cover image World Travel: An Irreverent Guide

World Travel: An Irreverent Guide

Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever. Ecco, $35 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-280279-8

Woolever, longtime cowriter with the late Bourdain (1956–2018), knits together an impressive food-obsessed travel guide based on her conversations with Bourdain. Flitting from Argentina to Bourdain’s beloved Vietnam, the narrative captures Bourdain’s appreciation of everything from Oaxacan sauces to New York City’s Barney Greengrass restaurant (“If God made anything better, he kept it for himself”) and the “awesomeness” of Hong Kong’s night markets. Entries can be slim—such as “Kenya,” which consists of a dash of history and a quick nod to a restaurant in Kibera­—but the book’s power comes from Bourdain’s joyfully combative stances (“Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands”), unabashed enthusiasm, dense overlay of cinematic references, and world-weary advice (“Sardinia’s the kind of place you better know somebody”). 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. Bourdain’s fans will devour this. (Apr.)