The Adventures of a Curious Man
Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man. Doubleday. May 2012. c.272p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780385527057. $25.95. COOKING
There was far more to American inventor Clarence Birdseye (1886–1956) than met the eye; he was slight and cheerful but restlessly curious. He was drawn into a life of travel to remote parts of the continent in search of adventure and new experiences. He invented tools and processes, notably that which enabled quick freezing of foodstuffs and revolutionized culinary habits. Birdseye launched not just the frozen-vegetable company that bears his now-famous name but an entire industry. Kurlansky, whose past works include the popular histories Salt and Cod, paints a complete picture of Birdseye's unusual career and accomplishments; however, this is not a gripping portrait of an individual. The lack of connection between the readers and the subject (rather than just his inventions) makes this one of Kurlansky's less-successful outings.
VERDICT This is not one of Kurlansky's strongest books, but author and subject name recognition should generate interest.
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