Pros: Realistic descriptions, a lot of good information especially on Italian cooking
Cons: Very subjective and for some readers probably somewhat disturbing
Apparently this book was more appreciated in Germany than in the USA. We know that kind of phenomenon since my country fellowmen cherished Charles Bukowski. Germans are usually in awe of the United States and fascinated by the "American Dream". Subsequently it can be a great relief to read that in the USA too a lot of people work incredibly hard without becoming rich.
I didn't really understand why an author would become a cook a that age. Being an apprentice in a kitchen overstrains even many young men. Step by step I got used to the idea but still I am not sure what propelled the man to dedicate his life to professional cooking after all. I feel he could only follow through on his plan because his wife gave him great support. (The right woman can make you do everything as long as you don't sabotage yourself.)
However, it is an interesting read and tells you all the things about professional cooking that TV presenters never dare to ask. This is one of the books that makes you want to phone the author after reading because you want to thank him.