Anthony Bourdain, Author . Bloomsbury $19.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-58234-233-7

With the same explosive energy and irreverent humor with which he described the behind-the-scenes affairs of the restaurant industry in Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain revisits some of the themes that made him famous: passion, food and violence. The novel (Bourdain's third, after Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo) tells the story of Bobby Gold, probably the world's most unlikely gangster. A nice Jewish pre-med student implicated in a drug deal gone bad, Bobby goes to prison for 10 years and emerges with an entirely different set of uses for his knowledge of anatomy. Once released, he goes to work for his old friend Eddie Fish, a mobster turned nightclub owner, and falls in love with Nikki, a boisterous sous-chef with dangerous ambitions. Bobby and Nikki get involved in a botched robbery, forcing both to run for their lives. Their seedy shenanigans are wittily chronicled by Bourdain, in his nouveau hard-boiled prose ("'You want truffle jiz? Get your own truffle jiz, cabron' "). In one memorable set piece, Bobby engages in multiple pages of rueful conversation with an old fish wholesaler who's late on a payment to Eddie and knows he's about to be worked over (" 'I get to pick the arm?' 'Sure,' said Bobby. 'Your choice. You pick it' "). Readers will once again be delighted by Bourdain's charming, rugged sensibility, like a modern-day Damon Runyon, and his gourmet blend of wit, suspense and style. 10-city author tour. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/14/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-59691-722-4
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-58234-409-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-244801-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9635-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9634-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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