In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain

Tom Vitale. Hachette, $30 (288p) ISBN 978-0-3069-2409-5
Vitale’s arresting tales of life as chef-turned-media star Anthony Bourdain’s longtime director and producer offer a vivid look at a demanding, passionate, volatile man and “the highs and lows, and the bizarre as shit situations in which we constantly found ourselves.” When Bourdain died by suicide in June 2018, a stunned Vitale refused to unpack the suitcase he’d just loaded in preparation to join Bourdain on another shoot. “What follows is my best attempt to paint an honest picture of my experience traveling with Tony,” he writes. “A story told by someone who is still trying to make sense of it all.” As he reflects on more than a decade of working with Bourdain—on shows including CNN’s Parts Unknown—Vitale shares mesmerizing recollections of their travels through Libya (where routine car-bomb checks were followed by tea), Vietnam (on a “top-secret” shoot with former President Obama), and countless other locales, while probing the fascinating and frustrating facets of the chef’s larger-than-life personality. “Tony’s leadership techniques were CIA caliber: duplicitous, unforgivable, possibly criminal, and usually extremely effective,” Vitale writes, admitting that while Bourdain’s presence was stimulating, his “energy would suck you dry.” With this exhilarating travelogue, he paints a complicated portrait, packed with vibrant details, of a man whose “best was enough for millions of fans, but... wasn’t enough for him.” Those fans are sure to eat this up. Agent: Steve Troha, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2021
Release date: 10/12/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6686-0159-4
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