Book Review: America the Edible: A Hungry History, from Sea to Dining Sea by Adam Richman

I love watching Man vs. Food. Heck, I love food, and I love travel shows that talk about unique, out of the way places to eat excellent food. That’s really why I got this book; it reads like a food diary, where we hear about what Adam was doing, where he was living, and what (and where) he was eating while he was there. You definitely get Adam Richman’s unique style in this book; too often, books like this are ghost written, but this is all Adam. The lines are delivered the way he would deliver them, and the sentiment is completely his, and completely consistent with his shows.

But there is more. The book seems roughly chronological, so you get to see the maturation process that Adam went through, both professionally and personally. We see more of him as an actor, rather than as a foodie. We meet the people he hangs out with, the women he loves. When he gets dumped, we feel for him. And when he tries to make lifestyle changes (especially later in the book), we are there cheering him on. My only disappointment was that those changes didn’t seem to take; if we believe what is written at the end, we wonder if Adam learned anything or not.

When I started the book, I thought (and actually told someone) that it was a book about “where I lived, what I ate, and who I slept with.” It has all that in it, but I think taken as a whole there is something more there. It’s a story of someone trying to find himself personally and professionally, and in the end we get the sense that he’s done exactly that.

It’s not a perfect story, but it’s honest, and it’s a fun read, whether you are a foodie or not.


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