Asian Writers

June is dedicated to authors with ASIAN of books in this category will be posted all month....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fast Food Nation

* * * *

Author – Eric Schlosser

I’m Loving It. [pun intended since the book is all about McDonald bashing]

What the book is about

The book is an investigation into the practices followed by the fast food and its auxiliary companies that are proving out to be a bane for the society we live in. The book covers some of the famous and successful companies in the world like Mc Donald’s, IBP, ConAgra etc and how if one digs deeper, the ghastly truth of employee exploitation, legislative manipulation for self greed, unfair means adoption with independent farmers, suppliers and the apathy and profit seeking attitude towards health, including those of innocent children.

This book may have an American context, but the footprints of the consumerist greed and evil may as well be applicable in any part of the world.

What I liked about the book

It’s a very well researched book that covers a complete end to end look at the Fast Food industry providing great insights about the operations and thought process of the management of such organizations. The book has the capability to shock the reader at the heinous crime that has spread its tentacles everywhere – known to all, yet ignored by all.

It covers the entire vertical – from the time the poultry is raised in the farms to the counter where the food is served - giving a complete holistic view of the industry and does not limit to just one aspect. The author in the epilogue also suggests certain course corrections that can be done to stop any future damage which is a good way to end the book as it doesn’t leave the reader hanging in mid air about what can be done next.

The book is also not a preachy kind and doesn’t tell us, the reader, who is the end consumer for these industries about what should be done and what not. He simply makes us aware and lets the discretion lie with us. In fact the author is equally fallible when in one of the chapters he mentions how he succumbs to a second order of French fries even after knowing what has gone into them.

What I didn’t like about the book

It’s not exactly a not-like given that it is non-fiction and is an investigative journalism so its part of the deal. Yet somewhere while I was reading this book there was a sneaking thought in my mind that the writing could have been made a tad more interesting instead of being so cut-and-dry like a news paper report [the fingers are pointing to the author’s background]. My mind conjured up Malcolm Gladwell who has the skill to make even the innocuous seem like an out-of-the-world event. A combination of Gladwell and Schlosser would have set very high standard in non-fiction writing edging this book to a 5-star.


  1. Good review! I Would presume the author meant the book to stay alive in the academia and hence allowed the language to be cut-and-dry.
    An extrmely important work nevertheless.

    1. yep, it must have shaken the very roots of these good book!