Wednesday, January 14, 2015



Bourdain pulled it off again! Another 'Must Read' book I'd recommend to anyone.
The concept is pretty basic - he travels the world in search of the perfect meal. From the refined tables of France to the dirty slums of some hideous sounding Asian country, he really does go everywhere. This is the book version of his TV show - No Reservations. Or, at least the first season. But, as any bookworm knows the book is always better than the movie.
Now, I liked No Reservations (the TV show), but, I really, really, really liked A Cook's Tour. Bourdain gives us the backstory, and the truth behind each episode he filmed. What you see on TV is not really how it happened, or at least how Bourdain felt it happened. He may be smiling to the camera, but, he was often homesick, filled with guilt, or wracked with depression.
This book is great because it is so honest. Bourdain is not a chipper chicken the entire time. If he doesn't like something he'll let you know. On the other hand, if he says the sheep testicles are one of the best things he's tasted - then they probably are.
I also liked that he revealed his true feelings about some of the places: That France did not live up to his childhood memories. That some Japanese delicacies almost made him vomit. That he sometimes felt like a stereotypical bumbling American that would never really be able to understand another culture.
He gave it a good try though. As a tour guide he was good. As a food guide he was excellent. His trip around the world was a true adventure. He didn't always stick to the beaten path. He has a good knack for describing things so well, in a somewhat crude way sometimes. It made for a fun read.


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