Book: Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain

Doesn't quite come together as a novel

Anthony Bourdain
Bone in the Throat
Bloomsbury, 1995
ISBN: 1-58234-102-8
290 pages

Bone in the Throat is a novel by Anthony Bourdain, the author of the brilliant and hilarious book Kitchen Confidential and some other books as well (my reviews of two are at 1, 2). One of the sources of Mr Bourdain's appeal is that he knows so much about food and cooking that he feels no need to be reverent about it.

Bone in the Throat is about the goings-on around a New York restaurant, the Dreadnought. There's Michael, the chef who's trying to kick a heroin habit; Tommy, his pretty innocent sous-chef who is related to mafia men; Harvey, the owner who has borrowed money from mafia loan-sharks; and Al, the FBI agent who is trying to make a case against those mafiosos. From other things that Mr Bourdain has written, it seems likely that he knows much of what he's writing about.

And the book works as vignettes. Mr Bourdain's ability to put the reader in a setting is very good. But the vignettes never quite come together to create a novel with a compelling plot. Still, the book is a quick and pretty entertaining read. I can tell you that it makes fine airplane reading.

Posted: Wed - August 5, 2009 at 07:05 PM   Main   Category: