"It is the business of the times to change...and the business of gentlemen to change with them." ~Amor Towles in "Rules of Civility"
He probably didn't mean to, but Anthony Bourdain pushed me over the edge. His raw and humorous backdoor exposure of milieu, blood spillage, and other goings-on in commercial kitchens was enough to shut me down. I was already an infrequent visitor of restaurants, now I'll go only if I can successfully sneak in my own dish. I'd request a seat near the kitchen and enjoy the show risk-free!
I liked being taken into the lifestyle, from his point of view and his vivid storytelling made it seem very real for the reader.
I liked the part where he talks you through a typical day as head chef. It was overwhelming to someone not used to it. Amazing how many different little details he had to keep up with. Takes a very strong mind!
I would have never realized how many people in the restaurant industry are chronic drug users and partiers, to the point of sounding like rock stars! I am not sure if this is just the big cities, however, but you never know! It will make me look at restaurants very differently.
I absolutely loved the story, Anthony Bourdain did wonders to draw me into his coke-fuelled rise to the top. But I cannot bring myself to give it any more than 2 stars considering my immersion was ripped away on a number of occasions when my audiobook would truncate the end of a number of chapters in a relatively short audiobook. I thought maybe the download was corrupted but nope, even redownloading the entire book didn't help. Oh well.
This book is well written detailing personal stories, influences, and the rough life of being a kitchen rat.
Anthony Bourdain does not sugar coat his experiences, as he speaks about the good times of discovering new cuisine for the first time, and the camaraderie he's had with kitchen mates through the years. Bourdain unabashedly goes into the dark times of drug addiction, and going down the path of loneliness.
My favorites is the overall tone of the book, and the speaking off the cuff. It reminds me of a recent day variation of words that would be reminiscent of a punk rock inspired Jack Kerouac.
There are a few lulls at times when it seems that he is trying to fill space but he quickly makes up for it with a good story, or a cooking technique that draws you in.
The only regret is that the book finally ends. I need more!
As shocking and raw as you might expect. Uncomfortable at times, at times funny, sometimes tragic, it all adds up to something good.
The perspective of the narrative does wander. Sometimes a diary, sometimes mentorship to young cooks, sometimes education to budding gastronomes. But if you set that all aside it all somehow blends into a wonderful narrative.
It's good and the book is popular for a reason.
Although the content is really interesting this performance is spoilt by poor production. Anthony Bourdain sounds bored most of the time, not animated like he is on his shows. The audio quality is variable and there are some of the worst edits I've ever heard that clash words and have different levels.
Really fantastic. This book started AB's literary and TV career, and it didn't disappoint.