No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach
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No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  2,502 ratings  ·  200 reviews
An illustrated, behind-the-scenes travel journal of Anthony Bourdain's global adventures.

More than just a companion to the hugely popular show, No Reservations is Bourdain's fully illustrated journal of his far-flung travels. The book traces his trips from New Zealand to New Jersey and everywhere in between, mixing beautiful, never-before-seen photos and mementos with Bour...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Maria
Pretty much the t.v. show in book format. Bourdain offers a little more insight to the goings-on behind the show, but much of it already heard/seen on the series. Still... it's Bourdain and what's not to like!
Audrey
No Reservations is a collection of outtakes, of sorts, from Bourdain's Travel Channel show. That said, it's an insightful look into the process of making television today and the challenges of balancing the demands of a network with the ethics of the people actually starring in and filming the show.

I was most struck by Bourdain's cultural sensitivity. Of course, he didn't grow up in America, but he insists that he will be a New Yorker for the rest of his life. His observations about Western att...more
Torrey
The book that I read for this quarter is No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. Anthony traveled all over the world to try dishes from different countries and to explore their culture. Anthony based this book on his television show: No Reservations. No Reservations airs on the Travel Channel. Anthony wrote this book in order to show the behind the scenes of his show, and to tell about his travels.
One country that Anthony traveled to was Ghana. Ghana is located in West Africa....more
Erikwithak
Dec 08, 2007 Erikwithak rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to eat
A great book about a New York chef who journey's around the world. He takes in the local food and culture, in a very funny, cynical, and controversial matter. Anthony Bourdain is incredible witty and very edgy in his writing style. The book includes recipes and a great look through the eyes of somebody who just loves to eat. Anthony is not the most respectful of the traditions of the cultures he experiences yet he never reveals his true feelings to his guide. The true feelings come out in his in...more
Ariestess
This book is like gold, AFAIC.

It reads just like Tony Bourdain is telling a series of stories to a captivated audience. I've watched enough eps of No Reservations to know TB's cadences and speech/vocal nuances. And this book just proves that he writes like he speaks. Which is awesome!

And the pictures? Breathtakingly gorgeous.

I really need to get Kitchen Confidential now...
Shalimar Steinberg
I really liked this book. It covers much of the same ground as the tv show of the same name, but gives you more insight into the motivations and experiences that the crew had traveling. Bourdain writes much like he speaks, and is an amusing if somewhat snide story teller. Some of the pictures and stories are very moving, and most are beautiful.
Tricia G
Loved it, loved it, loved it!!

This is a super-fast read with no more than a few columns on each country/city visited, but such interesting perspectives on the people, cultures, food, drinks.... Amazing pictures! Definitely refined my "must see" and "must do" and "must taste" lists. :-)

My kind of coffee table book.
Tim Hewlett-parker
A great accompaniment to his TV show with plenty of good advice on how to get the most out of your visits to such colorful countries. Tony's opinions are always worth reading, if nothing else they'll give you a good laugh. A fun guide.........
Jeanette
This is mostly just photographs, but there is some well-written text as well. I find Bourdain's writing style easy to read. The section on Beirut made me sad for those people. Seems they shall never have peace in that region.
Greg
Not much of a read, but the pictures and short descriptions of the places Tony has traveled were great.
Bryant
Jun 11, 2009 Bryant rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of "No Reservations"
Shelves: travel, non-fiction
This is really just a companion book to Anthony Bourdain's Travel Channel series, though admittedly one that would look handsome on your coffee table. It's full of glossy pictures of the people and places from the first three years of his shows, including behind-the-scenes images you may not have seen on the show. If you haven't watched the program, it may not mean much to you. But for those who have, you get some extra insights into how it was made and the motivations of Tony and his crew. Ther...more
Sara
Dec 21, 2009 Sara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sara by: Tim
This book is, Bourdain tells us in his introduction, essentially a scrapbook of the past three years of his life. It's photo documentation of him and his crew making the television show No Reservations. Each location has its own short intro, but the book is dominated by the photos. And it's fine, as far as it goes. The pictures are pretty (or not, as appropriate) and the reminiscence is... reminiscence. I don't wish I had the time I spent reading it back again or anything.

The problem is, that's...more
Arjun Mishra
I was hoping for more food porn. The actual episodes are cornucopias of food porn, usually combined with some wonderfully attractive aspect of the locality Bourdain and crew are traversing. In East Asia, it is bright lights in a crowded marketplace. In equatorial places, there is a tropical scene to give the episode a camera rich environment. Coastal areas are compliment the food with the scenery of the ocean and sea life. The minute details that make No Reservations the television show so succe...more
Ummu Auni
My confession, I rarely watch No Reservations on Travel channel. I'd only gone through the whole episode when they went to Malaysia. When I read Fariza's review, I wanted to borrow it. Since this is a memoir cross with photo journals, it didn't take that long to finish this memoir. Bourdain wrote his personal experience, even though, I think it was a tad too short. I actually wanted to know more on his observations of the places. Not all, can be read with such gullibility. I'd my share of intere...more
Leah K
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain
288 pages

★★★

I know Anthony Bourdain isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally love the guy. His no-BS attitude towards life is pretty refreshing in a world of overly politically correct people. He has respect for those around him and for the cultures he encounters but he also is incredibly honest and I love that about him.

If you enjoyed his show, No Reservations, this is a quick accompaniment to that. It’s 288 pages but...more
Peggy
Nov 24, 2008 Peggy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: foodies and cookbook lovers
I am a fan of Anthony Bourdain, who travels the world on the Travel Channel, looking at the cuisines of many countries, so when I saw his book on the shelf in New Books, I thought I would give it a try. I really enjoyed the book; I saw many of the places that have been visited on the TV series in it.

The author likes to eat what the people of each culture are eating so he eats anything and everything. Some of the show is pretty graphic and so is the book in places. Other places in the book are...more
Blair
Self-indulgent is my first thought. I realize these are sort of the leftovers from the show, but it was a big book of nothing. I felt like Bourdain tried really hard to be all introspective and "I'm better than you because I travel," which is annoying in and of itself. However, I really had a problem with the fact that he tries to pretend that he really got to know "life" and the "people" in the places that he visited. I don't care how much you drink with them, if you are spending one week in a...more
Angel
Feb 17, 2008 Angel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Bourdain's shows and books, armchair travelers
I will say that I am not a fan, but I have seen his show on Travel Channel a couple of times and liked what I saw. So, when I saw this in my local public library, I decided to take a chance on it. The photos are great, and this is mostly a photo book with some narrative. The book is definitely a pleasure to look through. Though there is little text, what is offered is thoughtful, considerate, and at times moving. Bourdain and his crew truly immerse themselves in the places they visit, and a read...more
Kaitlyn
I freaking love Anthony Bourdain. Here's why: he feeds you no B.S. He is always brutally honest and says exactly how he feels and sugar coats nothing. That makes him an awesome culinary journalist. I loved reading this book. There was a chapter on drinking and another one on cooks that almost made me tear up--who knew?!
Emily
In the last three months, I've been home a lot and I've watched a lot of television. During this time, I have become obsessed with "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel.

This book is a compilation/summary of the photos and experiences of Anthony Bourdain and the "No Reservations" crew as they travel around the world filming this show. Most of the book sums up the highs and lows of many of the places they've been. That part is OK, but I liked the last 30 or so pages the best, where Bourdain dis...more
Julia
Who cannot spend time with this man, and not end up absolutely loving him??

Anthony Bourdain is more than a culinary explorer, cultural critic, Ramones-adoring bada*s, he is most importantly, a hilarious speaker who can successfully translate his razor-sharp wit into the written word. Every book I've read of his has images that jump off of page, humor that makes me laugh out loud, and thought-provoking musing about the transitority nature of happiness and life. This book, although basically a pic...more
Kataklicik
Tony, Tony, Tony...

Inasmuch as I found Kitchen Confidential grating towards the end (too much of you is not necessarily a good thing), this book I like. Yes, I agree it's no more than a collage or a scrapbook, a momento of your series, but it was short and sweet. Photos are beautiful, your comments succint, and at worse, one would feel like a stalker who goes through all those photos of friends' holidays which they've put up on Faacebook. (PS : I'm a Malaysian, and am sooo happy you found my co...more
Amanda
I'm a sucker for Bourdain and generally hang on his every word. I was surprised that I didn't love this book, but since I've seen almost every episode of the show it was just too repetitive. It's a photo journal of the filming of his show with a tiny bit of commentary for each city. While the pictures were interesting, there wasn't enough text for my taste. It feels like cheating to count this toward my yearly tally of books read...

It was a fun book to see and I'd recommend any Bourdain fan borr...more
Ryelor
I love Anthony Bourdain's writing. Kitchen Confidential hooked me. Loved Medium Raw. The Nasty Bits was entertaining. The parts of this book where Bourdain actually writes are great. This book has a lot of pictures (beautiful, all of them) and was the perfect type of book to check-out from the library. On the back of my library book was a pricetag of $34.95. Seems kind of steep to me since it's mostly pictures. However, like I said, the parts where Bourdain writes were great. Especially memorabl...more
Art
A photo book pretty much behind the scenes from the TV show. I enjoyed looking through the photos and reading the stories, but I do enjoy the show a lot too. A fun small read.
Donna
May 27, 2008 Donna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Food Lovers
Recommended to Donna by: My Boyfriend
This book is based on Anthony Bourdain's travels to various foreign countries on a mission to find the "perfect" meal. He travels to various South American, Asian, and European countries and writes about his interactions with well known chefs and locals and his experiences eating the local food and soaking up the local flavor. I loved reading about the hairy situations that he sometimes finds himself in as well as day-dreaming about when I'll be able to visit the places that he writes about. A m...more
Karlie
Too many photos of Anthony Bourdain. Too many photos of dead animal carcases. The shots weren't as beautiful as I would expect from a travel-centric photo book. They were more amateur than I would have liked. There were a few very nice ones, which is why I think the others were so disappointing. I think this book is intended for people who have already seen the TV show (which I haven't yet but will be watching soon), as the descriptions were incredibly brief and mostly not that interesting. Don'...more
Luann
I've never made it all the way through an episode of this TV show, but maybe now I'll have to make a point of watching at least one episode. Anthony Bourdain takes you around the world with thoughts and photos acquired while filming his show "No Reservations" for the Travel Channel. Since his emphasis is the food, there are a lot of photographs of food here. But he also includes many other aspects of local flavor - the people, the sites, the landscapes. I really liked that he included some place...more
Shivesh
Sep 09, 2008 Shivesh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: chefs, travellers, bourdain freaks
A picture book, mostly. But the elements in between are well written and witty. The best way to experience this book is to watch the show alongside it. The book fills in the odd stories and downtime that were cut from the show. But these are stories you don't want to miss if you are a big fan of Bourdain and his adventures. The fun parts are when he is at his deprecating, irritated best. His restaurant in lower NYC is pricey and maybe not as good as you would hope, but his writing and his shows...more
Todd
A pretty solid collection of photographs, food, and crew taken from the No Reservations show. Having still not seen much of the TV series, this mostly-album-part-book book brings to life the crews' travels in some great pictures.

It's not a particularly deep book, and doesn't get too introspective on Bourdain's end, but taking a quick glance through the pictures in the book store, it didn't look like that was the main intention anyway. Plus, it's quicker mentioning a part of the show that appear...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: Stategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

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“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” 24 likes
“What's the opposite of suck? Un-suck?” 15 likes
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