Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"No Reservations" by Anthony Bourdain


At the outset of this book, Bourdain swears up and down that it's not a companion piece for his Travel Channel TV show by the same name.


Don't believe a word of it.

It is precisely that.

"No Reservations" (the book) is a worthwhile coffee table tome for fans of "No Reservations" (the TV show).

As a stand alone work, however, I suspect non - fans would not only be disappointed, but also likely left to be scratching their head.

The book contains many excellent photographs from the author's travels to various countries for episodes of his TV show -- including areas from Asia, Africa, Europe and The Americas. The very limited narrative provided for each chapter, however, is unusually narrow in its insight and void of the snarky, biting wit for which the host/author is known.

Perhaps the best part of the book comes toward the end -- including Food Porn (photos of great looking dishes he's been served in his travels), best and worst bathrooms around the world (with supporting photographs, to be sure) and recommendations for traveling the world to sample foods as he does.

If you are not already a big fan of the show, then you will likely find this book useless. On the other hand, if you are a HUGE fan of the show (as I am), then chances are that you will find this to be a very enriching experience that complements the TV episodes.