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Malos tragos/The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones (Spanish Edition) by Anthony Bourdain (2007-05-15) Mass Market Paperback
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I started reading this after the death of Mr. Bourdain and I'm sorry I didn't read it sooner. Mr. Bourdain had a way with his writing that makes me want to devour all of his books. He's just as snarky and funny as his various television shows were.
It just so happens that I had just finished watching the episodes of his show in Vegas that he references in the beginning of this book and was able to have the visuals to go along with the story running through my head, which made the experience all the more real.
I definitely recommend reading if you are a fan of Mr. Bourdain, his shows, his sense of humor. You will laugh, you will devour, and you will want more.
Now, the first thing to keep in mind with The Nasty Bits is that it isn’t really a book, per se, but rather a collection of Bourdain’s writings in various magazines. If you’re a fan of his shows, you’ll find some familiar locales and faces in the pieces represented - Vegas, Thailand, Vietnam. However, there’s also a lot more inside-baseball when it comes to the culinary art world that has faded from the TV presentations over time.
An impassioned argument about the raw food movement that took the world by storm awhile back. Reflections on a heavily nostalgic vision of New York City in the 80s. Bourdain’s first all-expenses-paid trip for a magazine (to Brazil) and another aboard the super cruise liner The World. There are funny bits, angry bits, and yes - nasty bits. However, the best bits actually come at the back of the book, where you’ll find short commentaries on each article. With the benefit of hindsight, Bourdain is able to admit faults and shed light on the context surrounding an article - the context you never get to see in such articles.
I’m an avid magazine reader as it is - longform feature pieces, travel, and insight into niches of the world I’ll never likely set foot in myself are as addictive to me as cigarettes used to be - so once I was able to change myself from ‘book reading’ mode to ‘magazine reading’ mode, I enjoyed The Nasty Bits a lot more. However, it may not be for everyone.
offers up an excellent collection of essays, covering mostly cooking and his work and experiences as a chef. There are a few asides here--including a fun account of a trip to Las Vegas and thoughts on immigrants--but food is the main topic. There’s even an odd but charming attempt at fiction. There are some hints at what Bourdain would focus on over most of the last decade of his life as he looks at other peoples and cultures as well. As always, Bourdian is a fine, often memorable writer whose humor and unique outlook shine through in almost every essay. Highly recommended.
It's like a mixtape of stories laced with humor that is somehow both juvenile and nuanced, machismo that is serious but yet not, and you can't really put your finger on exactly why you love it, you just know that you do, and that it's great.
Read it, enjoy it, quote it, annoy people who don't cook for a living by talking nonstop about it. Read it again, and really read it, and appreciate his most incredible talent - that rare and intimate ability to make you feel what he felt when he put those words on the page.
Top reviews from other countries
If you liked Kitchen Confidential this is more of the same from the now-a-celebrity Chef Bourdain.