Rick Stein is a cool dude!
Having previously written reviews on the books of chef Rick Stein, and also having enjoyed the episode of “Who do you think you are” featuring him, I was delightfully surprised to find this 2013 biography, “Under a mackerel sky”.
It’s has been awhile since I’ve really enjoyed a good biography, as I have always been a facts and figures man more so. But because the story is quick, well-structured and describes the life of the author (so far) with humour and an openness that is quite refreshing, I really enjoyed this book.
It was like Rick was the room with me, narrating stories and anecdotes. It’s not the kind of book where the celebrity spews vitriol at everyone and everything in the world. It reads like the person you might have seen on TV and stage. He uses academic quotes because as an Oxford student and a lover of literature, they are a part of his life and not pretension; the recipes and restaurants are his job; his stories with the ladies are for fact and not showing off; and his insecurities are revealed to the world.
Without revealing too much, this book manages to tell the story of his childhood in a way many could relate to. He has experienced life changing tragedies, but doesn’t have a poor me attitude, and as he came to his important decisions in life, his reader’s can see why he made them.
So who would enjoy this book? People who enjoy celebrity biographies or biographies about simple people who happen to be celebrities.
– Darren Russell