In Memory of Bread: A Memoir by Paul Graham

In Memory of Bread: A Memoir by Paul Graham Reviews

1 review
Ranked #210 out of 1079 in Books

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    Recommended? You Betcha!
    June 20, 2016

    When somebody gave me this book, and told me it was a book about how a middle-aged man had to give up bread, I thought they were joking. Don't get me wrong, I would be devastated if I was told I had developed a deadly allergy to wheat and gluten. I live on bread. I eat bread all the time, in all kinds of forms. Gluten is a HUGE part of my diet. But I couldn't imagine how you could write an interesting book about having to give up bread. Now that I've actually finished the book, it turns out I was wrong.

    Paul Graham has done a great job of taking you inside the world of a man who lives for gluten. He eats massive amounts of bread, loves to brew and drink beer, even his activities with family and friends somehow involve gluten. So when he gets the news that his body has become extremely intolerant of gluten, to the point where it could endanger his life, it turns his whole life upside down.

    Graham does a good job of weaving humour into what was clearly a pretty horrible time in his life. He talks about how after being diagnosed (having his celiac passport stamped, as he puts it), he goes on a farewell tour-du-wheat. Graham talks about the problems with finding good gluten-free bread and beer, and how even his social gatherings were affected. Each anecdote is a little window into his life, broken up with humorous footnotes, and informative asides that explain some of the science behind his allergy and gluten in general.

    "In Memory of Bread" is a book that I didn't think I would be able to read at all. But having now finished it, I'm glad that I did. It's a fantastic trip into the life of a totally normal North American man whose whole lifestyle gets flipped on its head. And considering how common gluten allergies and gluten-free lifestyles are becoming, it might help you relate to a friend, relative or co-worker at the same time.

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