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World Travel: An Irreverent Guide Kindle Edition
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A guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain saw more of the world than nearly anyone. His travels took him from the hidden pockets of his hometown of New York to a tribal longhouse in Borneo, from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Paris, and Shanghai to Tanzania’s utter beauty and the stunning desert solitude of Oman’s Empty Quarter—and many places beyond.
In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places—in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable.
Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place, including sardonic accounts of traveling with Bourdain by his brother, Christopher; a guide to Chicago’s best cheap eats by legendary music producer Steve Albini, and more. Additionally, each chapter includes illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook.
For veteran travelers, armchair enthusiasts, and those in between, World Travel offers a chance to experience the world like Anthony Bourdain.
"Bourdain's thoughts on places exotic and well known, blended into a kind of Baedeker for the hipster set...It makes for an exhilarating whirlwind tour."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"Gordon's casual, friendly tone, reminiscent of Bourdain's own personal style, makes it easy for listeners to imagine traveling the world with him. Interspersed throughout are essays by some of those who knew him, each narrated by its author. The affection expressed for the late travel show host and writer is one of the most memorable features of this listening experience."-- "AudioFile"
"It's the 'World according to Tony'--a browsable compendium of his matchless commentary on worthy destinations in forty-three countries."-- "People"
"An impressive food-obsessed travel guide...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."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"There will never be anyone quite like Anthony Bourdain. But World Travel offers readers the potential to travel the world as he did."-- "Fortune"
Charming...Irresistible...An exhilarating and worthwhile choice for those planning an actual trip and for stay-at-home travelers."-- "Library Journal (starred review)" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
Editors' pick: World Travel showcases not just great recipes, but also great food writing—the kind that transports us wherever the author may choose."—Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B083SN8RF7
- Publisher : Ecco; Illustrated edition (April 20, 2021)
- Publication date : April 20, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 49649 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 478 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #72,798 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2021
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So of course I was excited to receive this book in the post and crack it open.
The co-author Laurie Woolever, who was Bourdain’s assistant explains the evolution of this book in the introduction. She had only one conversation with Bourdain about it, in which he sketched his vision for the book, but with lots of gaps and ambiguous thinking that they intended to get back to after Woolever put together a few sample chapters. The purpose was clear though: it was intended to be “an atlas of the world through his eyes”. He left her with a “blueprint” and a recording of their conversation. But, sadly, they never had a follow-up meeting. That means much of the decisions about the book’s form and how to bring to life Bourdain’s vision rested on Woolever’s shoulders, with just these general concepts and hours of video from his shows to guide her. So what do we get here?
This is not a guide in the purest sense; perhaps that is why it’s called an “irreverent” guide. This is not a book you’ll be lugging with you on your next trip, exploring with it in your hands. Its form is simple: chapter after chapter about the countries he’s traveled to, appearing in alphabetical order. Each country chapter includes the primary cities and some practical information upon arrival in those cities (airport, how to get into town and get around once you’re there) just like any other guidebook. Besides the selection of countries, Bourdain’s presence is added through the handful of hotels, restaurants, and other establishments that were chosen to be included. His comments about these places, culled by Woolever from Bourdain’s own words on his various TV shows, are liberally spread throughout, and serve as the primary vehicle for Bourdain’s voice itself. All this information is certainly interesting if you’re a fan of Bourdain, but it’s of very little use in helping to plan a trip, other than to maybe help you select one or more of the places he recommends. The practical information at the beginning of each chapter can be obtained from any other guidebook, one of which you will have to purchase anyway since this book doesn’t have enough info to serve as a primary guidebook. So it effectively lacks a real purpose save one: to experience Bourdain’s words again.
And that could be enough for some of us. Woolever knows this is targeted at fans of Bourdain and tries to inject as much of him as possible. Interspersed throughout the book are essays written by friends of Bourdain’s who write about what he meant to them. Many of them are good, and some very touching; however, once I read in the introduction that it was originally intended for Bourdain himself to write these essays about the many people and places that moved him, the knowledge that we missed out on those made me feel less for the ones we got.
But it’s probably unfair to judge this book based on the disappointment that it’s not exactly as it would have been. I began to imagine all the different ways this book could have been better if he had just lived to publish it (for example, I think the chapters would have been better designed if they had been informed more by the “Perfect Day” pieces they have on the Parts Unknown website…of course I have no idea he would have wanted to present them that way if he had lived). But that’s of no use. The book we have here is still a valuable look into his views on the many different places in the world that he wanted us to know about. This probably isn’t a book we’ll want to bring on trips with us, but there is enough here to inspire us to travel, and to guide us a little in Bourdain’s voice—a crude facsimile of what we had, but unfortunately, the best version we’re going to get. For those days when we don’t have time to stream one of his shows, this can serve as a resource to dip into now and again when we want or need that inspiration. This will never replace what could have been, but if you loved the guy, you may still think this is something great.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
Apparently the author worked for him for several years, but I can only imagine if she tried to publish this while he was still alive, he'd have sacked her on the spot, and kicked her ass from one end of Manhattan to the other.
Countries on every populated continent are listed alphabetical with several countries, especially the United States, having several entries for separate places. The book is a mixture of Anthony Bourdain’s quotes from his various TV programmes, information about places he enjoyed eating in every entry, and in some cases recommended places to stay.
It also has information on which airports to use for each destination and helpful detail on taxis and public transport from each airport. The book could be used for reference - to find restaurant recommendations and ideas of places (nearly always luxury accommodation here) to stay, along with airport transport information.
Alternatively, it can be used and enjoyed as I did, by reading the book and enjoying the entries from cover to cover.
The book is illustrated throughout with some very enjoyable drawings and features a number of short articles by people who had experienced a destination with Bourdain.
The book is neither a travel guide, nor a food guide, nor a memoir - it is a little of all these things, and is unique in my experience of travel books as a result - but it is enjoyable to read, and I will return to it for ideas when we can travel again