Score: 79/100 (7.9 out of 10)
“Barbies 4 Blokes” is a unique recipe book by Julianne McLean and Mark Lynch.
The book features barbecue (BBQ) recipes contributed by multiple Australian stars and athletes. That's one of the coolest things about this book! The stars and athletes include the lifeguards from the documentary Blondi Rescue, Olympic champion swim coach Laurie Lawrence, surfing legend Bernard Farrelly, New York Times foreign correspondent Raymond Bonner, Olympic champion Shelley Oates, and more!
The other thing we thought was cool (and funny) about this book was the art. The art has a cynical “Outback” humor to it, something you might find in a good newspaper. It seems like Mark Lynch was responsible for the art, and he did a phenomenal job. Some of the vegetarian/vegan humor really does hit in a funny and not mean-spirited way. It's clear that this is a book mostly for manly men and those who lean toward the carnivorous (meat-loving) side. Our favorite work of art is probably the one with the lion couple misinterpreting the “menu” of a human family. Another funny one shows a cook trying to use alternative forms of energy to cook some hot dogs, but the solar and wind power are problematic for him in that scenario. The same character then tries to cook a lobster who proceeds to eat some of the hot dogs from the previous panel. It's silly, slapstick stuff like that that keeps this book afloat and from falling below the 75/100 threshold.
This book does have problems, but we don't want to harp on them too much. Let's just mention a few of the problems briefly. First of all, the writing and presentation of information in this book is confusing at worst and chaotic at best. Chaos can be interesting somewhat if you're reading something that's supposed to have a dramatic or suspenseful elements to it (like a paranormal mystery), but a recipe book should never be chaotic. It should be as clear and easy to understand as humanly possible. Writing-wise, there's a lot to be desired. There are periods and commas in the wrong places or in inconsistent places. Words like “yogurt” are spelled “yoghurt.” There are parts that seem like they were typed on a mobile device in a text message rather than on a computer. For example, some of the contributors are apparently deceased, and the writer just puts “RIP” next to their name like this is a comment on a Facebook post or a tweet rather than an entry in a book. Well, that's all we're going to say as far as complaints go.
This recipe book has hilarious and clever art, some mouthwatering recipes, and contributions from some truly great people.
Check it out on Amazon!