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Publisher's Summary

A Richard and Judy Book Club Selection.

Britain's most popular cook describes his personal culinary odyssey, from dangerous encounters with his mother's weevil-seasoned cakes to being harangued by readers who think he deliberately styles Yorkshire puddings to look like a woman's private parts.

Hilarious, irreverent, and mouthwatering, Toast captures 30 years of British cooking and the recipes that we have grown up with since the days when a grilled grapefruit was the last word in dinner party chic. Everyone has gorged on cake mix, endured disastrous dinner parties, and put up with the loved one who can only ever produce burnt toast. Nigel Slater is no different.

Hair-raising accounts of hotels modeled on Fawlty Towers, the mystery of the disappearing condom and the seafood cocktail, and many more, take readers behind the scenes of British cuisine to reveal the unlikely origins of our foremost cook.

©2003 Nigel Slater (P)2004 HarperCollins UK

Critic Reviews

"Moving, funny, and finely crafted, this is a true gem." ( Independent)
"[ Toast] achieves a remarkable freshness...and [Nigel Slater] also reveals a gift for doleful, Alan Bennet-like comedy." ( The Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 19-04-2018

Moving and makes you hungry

A superhero origins story of how a lonely boy who lost his mother ultimately became one of the great food writers.

As expected, Slater writes beautifully concise yet evocative prose, and this book will give those of us who grew up in Britain in the 70s multiple Proustian flashbacks of long-forgotten food items.

Slater isn't a particularly good reader (too many wrongly-stressed words for my taste), but it doesn't matter too much because his personal stake in the writing makes it extremely moving.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ali
  • 30-01-2017

not quite what I have expected

did well describing every bit of detail and wonderfully narrating the material. yet the content was not quite what you would expect of a autobiography of this guy!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 17-02-2006

Good book aweful quality recording

A book that conjures up memories of childhood - poignant and moving at times with comic turns - Slater narrates well but the recording (even when downloaded using highest quality), is appalling and sounds like someone has recorded it an their mobile phone. Gets a 4 for content but a 2 for quality.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 26-12-2007

A moving autobiography leavened by humour

I found it difficult to give a star-rating to this book: Nigel Slater's writing and reading of his book merit five stars, however I found his understandable bitterness about his unhappy childhood moving, but also unsettling in that it felt as if I was listening to a patient speaking to a therapist. I hope he found this candid exposure of his feelings and sexual experiences cathartic. I'm glad I've read his Kitchen Diaries book so that I know he has found contentment in his later life. I hope he writes the next part of his autobiography.

His memories of food in the 1950s and 60s made this 50 something chuckle with recognition! The descriptions of his developing interest in good food and acquiring his cooking skills are a pleasure to hear about and give an insight into how his easy-going style of cookery evolved and how genuine his delight in producing enjoyable food for himself and other people.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 11-01-2006

Angel Delight

A real delight. Nigel Slater is the perfect narrator - his humourous, wry and self-deprecating style instantly engages. This warm, funny, yet heart-wrenching memoir is a hugely entertaining and satisfying listen, especially for anyone nostalgic for Angel Delight and Bourbon biscuits.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Craig
  • 10-04-2007

Great Book Shame About the Audio

I would have given it a 4/5 but for the muffled audio (even at best quality). The content is brilliant - I am a real Slater fan so this comes as no surprise - but I found it hard to lose myself in his vivid imagery because of the annoyingly bad recording. How frustrating. Still, it is an engaging listen. BTW although a foodie book it's not really about food - if you are looking for one of those he's written plenty of others.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 17-09-2005

A Real Feast

Nigel Slater's warm and funny autobiography is a real joy. Initally I was worried that the food theme would become waring and annoying. It did not as it acts as punctuation to the events that shaped his young life. At times hilarious and at others very sad Slater is very honest about some events that others would write out of their own life story. Throughly recommended, the only reason I give it 4 stars is because I'm hoping to encourage a sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • sue
  • 01-08-2015

I may never eat in a restraunt again!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Just didn't like it, the concept is good but I found myself starting yo really dislike Nigel Slater.

What will your next listen be?

Mark Billingham probably.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Nigel Slater?

Sean Barratt does justice to any book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

Any additional comments?

Sorry that I read it, I liked nigel slater as a cook and feel entirely different about him now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pete
  • 26-04-2015

Growing up with food

Autobiographies become interesting when you hear how people have grown up rather than which celebrities they have met. Nigel Slater has produced a remarkable account of his early years which he relates to his memories of particular foods, tastes or smells. A truly enjoyable book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-03-2015

Easy listen

I'd seen the Film adaptation on TV. So though I'd have a go at the audio book Far more detail and at times moving.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rosemary
  • 03-01-2015

Love this read by Nigel Slater

Would you consider the audio edition of Toast to be better than the print version?

I think its an added bonus to have Nigel Slater read his own memoir. He brings it alive and we fully enter into his childhood and connect with his memories triggered by food - foods which date us - like tinned steak and kidney pies! It's a moving and beautifully read book which made me want to follow Slater's culinery work but before listening I knew little about him and was solely attracted by the concept of the memoir.

What did you like best about this story?

It uses food to trigger memory - good and bad memories - and allows us to re-imagine our own childhood through those triggers. His memory of his Mother's 'bad' cooking - her burnt toast - and his description of his loneliness as a child works extremely well.

What about Nigel Slater’s performance did you like?

He reads his own words with life and colour. You believe him when he relives his childhood and his horror of eggs and his father's battle to get him to 'man' up and eat them. Slater writes and reads well and memoirs are particularly well served by the author reading them.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Toast works well for me! It's used with impact in the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Deborah T
  • 09-03-2014

bad food and inappropriate sexual exposures

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Nigel Slater's book is honest, gripping and informative. It is also very dark - with tales of the mediocre food he ate, the dysfunctional relationships of his family and the sexual abuse / exposure he experienced as a child. This story is less about food and the passion that Slater developed for making it, but rather about a dysfunctional childhood ... as remembered through individual dishes (that were mostly very bad tasting).

Has Toast put you off other books in this genre?

No

Was Toast worth the listening time?

Would not recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful