Sweet and Low

Rich Cohen, Author, Rich Cohen, Read by
Rich Cohen, Author, Rich Cohen, Read by , read by the author. Audio Renaissance $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59397-889-1
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-374-27229-6
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-224-07272-4
Hardcover - 978-0-09-946685-7
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-0684-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3937-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3936-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-312-42601-9
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Cohen's grandfather, Benjamin Eisenstadt, created the artificial sweetener saccharine and modified a tea-bagging machine to produce individual, sanitary packets of sugar substitute, calling it Sweet 'N Low. Cohen expands the story beyond the family by incorporating truncated histories of Jews in New York, the saga of sugar alternatives and the rise and fall of Sen. Alfonse D'Amato. Nevertheless, internecine wars over the family fortune, ending with a legal battle over Grandma's will, dominates. Despite the abridgment, accounts of dead relatives tangentially connected to the story and FDA history are rambling and overlong. Fortunately, the tale is laced with enough humor and family shenanigans to keep the listener's attention. Cohen, the son of Eisenstadt's disinherited daughter, has a bit of an axe to grind. As reader, he keeps his voice even, perhaps too level, with the same monotonous emphasis on a noun or adjective in every sentence. A hint of smugness creeps in as Grandpa Ben and his son, Marvin, are convicted of misdeeds that are more low than sweet. Simultaneous release with the FSG hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 13). (Apr.)

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