INSATIABLE by Gael Greene
Kirkus Star


Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess
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An outrageously fun memoir from novelist and longtime New York magazine dining critic Greene that reads more like Who-I-Slept-With rather than What-I-Ate.

Greene, an upper-middle-class girl from Detroit, apparently tall and buxom, talked her way into bedding Elvis by age 21, in 1956, and from then on, nothing would stop her in love and career. “I was born hungry,” she declares, referring to her appetite for both sex and food. In amusing, provocative vignettes, many sealed with a cozy favorite recipe (“Danish Meat Loaf”), she scampers through her 30-year career as dining critic for New York magazine. She discusses her travels to France and sexual emancipation during the swinging ’60s; her long marriage to New York Times cultural critic and fellow foodie Don Forst; and numerous spectacular adulteries during her heyday in the ’70s. Her novels are inspired by her sexcapades, specifically Doctor Love, which tracks her romance with porn star Jamie Gillis. Early freelance journalism for Cosmopolitan and others allowed Greene to interview stars like Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, and she chronicles in purring detail her affairs with both (“Would I have done it just for the story?” she asks. “I wouldn’t have not done it for anything”). Friendships with Craig Claiborne and Belgian publicist Yanou Collart opened doors for her and transformed her from a parvenu abroad into a veritable VIP; through James Beard, she first met Alice Waters, though Greene admits she admired the West Coasters from afar and remained a “hopelessly elitist voice speaking for a manic majority.” Lively and large-spirited, her account sizzles.

Name-dropping with relish.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-446-57699-9
Page count: 384pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2006