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Bone in the Throat
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Bone in the Throat

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  1,649 ratings  ·  159 reviews
A wildly funny, irreverent tale of murder, mayhem, and the mob.

When up-and-coming chef Tommy Pagana settles for a less than glamorous stint at his uncle's restaurant in Manhattan's Little Italy, he unwittingly finds himself a partner in big-time crime. And when the mob decides to use the kitchen for a murder, nothing Tommy learned in cooking school has prepared him for wh...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 16th 2000 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mandy Tanksley
I'm a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain. Having watched him compose beautiful stories through food and culture on his television shows, I knew he wouldn't disappoint me as a writer of fiction. His book "Bone in the Throat" was not as elegant and interesting as I had assumed it would be, but knowing Bourdain's taste for foul language and getting at the heart of a story helped me sink my teeth into this book. The story involves a group of mafia-types, police, and restaurant junkies who are playing a ga...more
Joel Gomes
Muito se tem falado do Anthony Bourdain nos últimos tempos, principalmente com a sua recente vinda ao nosso país. Embora não o tenha descoberto agora, não posso dizer que seja um seguidor. Isto é, vejo o "No Reservations" sempre que me lembro e gosto do que vejo. O problema é que nem sempre me lembro. No entanto, apesar de já conhecer o Anthony Bourdain há algum tempo, este livro obriga-me a ficar ao lado daqueles que só agora aprenderam que ele existe. Sou sincero: sabia que ele era um chef de...more
Libris interruptus...I was traveling on my motorcycle to see a film at the Zurich Film Festival with this book in my jacket pocket, but when I arrived at the venue, the book was gone. I was about two-thirds of the way through the book at the time of its disappearance. I guess it is a testament to how little I was engaged with the story that I did not make a search for the book after it went missing.

The story was okay. The characters were okay. The writing was okay. Therefore my rating on the fi...more
Even before he was big-time, Mr. Tony had a real clarity of voice and tone that help this novel cohesive and kept me reading. He does a nice job of rotating chapters through the eyes of many characters without getting bogged down by the variety; each chapter also advances the admittedly thin plot. I would've enjoyed more mystery and less novel, the ending was a foregone conclusion, though he did build some nice suspense especially during the face-in-the-meat-slicer scene, which was particularly...more
Joana Marques
Este livro surge nas minhas mãos pelo gosto de ver uma das séries do autor, No Reservations, onde a comida internacional é explorada de forma hilariante e irreverente.

No entanto, todo o livro foi uma surpresa. Não esperava algo que me arrebatasse tão fortemente.
Tommy vem de uma família italiana que torna toda a história deliciosa. O tio Sally, conhecido como Sally Peruca, é um dos “homens” de Charlie, o chefe da máfia local. Mas um “trabalhador” um pouco atrapalhado que não percebe que todos os...more
as advertised, a good beach towel skimmer
Trixie Jack
I normally would never think of picking up a novel written by a tv show host, but I have a lot of respect for Anthony Bourdain and enjoy his non-fiction pieces, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm glad I did. It's rare enough to find a multi-talented artist, but that's exactly what Bourdain is proving himself to be. Add fiction writing to his growing repertoire of skills.
"Bone in the Throat" is a divertingly fun romp through Tony's New York--dark, gritty, often desperate, but with a distinctiv...more

L’histoire se déroule à New-York avec pour personnages principaux des ritals pur jus. Tommy Pagano est un sous-chef passionné qui a malheureusement un oncle, Sally, très envahissant de part sa nature de mafioso. Jeune, Tommy a décidé de ne pas tomber comme sa famille dans les règlements de comptes de clans. Pour cela, il a misé sur sa passion : la cuisine. Néanmoins Sally fait tout pour le maintenir dans le milieu. Sally est un mafieux de pacotille, qui n’...more
Kevin Rubin
"Bone in the Throat" was wildly entertaining. A mafia, gangster crime first novel by celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain.

Lots of murder, beatings, cooking and description of food scattered throughout.

The main character, Tommy, is the sous-chef at The Dreadnaught, a restaurant run by a a criminal, Harvey being used by the FBI to trap some local gangsters. Tommy's uncle, Sally, is the local gangster who collects money from Harvey and who got Tommy the job there. However, Tommy really does have passio...more
Amanda Ching
So here's the thing. I was gonna just slap it in my finished list and give it some stars until I realised that I wasn't sure HOW many stars to give it. And that started a whole barrage of questions, so I think I'll just talk out loud here.

Of course I liked the book. It has all the things I love: murder, swearing, the mob, everyday people just being people, people who smoke, people who casually drink, people who casually do drugs, food porn, real porn, and unflinchingly real descriptions of mund...more
Got this book on recommendation from my cousin, and while I like watching Anthony Bourdain on TV, I'm not sold on him as an author. Perhaps it was the subject matter, the New York Mafia and its involvement in the restaurant business, but the book never really brought me in. It started promisingly, with a scene in the coroner's office after another floater was pulled out of the water with clear evidence of it being a mob hit, but it took until nearly the end of the book before the scene connected...more
I knew going into this book that Tony Bourdain was a pretty good writer, having already digested Kitchen Confidential and Nasty Bits.

The most amazing thing about this book was the level with which I found myself really caring about the characters. In particular, the chef Michael and his sous chef Tommy. Watching Michael wrestle with his heroin addiction and his desire to turn his life around was very moving. I am sure this was partly biographical, as Bourdain himself suffered from the same issue...more
Nash Nordin
Book Review: Bone in the Throat@ai-books

like Anthony Bourdain as a chef and I like his TV shows. I got this book because I was curious to know how Bourdain would write a fiction. Besides, I always love a culinary/food related mystery/crime/thriller books.

However, I’m sorry to say that I was greatly disappointed with this book. The pace is slow, the dialogue is poor and boring and the characters are poorly constructed. I had a hard time keeping track of what’s going on and who the characters ar...more
My favourite parts of this were the parts about the cooking, unsurprisingly. I think much of it was meant to be funny, but on the whole it was not my sort of humour -- the only part that made me laugh was (view spoiler) Bourdain is such an excellent writer in his own voice; I think he might someday write a very good nove...more
While I really enjoy Anthony Bourdain's show on CNN, I do not really enjoy his books. I have read a couple and feel like I plodded along, being a loyal fan, but now I have to get on with my life and read something that really engages me. But I am looking forward to his new adventures on TV.
Steve Turtell
This was a lot of fun, especially since I've lived in Little Italy, on Elizabeth Street for over thirty-five years and I worked in kitchens for nearly ten. I could picture every location and the characters were familiar from around the neighborhood. But the real pleasure was seeing how well Bourdain did on his first time out as a novelist--a full five years before his wonderful Kitchen Confidential. He's one of my favorite food writers--even though you have to put up with his fondness for trash...more
This "novel of death and digestion" (to quote from the dust jacket) delivers what it promises: murder in a culinary setting. The story is both gory and brutal, but so is the subject matter: Mafia control of the restaurant industry. The story focuses intently on the use of drugs and alcohol but these are (according to Bourdain's non-fiction books) the daily realities of restaurant life. The book is both profane and obscene but so is the author, if one believes the self-drawn caricature by which h...more
Not. Bad.

Tried to read this once before, but the author's voice and repetitive cadence kept getting into my head. If anything, that's proof that I need to watch less TV. Also, the way food and kitchens come in to play right off the bat, and the way the food is described in scenes where it's not even important made it hard for me to take this book seriously at first. At much as I like Tony, I kept thinking "Your a chef! I GET it!"

Anyway, today was jury duty and I took this in with me, and before...more

I like Anthony Bourdain. I like by-the-numbers crime fiction with a bit of a spin. By the end of this book I was fairly happy with it (hence the 3 stars). While I was actually reading it, however...
I read another Goodreads review that started with 'Librus Interruptus' and went on to tell the story of a man who read the first two thirds of this book, then lost the book out of his pocket on a motorbike ride. He never tried to find another copy, thus explaining his opinion of the book.
I spent a g...more
I found this a surprise. Most novels I read by famous people mostly leave something to be desired to say it politely, but I have to day this book was a solid four stars. Anthony Bourdain can write crime fiction. I'm looking forward to catching the next novel.
At first I thought, "Bourdain, shut up already with your food prep porn... " but after awhile it's what starts to make you relate to the character. In a movie, this might come of faster and at the same time you're seeing other parts of the plot. It really started to capture me.

Without knowing Tony, I might not have gotten past the dust jacket, nor the first few chapters. But I'm really glad I did. It transported me right into the mind of a chef. Surprisingly easy to read and enjoyable, you just...more
A dir la verità, mi aspettavo di più. Mi sono piaciuti i personaggi, lo chef è meraviglioso, e il modo di rappresentare i rapporti in cucina è straordinario, ma non ci si poteva aspettare di meno da un autore lui stesso cuoco. Non mi ha dato fastidio la parlata gergale e volgare dei mafiosi nè le descrizioni accurate delle preparazioni dei piatti, anche se il mio livello di inglese non mi fa apprezzare pienamente le sue finezze, ma il senso l'incompiutezza di questo romanzo. La fine è buttata lì...more
Joan Leicht
I am not really a fan about stories involving the mob. But I enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's book kitchen confidential so I thought I would give this book a try. He may be a chef but this guy can write.
Bourdain's voice is clear and solid, even here in his debut, but the plot was uneven and too neatly wrapped up. It left me wishing it had just a little more substance.
Maya Morikawa

OK,but I am not a fan of gangster stories,held together well,but as I said not really interested in that world.
Veronica Noechel
A rollicking fun mystery with all the energy, crude joy, and camaraderie of restaurant work. The almost rube-goldberg-esque moments worked in the best possible way, and the protagonist is entirely likable in a flawed-superhero-and-his-sidekick-Sous-Chef-Boy!TM way.

Serious literature? Not really, but it doesn't need to be. In the end, my greatest disappointment at the end of the book was finding out that Bourdain's subsequent fiction isn't a continuation of what could have been (perhaps still cou...more
Michelle Vaughn
Until the last 75 pages, my review would've been, simply, "not bad, but not compelling either." The story moved too slowly, and the wrong characters were centered. But, the end really did pack a punch.
This is a story of wise guys in the restaurant business in NYC. A mob story.

Tommy and the Chef are interesting characters who accidentally get involved with the mob. How Tommy stayed away from the lifestyle is amazing especially since his Uncle Sally is involved with the mob.

The author is a real chef so naturally wanted to make the restaurant and kitchen scenes life-like. Unfortunately, the detail of the cooking took away from the mob story.

I didn't like all the F*** cuss words. Yeah, I know thi...more
Engaging piece of fiction. I really loved it at the time, but I don’t think I ever need to read it again. Though once was enough, it had Bourdain’s sense of humor shining clearly all the way through. A good read when you’re feeling like something with plenty of action and conflict, but never enough to be depressing. However, I don’t feel that I can write a detailed review, as this isn’t the genre I usually go for and therefore I haven’t read a lot to compare it to. Certainly not the best book ov...more
Regular readers of this page might remember a few weeks ago, I reviewed Tony Bourdain's non-fiction book about working in restaurants. I started then looking for his two mysteries and finally found them when they were recently re-issued. This one is great. Tommy Pagana grew up on the fringe of the mob. He's an up and coming chef who's not interested in entering the family business. But, it's an uphill battle. The real gem in this book are the characters and the way the author makes them rise up...more
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Anthony Bourdain is the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the megabestsellers Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour.
His work has appeared in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and he is a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. He is the host of the popular television show No Reservations.
More about Anthony Bourdain...
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

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