• In the Weeds

  • Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain
  • By: Tom Vitale
  • Narrated by: Tom Vitale
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (628 ratings)

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In the Weeds  By  cover art

In the Weeds

By: Tom Vitale
Narrated by: Tom Vitale
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Publisher's Summary

Anthony Bourdain's long-time director and producer takes listeners behind the scenes to reveal the insanity of filming television in some of the most volatile places in the world and what it was like to work with a legend.

In the nearly two years since Anthony Bourdain's death, no one else has come close to filling the void he left. His passion for and genuine curiosity about the people and cultures he visited made the world feel smaller and more connected. Despite his affable, confident, and trademark snarky TV persona, the real Tony was intensely private, deeply conflicted about his fame, and an enigma even to those close to him. Tony’s devoted crew knew him best, and no one else had a front-row seat for as long as his director and producer, Tom Vitale.

Over the course of more than a decade traveling together, Tony became a boss, a friend, a hero and, sometimes, a tormentor. In the Weeds takes listeners behind the scenes to reveal not just the insanity that went into filming in some of the most far-flung and volatile parts of the world but what Tony was like unedited and off-camera. From the outside, the job looked like an all-expenses-paid adventure to places like Borneo, Vietnam, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Libya. What happened off-camera was far more interesting than what made it to air. The more things went wrong, the better it was for the show. Fortunately, everything fell apart constantly.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Tom Vitale (P)2021 Hachette Books

Featured Article: 30+ Anthony Bourdain Quotes That Capture His Zest for Food, Travel, and Life


Few chefs have impacted the world quite like the late Anthony Bourdain. Champion of all things food, an ally to many in disadvantaged communities, and an uncommonly honest, fiercely beloved personality, Bourdain left an indelible mark on the culinary landscape and the world before his tragic death in 2018. The late Anthony Bourdain was one of the greatest minds in the culinary world. Here are some quotes that best embody the legendary chef.

What listeners say about In the Weeds

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Even more than I expected

Since watching Road Runner a few weeks ago, I’ve been devouring the Bourdain story. Though familiar with his celebrity, I’d never watched any of Tony’s shows, so I had more or less stumbled onto RR by process of elimination while looking for in-flight entertainment, and now can’t get enough of the story. Tom Vitale’s appearances left me with what I’ve come to believe was an inaccurate impression of him (Tom), so I’m so glad that in consuming all the books on Bourdain I found this one. This was such a touching memoir, and as Tom mentions in the epilogue, it’s telling that he had to be reminded to share these stories as reflections of his own experiences rather than solely those of Tony. Tom Vitale’s writing style is different from Bourdain’s, but just as compelling and addictive. I realized early on that I was eager to get back to the story, increasingly to hear what Tom had to say, as much as to hear about how it was relative to Anthony Bourdain and their shows and travels.

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Great behind the scenes info!

This book was great bc it helps the reader understand the process of making some of the most memorable episodes of Bourdain’s shows. We learn a bit more about him as a person as well which I will leave at that. I will simply say when you admire someone maybe it’s best not to learn too much about their personal lives.

Unfortunately, learning about the process of making something takes from its magic and it will make watching the shows very different for me. Also, the authors narration was just awful. Sorry to say it but Vitale’s “Bourdain voice” was just awful. He does these cringeworthy little voices for a lot of the dialogue and it really takes away from the performance.

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  • jd
  • 10-22-21

Reflection is the books purpose. Moving forward is it’s intent. -Not just for anyone wanting more Bourdain!

Not just for anyone who just wants more Bourdain! Tom Vitale does a great and respectful job of documenting his experiences, thoughts and emotions during his 20 years working along side him. All of being professionally and personally melded into his life and work. The journey reveals opportunities and costs of the choices of self dedication and appreciation (and need) for the division of self from those activities. I hope Vitale finds many pages to fill in his future thoughts and accounts of his next accomplishments. -And maybe, follows that voice he finds taking him out of “the weeds”.

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Thank you Tom!

Excellent writing+narration. The recent content on Bourdain has helped with closure. Hope to hear more from Tom Vitale!

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Wanted to Love This

Maybe it's just too soon, but this feels like the writer is capitalizing on Anthony's suicide.

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narrator...ugh

I don't think the authors are necessarily the best narrators for their books. That said, I completely understand why they would want to, but it wasn't good for me here. I am a huge fan of Bourdain's-I even had dinner with him once-so this was extremely disappointing. The worst was when he would do others voices, especially Tony's. I literally wanted to pull my hair out. I love audiobooks, but this one may have been better in print.

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ok

the narrator’s voice and overall auditory delivery is incredibly annoying. Can’t really get past that unfortunately.

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anthony bourdain's catcher in the rye

Too much whining for my taste. Read like someone trying to profiteer off their relationship with a legend.

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A good listen

Thoroughly enjoyed this book and reading.

Enjoyed Tom’s reading and “accents”.

Enjoyed and looked forward to the closing thoughts and the end of each chapter. Reminded me of similar phrasing in the recent Obama bio.

Could certainly feel the catharsis in the arc of this story.

Never saw the Bourdain series, but heading back to watch it.

Absolutely worth the time to listen. Reading might have been more worthwhile. Can’t fold down a page after a memorable comment when listening.

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Introspective: sitting on a plastic stool

Many years ago Tony came to Minneapolis, MN on book tour for “The Nasty Bits”. Tom, if you were there maybe, I saw you in the wings of the punk rock venue, Triple Rock Social club. He made the night impromptu just standing on stage taking questions from the crowd. The crowd, all us punk rockers super stoked to see a kind of hero in our eyes. Someone like us, a band of pirates. I asked one question (my voice is very loud and can carry over a crowd of 300 people) “Hey Tony I’m going to Barcelona what should I eat? Tony’s response “Everything!”

Tom you book made me relive this memory mine over and over. Each chapter I felt like I was there in scene with all of you, getting yelled at by Tony, or feeling your undeniable anxiety over getting the best shot.
Your book is more than a recount of your illustrious career with Tony, but saying goodbye to what I think is your best friend and employer.
Suicide is hard to come to terms with for the rest of us still living. My sister took her own life 12 years ago. I know this pain. I’m sorry this is how you came to writing this book. However, your ability to capture all your adventures I hope you keep writing.

Best book I listened to all year. For anyone who loved Anthony Bourdain, all his shows - Tom you’re a genius. Please give us more.

Over and out - Jana Sackmeister, currently living on a beach in Cozumel MX sitting on plastic stools with my feet in the sand having the best meals of my life.