Choose your ghost carefully

As for the week in reviews, Ms. Prune’s was everything the Twits all said, smart and evocative and well-reasoned. Halfway through, I was so impressed I thought some savvy editor should lasso her to replace the glib shallowness usually provided by one of the leading dims of the old food coven. Then I sobered up. There’s a big difference between a one-off gig and rounding up a shitload of books, just the way there is between a mega-dinner party and running a restaurant kitchen night in and night out. Apparently the first thing to go is the diligence; if you can cook through two recipes you’re doing twice what most do. And read, did you say? Besides, the trouble with print is that there’s a limit — the space is constrained and both phrases and ideas are sacrificed. Mostly, though, sustainability is not just an issue with food.

And while I was challenged for challenging Time for breaking the old “friends don’t get friends to review them” rule, it was amusing to see how successive takes on the food memoir of Mr. Miller were not quite as enthusiastic. When you have to judge a book by its words and not its author, it’s funny how the flaws are exposed.