Let's get one thing straight, if your looking for someone to say all nice things about everyone, you've got the wrong book and author. Anthony says it like it is, or like it is to him. No mincing words here, but that's what I guess I like. Superstar Chef, no but someone that loves food and knows food and tells you what he thinks of the world of food, chef's , writers and more. I like it even more since he actually reads the book . Love hearing it in his own words, voice. Hope one day I'll have the pleasure of sitting down and having some food and drink with Anthony straight up.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was not as packed with great stories and insider insights as his previous books. The beginning was slow but things picked up as it went along. He may be running out of juicy material and is therefore stretching what he's got to fill more space. It's worth getting the book, however, for his description of the world of St. Barts alone. Hilarious and spot on. It's especially worth reading for anyone considering becoming a chef.
As the sister of a chef, I get to go out with my brother and his pals whenever I'm in town. Tony sounds just like them: funny, scatological, sarcastic, profane and opinionated. I'd love to have him join us, he'd fit right in. He writes like he talks, and that's a very good thing.
I have to say the book is very disjointed. Parts of it are very interesting while other parts are very dull. Unlike Kitchen Confidential which I felt was very accessible for everyone, Medium Raw seemed like it would be more interesting to insiders. Without a knowledge of the chefs that Bourdain is talking about before hand I found myself referring to Wikipedia frequently for more background. The best chapter for me was the last which talks about the post Kitchen Confidential days and what has happened since.
If you read Anthony's book, this is a good continuation of that. Some parts seemed a little long and drawn out but that's okay. I found it interesting for at least 90% of the time. It probably helps that he has a really good voice for reading. If you liked Kitchen Confidential, then you'll most likely enjoy this.
For any Bourdain fans or hardcore cooks....this one is a must-have for your "Cook Free Or Die" collection. This is yet another poetic and sharp-worded novel, and I think he does a better job narrating this piece than Kitchen Confidential. His voice has more inflection and drama to it - you could almost imagine that Tony is sitting across the table from you, sharing a beer and a story. However....
Despite the awesome delivery, the content of Medium Raw is really a disappointment. Its listed as a "memoir" ten years after he published Kitchen Confidential, yet I really struggled to see the entire point he was getting at. There was no moral...no theme...no rational pattern. He discussed random foods worldwide, to his suicidal period dealing with the breakup of his marriage, to, and I kid you not, a whole chapter where he simply talks about how he is a better parent than every other one in the world because he stays with his daughter at dance class. Really? What happened to Kitchen Confidential? What happened to the grit and grime and sweat of the kitchen? Bourndain presents this book ten years later, almost practically apologizing to the culinary world for what made him who he his (as he calls it in Kitchen Confidential "I Make My Bones"). What is this, is he selling out to the Food Network like the other reviewers seem to think?
Altogether, this is a very good book, but buyers beware...you might finish it confused or let down at the "new Tony".
I thoroughly enjoyed Kitchen Confidential. In fact, it remains on my iPhone long after I first listened to the book as a repeat when I have listened to everything else. When Medium Raw came out, I was excited to listen to Anthony Bourdain pontificate on his view of the culinary world -- and, to a lesser degree, the world at large. Unfortunately, in his efforts to repeat the tone of the first book, the material comes off as whiny rather than having a tone of triumphing over adversity. Even the narration seems forced in Medium Raw. I actually fast fowarded through various portions of the book and, as of this writing, do not plan on finishing the book.
This book is entertaining & the Bourdain you wish he could be on the travel channel. I love his angry rants. If you're not one for salty language, this isn't the book for you... go read Rachael Ray.
Anythony Bourdain tells you his feelings on a few things--most of his feelings are mixed (e.g., Alice Waters he rips a new one and then understands), while some are pretty straight foward (e.g., Alan Richman--the two won't be having dinner anytime soon). It is funny, then depressing, then funny.
I had no problem with the amount of profanity in the book--it is obvious that how he wants the story told. It works.
He is a wonderful storyteller and he is the one reading his book--that makes it worthwhile.