Jan 22, 2016

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses - Isabel Allende

In this occasion (1998) the Chilean Isabel Allende provides a rich recipe book for aphrodisiac dishes with a high level of efficiency, which conveniently accompanied by a collection of erotic stories, composed of both: her own experiences and close friends, can immerse us in a quotidian world that considered in the proper perspective will offer countless ways to enjoy the company of a good lover.

My score:

The introduction of traditional entrées whose sole purpose is to stimulate our sexual appetite, delights us with a description of an endless selection of ingredients that strategically merged promises to amuse us with memorable nights of lust.

Accustomed as I am to the mordant and intelligent narrative of Isabel Allende in books such as The House of the Spirits, Daughter of Fortune and Portrait in Sepia, this work, Aphrodite, does little justice to the author.

For a start, it's basically a simple cookbook that may well be used by someone interested in gastronomy only. That is, this booklet is not a literary narration per se, but a practical manual that can be accessed randomly as its formulas bear no chronological order. Regarding the aphrodisiac recipes contributing element, it lies essentially in superstitions and beliefs that each one of us confers to the bite of the day, than in demonstrable and conclusive effects; that’s how the writer puts it.

Unless the reader is passionate about culinary arts and fine dining (which is not my case, in terms of food preparation that is), this brochure has little to offer to the rest of the audience, considering the content is rather focused on the process, cooking and presentation of the dishes than on the erotic stories. Although, personally, I did not expect a riotous and explicit narrative as those of Marquis de Sade for instance, I did harbor the hope of finding more elaborate and entertaining stories, since; in fact the writer does not lack imagination nor the words to conceive them as it has been shown repeatedly in other of her works.

In conclusion I think this is one of the weak works of the author, the reading took me nearly a year to conclude, not because of its length but because I consider it that boring.


  1. I'm sorry you didn't like this! I read my first Isabel Allende book in 2015 and I loved it. I think her writing is amazing! I'm not really interested in the culinary arts, so I won't be reading this. But, I will definitely give a chance to some of the other books by this author that you mentioned.

    Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

  2. Hi sofia
    Isabel Allende is definitely one of my favorite writers, you will surely like her, a lot of her books are worth reading them.
    Thanks for passing by ;)