Everybody else loves this book -- I didn't. I've never been a fan of books in which the author -- or protagonist -- revels in his drug use, drinking, addictions and generally antisocial conduct, and that's what this is, a pride-filled account, not of Bourdain's obviously huge talent, but of his lamentable character. I'm libertarian enough to emphasize that I don't object to Bourdain's doing it -- it's just that I don't find such juvenile conduct interesting. I can't understand the mentality that takes pride in such self-destructive behavior.
For the record, I am a foodie, at least of sorts. Twice in my life I've supported myself and my kids by catering. I can cook -- not 1% of what Bourdain does, obviously. But I'm perfectly at home in the kitchen, yours or mine. All that said, it will be a long time before I'm ready to go into any restaurant again and order food, for the simple reason that while I didn't like what Bourdain was saying, I have no trouble at all believing it.
And that's the reason I gave a book that I basically didn't like four stars -- it rings true. Unfortunately, from my standpoint, Bourdain made me see what was going on there, behind the swinging doors. The book is well-written -- so much so that not only will I stay out of restaurants, but once again, I have promised myself never to darken the borders of Japan. Eating live animals is just not something I want to hear about, let alone do. I find myself hoping there is some kind of eternal punishment for those who would cause animals such suffering -- its beyond me, how anyone can enjoy such a thing.
Bourdain narrates his own book -- which is normally a good thing. Author-read books are usually among the best. In this one, however, Bourdain races through it, reading so fast, and -- in parts -- with so little inflection, it's easy to get left behind. Now that I've finished the book, it has occurred to me that maybe that's not such a bad thing.
I won't listen to this one again -- when the need for a "life with food" book strikes me, I will head for "Appetite for Life" featuring Julia Child, or "My Life in France" or any of a half-dozen other "Julia" books that I've read or listened to many times over. There's nobody shooting up in those books, nobody bleeding or barfing all over the food. Much better, as far as I'm concerned.
If you like eating out, skip this one. Or listen at your peril.
Besides containing great information about what to order where and when, and what really goes on to make a restaurant run, the author is absolutely hilarious. His description of restaurant lingo was beyond funny. This is one of the funnest books to listen to ever. But be warned that the language is graphic, but, as the saying goes, "if you can't take the heat..."
Funny, insightful, irreverent, articulate...all fit this outstanding effort by Anthony Bourdain. My first read of his material and I can't wait to download his earlier works while eagerly awaiting his next effort!
If the workings of a professional kitchen intrigues you, you must read this book!!!
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
I was a fan of "Kitchen Confidential" TV Show and I Decided to read the book it was based upon, and I loved It!!!!!
Sense of humor and facts of the story make it unbelievably good.
Excellent narration of the author himself giving it final touch making it better than TV show.
I began listening it through the loud speakers of my phone during my meal time break in one of my usual restaurants, and in 20 minutes 3 tables closest to me asked me to make it louder, I have no doubt they BOUGHT a copy of their own.
I do enjoy Anthony Bourdain's television show "No Reservations", but it was the recommendation of someone I spoke with that convinced me to "read" this book. As someone who enjoys watching cooking shows and learning about food, if not good at cooking myself, I was immediately sucked into this audiobook.
Bourdain himself is a fantastic narrator. He presents his fluid and witty style clearly and with great pacing. You can tell how much effort he put into this book, and the listener is rewarded with a great variety of information. I enjoyed hearing the insider secrets about what to order when, what kinds of utensils and cookware are actually worth having, etc., but far more interesting were the stories of Anthony working behind the scenes at many restaurants in many cities.
One word of advice: this book is gritty in the sense that he pulls no punches in his description of the restaurant industry and those who make it up. If lengthy references to or all-out discussions about drugs use and sex offend you, you'll not be wanting this audiobook. On the other hand, this is the most gratifying "cooking show" experience I have*ever* had.
I have recommended this book to at least ten people since finishing it. Off to listen to the next offering from AB.
What a great listen. I discovered Anthony Bourdain through his No Reservation shows on the Travel channel. If you've enjoyed those as much as I have, you'll love this. I can't imagine anyone else reading it like the author. From the CIA (the school, that is), to P-Town, to NYC, to Tokyo and back with a supporting cast of dishwashers, waiters, sous chefs and the best baker in the world (with no last name !), you'll love hearing about his life and exploits. Enjoy.
Thoroughly entertaining nonfiction. I didn't care for the author; I found him to be very arrogant, but he does tell a good story. This book was a great insight into the restaurant business, and any one that has ever waitressed at a nice place will appreciate it. He tells it like it is.
I got this book based on the other good reviews, and needed to use up a book credit before it expired. Completely unexpected, this book is one of my favorites! Very funny, and easy to listen to. I have also tried to become more adventurous in my cuisine choices, and found the "What not to order in a restaurant" very helpful.
Being in the business for 25 year I could relate to alot of the thing that happen in this book, But his experiences are very extreme. He is a great chef and well educated. It gave me alot of laughs.
Tony Bourdain is funny, irreverent, honest, opinionated--and did I mention funny? 'Kitchen Confidential' isn't just a book for foodies, or people who eat out a lot, or people who love/respect the work chefs do (although all of those people would enjoy this book.) It's an adventure about discovering himself, about recognizing what he truly loves to do--done with razor-sharp humor and honesty and self-recognition. I've listened to it twice, and I'm sure I'll listen to it again.