Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--Slow:Life in a Tuscan Town Review

Summary from goodreads:

SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town is an unprecedented photographic personal journey into the heart of hidden Tuscany that celebrates the principles that define the Slow Food movement and pays tribute to the region’s kaleidoscope of vibrant characters, whose shared culture revolves around the everyday pleasure of growing, preparing, and eating food.

With an anecdotal charm reminiscent of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, Douglas Gayeton’s interplay of pictures and words conveys a thrilling narrative that transports you halfway around the globe to the charming town of Pistoia, nestled in the outskirts of Florence. There we meet the mushroom hunters and sheep farmers, the winemakers and fishermen, the bakers, butchers and chocolate makers whose lives are profoundly bound to the rhythms of nature. It is a riveting story told in a riveting way: each image comprised of multiple photographs taken over a period of time that can range anywhere from ten minutes to several hours, and layered with Gayeton’s handwritten notes, recipes, facts, and sayings. With this process, Gayeton has managed to introduce the concept of story and time; both compressed and exploded, into his portraits. The result is a photographic approach critics have dubbed flat film; the effect is exhilarating. 

As Gayeton observes, “What my eyes saw was always grander than any lens could capture…How could I introduce the presence of time, of an emerging and evolving story comprised of not one, but many moments, into a single photograph?” In the accompanying text, Gayeton offers an absorbing first person account of his immersion into rural Italian culture, offering an intimacy that draws us deeper into this romantic and rustic world. A photographer, a pioneering new media creator, a wonderful writer and an award winning documentarian, Gayeton is passionately interested in food, culture, art, and people.

Slow: Life in a Tuscan TownSlow: Life in a Tuscan Town by Douglas Gayeton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will be honest.  Before I began this book, I was pretty sure I would not like it. At some point, I had added it to my list, and I thought that maybe I would give it three stars if I even finished it.

I have to say that I was wrong!  Yes, the pictures were fantastic, but I was so engaged in the story that I hated to put it down.  It was a bulky book to carry with me, but I learned so much that it was worth it!

I was enthralled by the author's descriptions of a part of this world that I thought no longer existed.  I found myself talking about this book on countless occasions and having random thoughts and memories about it at various times.

This book is much more than pictures.  It is a portrait of life through multimedia that truly encapsulates a people and a life that should inspire us to consider our own rat race existence.

View all my reviews


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