A Grand Read
It has very little to do with cooking and eating, except for the sage advice about eating on the road that he gives on page 191, "It helps if you make it a rule never to eat in any restaurant with kings, foxes, coaches or horses in the name. Beware of the word "gourmet." If a restaurant says it serves gourmet food, you are going to get a frozen dinner that has been warmed up in the microwave."
It mainly has to do with his life as a peripatetic journalist, first with newspapers and later with CBS. I always loved Kuralt's "On the Road" segments after Walter Cronkite had intoned the news in his sonorous voice, so when I saw Charles' 1990 autobiography on a used book table, I picked it up on a whim.
It's a lovely piece of writing. It flows and dips, brings emotion (just enough!) into the pages and gives you a nice glimpse into his life and his persona. It's not all beer and skittles, either out on the road or in his personal life, but it's all interesting, well written and fun. He has met his share of celebrities but his best stories, as was always the case in the "On the Road" segments, are about the average Joes that he met out there in middle America far from the hot spots.
I guess the best part about him is he was human. Not perfect, not coiffed, not gorgeous. Just warmly human and able through words to convey his humanity to his readers and viewers. After his death, I read about his double life and his reputation should have taken a slide with me at that point, but in an odd way, it just added to his humanity.
If you see it, pick it up and decide for yourself if he was a vile sinner or just grandly human. In any case, it's a good read.