World Travel: An Irreverent Guide Hardcover – Illustrated, 20 April 2021
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An exhilarating whirlwind tour.... Anyone who loved and misses Bourdain will want this book.--Kirkus Reviews
This gloriously messy miscellany of off-kilter observations and lightning-in-a-bottle insights will make one want to read, eat, and experience the world the way Bourdain did. Bourdain's fans will devour this.--Publishers Weekly
"Charming.... Irresistible.... An exhilarating and worthwhile choice for those planning an actual trip and for stay-at-home travelers."--Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Anthony Bourdain was the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, the memoir A Cook's Tour, and the New York Times bestsellers Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw, and Appetites. His work appeared in the New York Times and The New Yorker. He was the host of the popular television shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Bourdain died in June 2018.
Laurie Woolever is a writer and editor, and spent nearly a decade assisting Anthony Bourdain, with whom she coauthored the cookbook Appetites in 2016. She's written about food and travel for the New York Times, GQ, Food & Wine, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Dissent, Roads & Kingdoms, and others, and has worked as an editor at Art Culinaire and Wine Spectator.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Most of the book is dry, expositional content - it contains information in a place you’d never actually turn to as a resource if you needed the information in the first place. AB was a storyteller and this book doesn’t tell a story - it contains information that a reasonable person would google interspersed with quotes from some of his TV shows. I don’t want to read about Argentinian bus lines, or how to get to and from the airport, or a reminder that crossing international boundaries requires proper paperwork and a pass through customs.
This book has no narrative value nor is it valuable as an actual travel guide - half the information is already outdated between the time the words were written and the time they were printed. It would be like hanging a dry erase board and trying to re-write the time every second instead of just buying a clock.
The idea for this book was clearly in its infancy when the author discussed it with Bourdain. I’m sure she did her best to try and extrapolate what he envisioned for the book, but this feels far off the mark. In the introduction she says that the basis for this book was an hour long conversation she had one night with Bourdain; if he were still alive, this would have been a very different book and that’s why it never should have been promoted as a collaboration with him. The feeling of reading this book is evocative of watching a cover band do a bad rendition of your favorite songs. His lack of input is evident. His absence is never felt more strongly than in these pages.
I was hoping for some of his unreleased writings, some more of his worldview, some more of his insight. If you’re considering buying this because you’re a fan of Bourdain’s work, I would pass because I didn’t feel him at all in this book. It doesn’t even feel like a tribute to his past work due to its eminently unreadable, textbook-like execution. This feels like exactly the type of thing that would have provoked his derision.
It is a major disappointment.
For each location there is a section about how to get there and how to get around; and then some places to visit, and of course places to eat. Quotes and advice from Anthony Bourdain are written in bold print in each section, so that they stand out from the rest of the text which is more general information that has been compiled by other people. It seems like most, if not all of these quotes are directly from his TV shows.
Even though there was less previously unreleased content directly from Bourdain than I had expected, it still contains quite a bit of his own personal take on all of these interesting places. Anyone that watched his shows can probably imagine or remember him saying some of these things, and recall his distinct and charismatic personality.
I hope that most of these places are still open and will survive the lack of tourism during the pandemic, as this seems like a useful collection of information and tips about some great places I'd like to visit sometime in the future.
RIP to an incredible person, at least he lived an amazing life full of remarkable experiences.