I was so excited to read Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs by Jamie Loftus that I stopped what I was doing to read the second I got the notification from Netgalley that I got the galley. I had been looking forward to this book since I first saw her tweet about the deal.
What a disappointment. I like the author when she is a guest on podcasts and have even listened to one of her own podcasts but this was not it. I love hot dogs. I love books about food and travel. I did not love this book and I am predicting it might be one of my big disappointments of 2023.
Back in the heyday of blogging, this would have made a good blog. Instead, it’s a weird mishmash of a book that rambles on and on and isn’t very funny or informative, or cohesive. It’s like reading someone’s slightly drunk diary. A travel blog however would have fewer expectations and you could have been reading it as it happened, rather than reading it all at once and noticing how incoherent it is.
I appreciated her section on Baltimore and Attman’s Deli. That did seem reasonably researched. I think that chapter could have been sold as-is as a long-form essay somewhere. Some of the other areas she visited lacked that clarity and depth. She did have some Baltimore connection so maybe it was more of interest to her or she already had some idea of what to expect that helped. I felt like a lot of personal parts were supposed to be funny and relatable but largely they just made me sad.
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