and self-medication. Yes. But that's alright. Poor boy makes better than good, and wrestles some formidable demons along the way. And maybe the writing of it, the publishing of it, allows him to put some of the demons to bed, and have his say on some of the more scurrilous bits the British tabloids have been tossing about for the last decade and a half.

To be honest, I'd rather read his cookbooks, and watch the shows (particulary The F Word and the British version of Kitchen Nightmares) than pick up the inevitable next volume in the Gordon Ramsay written word oeuvre. But, then, for me, it's all about the food.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 15th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
Well, he's clearly a loving husband, father, and son (to his mother). And his brigades are intensely loyal to him. My sense is that he has the kind of personality that makes for a really good coach, or really good Marine sergeant. High standards, low tolerance for bullshit behavior or low quality effort, but works even harder than anyone under him and will lay himself flat out to help anyone who genuinely needs it on a personal level or who has the aptitude and wants to learn on the professional level.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )