|Reviews for Soul Food|
| Abracadebra chapter 2 . 6/23
Even before I read the footnote, my first thought was "oh my, the LeBeau-Newkirk banter was just perfect." An even though you say it's hard, I think you do a brilliant job of getting into Schultz's mind and writing from his perspective. There's something so sweet, warm, gentle and indulgent about the man, and he's just bewildered enough to by the antics going on all round him.
| Abracadebra chapter 1 . 6/23
Congratulations, you're In the Spotlight!
You know what's incroyable? The fact that this has long been one of my favorite stories in this fandom and yet it appears I have never reviewed it. You published it at the end of 2011 when I was already reading in this fandom but I guess I hadn't started reviewing with any vigor or consistency. Imagine that.
Well, there is so much to love here. It's an insightful portrait of how the connection between LeBeau and Schultz began to take root - over food, naturally. Schultz's perceptions about what LeBeau was like seem spot on - angry enough for a half a dozen men indeed. And I loved the observation that LeBeau's pointed loathing of anything and everything German was an attempt by him to shoulder the French flag, despite the complete lack of compatriots to assist him!
With a few lines, you give glimpses into how harsh conditions really were, and also offer a portrait of a cheeky Newkirk even though he's not IN this story per se. Food had to have been a complete obsession.
I'm not being particularly articulate, but I love this story. Using food to frame all five chapters of it was inspired.
| mrspencil chapter 5 . 8/3/2019
Bel, this is charming and funny and poignant all at the same time. I am beginning to get to know the characters and you illustrate then so well in the little exchanges and what remains unsaid. The dishes are an inspired theme:-)
| Gunney chapter 5 . 9/17/2015
Loved it. Wish there were more!
| Gunney chapter 4 . 9/14/2015
Read this on my lunch break. Made me desperately want some French cooking. Loved it. Thank you! And LeBeau's passion was awesome.
| Atarah Derekh chapter 5 . 1/28/2015
These one-shots were very sweet. I especially loved LeBeau's reaction to the liberation of Paris. I wanted to jump into the story and just hug and cheer with him, and I know less about France than Newkirk does, other than that its language is unnecessarily complex when it comes to spelling (though nowhere near as bad as Welsh and Salish). And I hope LeBeau didn't take too long to recover from that flu. And that the soup was at least edible in the end.
| SaraiEsq chapter 5 . 9/7/2014
Excellent! Enjoyed this story.
| SaraiEsq chapter 3 . 9/7/2014
This is a nice series.
| JAF chapter 4 . 1/2/2014
Aside from giving us another great chapter, you raise an excellent point; LeBeau apparently faints at the sight of blood, but I am almost sure that he is the only Hero how carries a knife on the outside.
| sparra-music chapter 5 . 8/15/2012
I just discovered this gem, and it's amazingly done. I love your writing style and the way you've written this from Schultz's POV. Excellent job on balancing all the languages, too.
I also really enjoyed your use of the song in the last chapter- I looked it up on youtube, and I thought it fit in very well. I couldn't help wondering if the dessert was made special for Newkirk- floating islands and English creme sounds very British to me. Perhaps even if Louis wouldn't stoop to fish and chips, he go that far, eh?
Oh, and this is sort of a random question, but when I read about the gratin dauphinous, I just kept thinking, "Isn't 'Dauphin' some sort of royal title in French? I thought that was what they called their princes- or is that just the crown prince?" and it got me going on this whole train of thought of how the food LeBeau is making for them is fit for a king, etc. Anyhow, I was just wondering if you knew where the name of that dish came from, because you didn't mention any real dolphins... (And I'm hoping there are none involved, I really don't know if I could knowingly eat dolphin meat. It would be like eating dog, I think.)
One more little bit of randomness- in one of the chapters, you translated 'tu parles' as 'you talk'. I think that a better translation to English, in regards to the tone I imagine this being, would be 'says you'. At least on this side of the pond.
You really are a talented author, and I hope to read more of your stuff soon. This has been rib-bustingly funny and achingly sad and everything in between, and it's just the right mix for Hogan's Heroes.
| stars shine out chapter 5 . 8/14/2012
Aww, brilliant! I totally adore this story!
| Goldleaf83 chapter 5 . 1/28/2012
What a delicious series! The food LeBeau cooks serves as a wonderful device to pull all five of the stories together. It creates a great thread to showcase different points in the camp’s history throughout the war as well. Food would have been one of the constant issues in Stalag 13: the series mentions it sometimes, but it would have been far more critical than they show. You pick up nicely on elements present in the series and set them into a well-researched historical context that is enlightening on the role of food in social connections – between Schultz and the prisoners and particularly between LeBeau and Newkirk.
The first chapter establishes the long pattern of LeBeau cooking for Schultz, plus the prisoners’ need for hot and nourishing food in the winter and the difficulty of getting it. Schultz’s point of view is what really makes that chapter work. Chapter 2 gives us the hilarious debate over national cuisines between LeBeau and Newkirk; it captures the dynamic between them perfectly. (And thanks for the tu/vous lesson at the end: it’s really useful to hear how a native French speaker explains that. I hadn’t thought about that kind of issue in translating the series into French.) The cassoulet in Chapter 3 does triple duty, warming up the cold prisoners (with even Newkirk complimenting it), bribing Schultz, and welcoming Carter into the fold. The general and his wife make marvelous villains in Chapter 4, highlighted in their appreciation of the cuisine of the country that they have been pillaging. (What we learn about the wife does help make up for her behavior, though.) LeBeau’s patriotism burns so brightly throughout the story, in both his anger and his later celebration of the liberation of Paris. (Nice touch in noting he sings “with both talent and enthusiasm” as a tribute to Robert Clary’s abilities as a song and dance man.) Newkirk popping in and out was a nicely comic bit, and the end scene between him and LeBeau was funny touching without being sentimental – just perfect. The last chapter was also sweet in the men’s urgency to help their sick comrade: how very appropriate to see them taking care of LeBeau, who remains a strong presence in the story, even off stage.
Many thanks for this lovely series that was such a great pleasure to read!
| Rutika chapter 1 . 1/14/2012
Très amusant. J'aime toujours LeBeau, surtout quand il fait la cuisine. Votre histoire donne de bonnes explications - comment LeBeau trouve ses ingrédients; comment Schultz découvre qu'il est chef, etc.
Rutika (la soeur de Snooky)
| snooky-9093 chapter 5 . 1/12/2012
Catching up for the PBA's an d I just read this on my IPOD in one sitting. As someone who has been to France, I tip my hat to you. This had to be one of the most charming stories I have ever read. And how marvelous to read this from Schultz's POV. I can't say how much I loved this, except that my mouth was watering. I loved your portrayal of LeBeau and his transformation, and your historical knowledge of the hardships later in the war.
| SpaceEngineerPeanut chapter 5 . 1/7/2012
Magnifique (did I spell that right?), thank you!