Thursday, August 22, 2013

G169 Hungry; What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me About Life, Love, And the Power of Good Food

Title: Hungry; What eighty ravenous guys taught me about life, love and the power of good food

Author: Darlene Barnes

First copyright date: 2013

Type of book: Cooking, finding purpose, moving, wealth, alpha sig house, artificial food vs natural food, college life, 2000s

General subject matter: Cooking, college life, working as an Alpha Sig chef, artificial food vs healthy food, living in a house full of men

Special features: There are some pictures here and there along with some recipes that Darlene uses for the boys.

Price: $24.99 in America, while in Canada it costs $27.99

ISBN: 978-1-4013-1120-9


Newly arrived in Seattle, Darlene Barnes stumbles on a job ad for a cook at the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity on the University of Washington campus, a prospect most serious food professionals would automatically reject. But Barnes envisions something other than kegs and corn dogs; she sees an opportunity to bring fresh, real food to an audience accustomed to "Asian Surprise" and other unidentifiable casseroles dropped off by a catering service. And she also sees a chance to reinvent herself, by turning a maligned job into meaningful work of her own creation: "I was the new girl and didn't know or care about the rules."

Naively expecting a universally appreciative audience, Barnes finds a more exasperatingly challenging environment: The kitchen is nasty, the basement is scary, and the customers are not always cooperative. Undaunted, she gives as good as she gets with these foul-mouthed and irreverent--but also funny and sensitive--guys. Her passion for real food and her sharp tongue make her kitchen a magnet for the brothers, new recruits, and sorority girls tired of frozen dinners.

Laugh-out-loud funny and poignant, Hungry offers a female perspective on the real lives of young men, tells a tale of a woman's determined struggle to find purpose, and explores the many ways that food feeds us.

Author's purpose:

"I had expected it to be a story about physical and emotional hunger of young men at a critical turning point in their lives, but what I hadn't realized until  I was nearly finished was how much my own quite different life experiences mirrored their fundamental struggles and how a thread of being the outsider wanting in runs through it all...

"And I wanted to write about it because it seemed to me that the longing for connection and purpose, not to mention a heavy dose of laughter and fun in life, was a longing that was not mine alone." (page 3)

a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

I would guess that one of the reasons she wrote this memoir is to first of all challenge our ideas and perceptions on what a frat house cook is, and second is to show how eventually she found her purpose through cooking, and that sometimes fulfilling things come from unexpected sources.

b. From what point of view is the work written?

This is written in first person narrative completely from her point of view.

c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?

I believe that the author was trying to give information and to convince the reader of a belief's validity because she does describe what it is like for her to be a chef and to be in a minority when it comes to that particular profession as well as some challenges she faced and overcome. She doesn't sugarcoat that guys are messy and alcohol is a big factor, but at the same time she presents a human side to the pledges as well as her own "groupies".

d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.

I would guess the general field or genre would be the importance of good food no matter where one is and what it truly is like to be working in a college environment.

e. Who is the intended audience?

The intended audience would be other chefs as well as people who don't work in a college environment. I feel that she is giving an outsider's perspective into college environment, and that no one outgrows the need for good food.

f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?

The writing style isn't formal but happens to be informal and it also struck me as pretty Southern. She is not shy in using curse words and she seems to act like a firecracker or a regular woman. Her writing feels very homey for me.

g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.

*The New Girl
*The Right Fit
*More Than Food
*Tread Carefully
*Down and Dirty
*Team Players
*Many Hungers

g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?

It certainly gives a realistic view on the way college houses are as well as surprise that frat house cooks weren't really cooks, which surprised me. I've never joined a sorority or been in one, and I did assume that they had good food and so forth. It also reminded me a lot of how the organic foods came to be and how and why people became food-obsessed. I don't think I have any personal experiences to share, nor do I have a special agenda.

h. How well has the book achieved its goal?

I feel that the book did a good job of achieving its goals because it did show both bad and good being in a fraternity as well as unexpected surprises that one comes upon. I was a bit surprised to learn how protective the guys were over Darlene, and how eventually Darlene felt that she fit in this life, as well as ways she learns to channel her frustrations when guys do things that annoy her.

i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?

I think I would recommend this book to others because it gives a unique perspective on trying to fit in as well as what its like to be an only woman in a house full of men. I also think that those who will read the book will come away with appreciation for Darlene and how things are much more different than we are led to believe.

a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.

What its like to cook and live in a frat house.

b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.

 The reasons and purpose Darlene works there.

This is for TLC Book Tour

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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