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Anthony Bourdain's "Nasty Bits"


Richard_D
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Just picked up a copy earlier this morning from one of our larger bookstores. I didn't even know it was coming out until I read a extract in The Observer here and here today.

Just about a third of the way through and it's living up to expectations. The usual funny and wry observations, including, so far, one non-food article.

I'll not spoil the contents for anyone but can recommend it so far - like Kitchen Confidential it makes a refreshing change from the usual foodie books and is pretty no-holds barred stuff.

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Just picked up a copy earlier this morning from one of our larger bookstores. I didn't even know it was coming out until I read a extract in The Observer here and here today.

Just about a third of the way through and it's living up to expectations. The usual funny and wry observations, including, so far, one non-food article.

I'll not spoil the contents for anyone but can recommend it so far - like Kitchen Confidential it makes a refreshing change from the usual foodie books and is pretty no-holds barred stuff.

Thanks for the recommendation! I can't wait to read it. :cool:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got my copy a couple of days ago. I'm not done with it yet either, but I am really enjoying it so far.

I was pleasantly suprised to learn that Bourdain and Eric Schlosser are very well aware of each other. "Fast Food Nation" is a fantastic, worthwhile book.

"The Nasty Bits", so far, is a great read. I suppose that I'm also supposed to say "moving, funny, educational, imaginative"... well, I just did. Some of the articles are referencing episodes of "No Reservations", so it might help to see those, but I would say it's not a requirement to enjoy this book.

I know, never "review" a book before you've actually read it... but what the heck. :-D

Good stuff!

_Jesse Williamson ;-};

Edited by chardan (log)
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I enjoyed this book very much, especially the portions that crossed over into A Cook's Tour (the TV show just got the book) and No Reservations. The Nasty Bits went with me in the forest pines of AZ last weekend and it was a difficult task to put it down. I find it refreshing that Mr. Bourdain has quite the writing talent and isn't a talking head reading others words on the tube.

I love the insight given into the food industry in this work. It was quite a contrast to Kitchen Confidential. I am not easily made to laugh out loud when reading or watching a movie, but my daughters where quite curious as to what I was reading.

Get it!

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Anybody hear B on NPRadio yesterday talking about his book? I did, and so did my girlfriend (seperately, I might add). It was quick, Bourdain on seal eating, his not so present chef gig, and veganism, nothing new to us eG'ers. It caught me by suprise, he's not the exactly the type of person I associate with NPR.

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Cooking might have saved Bourdain's life, and the man's a trained, hard-ass cook, but he was born a writer. His culinary life provided him with the bread-and butter subject matter, but if he'd decided on a career as a siding salesman and decided to write about it we'd read every word about his Mexican crews, the public misunderstanding about vinyl siding, and the lunch the hermanos bring in a big styrofoam cooler.

"Nasty Bits" is not always his best stuff, it's a hodge- podge compilation, but it's a blast.

I especially like his notes on each piece, back of the book. He fills in circumstances and explains when and how the article was written. This is crucial, because the Tony Bombast factor is annoying in a few of the early bits. He's had time to reconsider, apologize or stick to his guns.

Although he has decided that Emeril is no longer a subject for contempt,Woody Harrelson is a fitter mark. (Good God.) The anger is still there, but it seems better focussed. For all the obscene in-your-face macho that's made Bourdain a Hunter Thompson- like cult figure, at heart he's deeply romantic. Anything he writes about Vietnam or the French "ocean liner dinosaurs" makes me wistful.

(I wish he'd get another adjective for crazy fresh seafood: retire "screamingly," but that's the kind of thing an attentive reader and fan notices.)

I loved "Is Anyone Home"and his mash note to Gabrielle Hamilton, "Hard Core."

As Editorial Director of The Daily Gullet"" I mention with pride that "What You Don't Want To Know About Making Food Television" originated here as "The Bourdain Identity"

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Bourdain, is as always, a very complex indivdual who remains restless, tortured, yet a the same time, relaxed and content with his new life as world traveller, author, and TV show host (click).

gallery_2_4_16086.jpg

I found The Nasty Bits to be an entertaining read, although I didn't get the same sense of satisfaction out of this one that I got from Kitchen Confidential or A Cook's Tour. I almost feel like he commissioned this book with himself in mind as the target customer, something to read in airport lounges or in between cat naps on long plane rides. And that's ok, because if that's the purpose it's meant to serve, its just fine. Not every book can be Kitchen Confidential. I think that when the No Reservations companion volume is finally written, after a bunch more exotic locations are visited and he has time to really reflect on them, we'll see some really special stuff. His fiction novel that is coming up sounds like it will be fun as well.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I picked up his book tonight at his reading/signing. I look forward to reading it - but think it may be missing something now that I've heard him read some of it with additional comments and side-rants. :wink:

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  • 1 month later...

After reading Ruhlman's latest, I found Bourdain's to be the far sharper of the two books--far better written, more insightful and critical, and much more entertaining. I'm very curious about why the two covered so much similar territory however--including writing about each other....

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Plowed through this over the weekend and also enjoyed it. I also really liked the "additional notes" and commentary at the end and helped salvage some of the harder-to-swallow editorials, notably "Sleaze Gone By" where he originally revels in the edgier, grittier NY of old, including druggies and muggings, then takes himself to task for being too full of bravado. (Though it does beg the question of why include it at all in the collection . . . ?). Loved the Masa piece, the favorite spots in NY, hearing his take the new celebrity culture and how he's toned down on Emeril and Flay, the Woody Harrelson diatribe, a different look at the Sicily ep from No Reservations. It was weird to read the Ferran Adria piece and then to turn around and watch it that night; pretty much a transcript of the episode.

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I think doing all that television might be teaching Chef B some bad habits :chuckle:. NO disrespect (quite the opposite).

Lot's of little vingettes in his book this time. I like his writing style in NB immensely.

The no-nonsense "screw settting up the action and cut to the chase" approach works for me. It's different than KC for sure, but then again, I think he expects that most readers are already acquainted with him. That allows him to roll right through from one story to another.

Maybe it's because I can see from his side of the fence, maybe it's because I hate McDonald's just as much as he does (but probably cannot say anymore for contractual reasons). Whatever the cause, the book is good.

Edited by C_Ruark (log)
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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I just finished up 'The Nasty Bits' last night. Of course I appreciated Decoding Ferran Adria, as it was an excellent precursor to the show, which came on later that evening. I do wish that he had put the commentary at the end of each article, or at least made note that it was there in the beginning of the book. Maybe he did and I missed it. I would have liked to hear the story behind the Decoding Ferran Adria article immediately after reading it.

I also enjoyed the Masa piece, which has me so craving sushi that some friends and I are going out this weekend.

I haven't read Kitchen Confidential yet, but I'm next on the hold list at my local library.

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  • 2 months later...

While reading an article on Anthony Bourdain and barbecue on msn.com, I noticed a link for a free book (which just happens to be The Nasty Bits). It's only for people in the US, which I am not, (nor do I have anyone whom I can use in my place and who can then send it to me). So, for all you lucky US residents, here's the link.

No strings attached, but you must be of legal drinking age (it's sponsored by a beer company). Oh, and from what I can tell from the fine print, Californians do not qualify, either.

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You're right, the fine print does say that -- but it doesn't say why. Does anyone know why Californians are excluded?

I'm not even American, but I was thinking it was because the free offer is being sponsored by a beer company. Maybe there's some law in CA that prohibits promotional give-aways (even non-alcoholic ones) by alcohol companies?

I should also add that the give-away is while quantities last. I can't remember when it started, so for all I know, they're all gone already.

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They're still taking requests as of now -- will be received within 2-4 weeks.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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Free Bourdain - I'm doing the Happy Dance - many thanks to prasantrin for posting this!

Good news, Oregon fans:

http://www.oregonlive.com/AandE/pluggedin/...8260.xml&coll=7

Cool, Fergus Henderson! He makes me want to eat guts and stuff (if he does the cooking).

"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ
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  • 3 weeks later...
Ahem....I think it's Claudia.  (in my younger days, I was often mistaken for being a boy, so I'm very sensitive about these things!)

Am I the only one who can't get to the pics?  I get an error message when I click on the links.

Yes, it IS Claudia (feminine form), but I've had it happen often enough not to stress about it. You could try going to the public gallery and see if you can access the pics there - I posted them on 10/11 and I made them public. Hope it helps.
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