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Toast - Nigel Slater

(16 Posts)
BikeRunSki Sat 02-Jul-11 21:33:54

What a sad childhood, but how well he writes. Simple and self effacing. Very more-ish. Love the way it was written as anecdotes about food.

ColonelBrandonsBiggestGroupie Sat 02-Jul-11 21:36:47

I was a bit disappointed by it. I got the impression that he was very bitter and quite repressed and uncomfortable in his own skin. He's all sort of coy and evasive whilst trying to be shocking too. It irritated me tbh. I enjoyed the TV version of it though.

KurriKurri Sun 03-Jul-11 15:23:36

I really enjoyed it too, he's about the same age as me and it brought back lots of nostalgic memories (although I didn't have a sad childhood as he did).

I understand what you mean about being uncomfortable in his own skin Colonel, but I rather liked that about him, I thought he was quite honest even when it didn't make him look particularly good. He seems a complex mixture of a person, a bit spiky but he had such a strange upbringing it's not surprising.

I thought it was well written too, he's got a very readable style IMO.
(plus I use one of his recipes for peach and blueberry cake and it's fabulous, - that alone is enough to make me on his side grin)

valiumredhead Sat 09-Jul-11 14:31:41

I got the impression that he was very bitter and quite repressed and uncomfortable in his own skin

Think I would be too if I'd had his upbringing! grin

Loved the book much much more than the film. The book shows his dad's tender side (even if it wasn't shown very often!)

kreecherlivesupstairs Sat 09-Jul-11 14:45:02

I read that years ago. Valium, do you think that the programme makers thought that the Dad was a bit too cold so softened him up a bit?
I think the daughters of his step mum were upset about the way she was portrayed.

valiumredhead Sat 09-Jul-11 14:46:43

kreecher I thought the dad was portrayed much worse in the film than the book!

franke Sat 09-Jul-11 14:52:04

I read this quite recently after seeing the TV adaptation last year. I get the impression that he was quite ungenerous to his stepmother, but tacitly acknowledges that. eg although he makes a great deal about how he felt like a spare part, or that she was overtly mean to him, there were passages which betrayed a certain after-school companionship between the two of them. He also came across as a frightful snob.

The death of his mother was heart-breaking though and must explain much of his later messed-up-ness.

valiumredhead Sat 09-Jul-11 14:58:10

He also came across as a frightful snob

I don't think he did, he certainly laughed at his family's snobby way of doing things though.

franke Sat 09-Jul-11 15:00:06

I thought he was a snob about his step-mother and where she came from.

DoraJarr Sat 09-Jul-11 15:00:38

hes an old woman himself imo

franke Sat 09-Jul-11 15:00:42

But I suppose he was trying to convey that she was the antithesis of his adored mother.

valiumredhead Sat 09-Jul-11 15:20:58

Yes, I understood it as that as well franke

MmeBlueberry Sat 09-Jul-11 15:25:24

I enjoyed this nostalgic book, but also felt quite sad for Nigel.

TapselteerieO Sat 09-Jul-11 15:42:13

I liked him until I read the self-indulgent Toast, I stopped buying the Observer afterwards too. I avoid anything with him in the programme/magazine.

valiumredhead Sat 09-Jul-11 15:44:59

Isn't all writing self indulgent? What did you particularly hate - and don't hold back? grin

Miggsie Sat 09-Jul-11 15:45:57

I thought it was sad, he really really never came to terms with the loss of his mum, and although his father moved on and got a new wife, he didn't think of the new wife as a substitute mother and I felt a bit sorry for him as the loss of a mother when young is a huge blow, and I don't think he ever recovered from it, and he certainly never got any help in doing so.

I admired the fact he left home and made his own way at such a young age and that he fought against the prejudice of a boy doing cooking to follow what he loved.

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