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Gone Bamboo

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  930 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Gone Bamboo pits Henry, a CIA-trained assassin, and Frances, his hard-nosed, hard-bodied wife against two governments and a cross-dressing mafioso. Henry and Frances have gone bamboo-living an idyllic, retired life in the Caribbean-but when Donnie, a powerful capo relocated by the Federal Witness Protection Program, inadvertently jeopardizes their plan, all hell breaks loo ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published September 16th 2000 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,827)
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Wendy
Fun book with a good pace, some action, and a lot of dark comedy. Dry wit makes even the "bad" guys endearing in this one. Good beach read-not too much philosophy. This is the first of his novels I've read, and I must admit I'm intrigued by their style. Will have to read more.
Chris
The book is a kind of second-rate novel that one wants to keep reading. The anti-hero, Henry, is who the author wishes he could be (this is plainly obvious to the reader)but Henry is also flawed enough to make him likable and believable--that one guy who's smarter, better looking and funnier than you who still drives around on a mo-ped.

The story may have big gaps in the plot and read like it was written to turn an island vacation into a tax deductible expense, but that's OK; it's not written for
...more
Brian
This is another Bourdain novel, this time about an ex-spook turned mob hit man who lives in the Carribean and tries to carve out a meaningful life away from "work." Unlike other Bourdain novels, this one is without food nerdiness and instead focuses entirely on plot and characters. The Bobby Gold Stories were enjoyable, but not memorable. Bone in the Throat was both, but memorable for its utter ridiculousness. Gone Bamboo was riviting to the point that it could be made into a Jason Bourne-esque ...more
Deena
I couldn't put this book down. The perfect read for a beach vacation! I love Bourdain's fiction writing almost better than his non-fiction accounts of what occurs in NY kitchens. His details surrounding these mafia characters is impeccable. Loved reading it.
Art
I have to admit it took two tries to finish this book. I had liked the first novel so much that this one seemed to jump the shark and I found myself skipping through chapters and skimming pages until I was totally lost. For some strange reason I did something I never do once I give up on a book and set it to go back to the library, I took it out of the library bag and restarted where it had lost me, I don't know why, maybe it was that accidental Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown/Layover/No Reservat ...more
Micaela
I love Anthony Bourdain, but I just couldn't get into this book, or his other fiction. His non-fiction is wonderful.
Kevin Rubin
"Gone Bamboo" was fun. Fast paced, quick and easy.

It opens with the main character, professional assassin, Henry, being hired by some New York mobsters to kill a couple of rivals. After fixing the price the mobsters ask if he can scare some of the others, but Henry puts his foot down, "You gentlemen want to play practical jokes on each other, buy a fuckin' whoopee cushion. I don't do that. I don't play around when I work."

He botches half the hit, at a ski resort, and then returns to his wife, an
...more
Joel Neff
Sep 26, 2011 Joel Neff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Anthony Bourdain.
TL;DR - Anthony Bourdain's fiction writing skills aren't quite up to the level of his memoir writing ability but his first attempt at a novel is fun and engaging despite numerous flaws.

Anthony Bourdain is a fan of genre fiction. This is apparent to anyone who has read his non-fiction books or watched his travel shows on t.v. He frequently references noir film and pulp heroes in his writing and has mentioned more than once that writing was a hobby for him during off time while working as the head
...more
Eric_W
Remember that Bourdain is a reasonably famous chef at a well known New York restaurant. Food certainly is important to him, and one of the characters, Mickey, in this second of his mob-oriented novels, is the chef to a mobster hiding under the witness protection plan in a French island in the Caribbean. Henry, a hit man, had been hired by Jimmie several years before to take out Donnie, a Mafia chieftain. Unfortunately, Donnie had only been badly wounded, had survived the shooting, and was now, s ...more
Fiona
This book is much better than the other Anthony Bourdain book I'd read (Bone in the Throat). This is a continuation of the 1st book. Tommy & Cheryl have relocated to the Caribbean island as a guest of Charlie, a gangster, who is now a protected witness for the FBI. New thugs appear on the island such as Frances & Henry who apparently were agents for the CIA at one time, or that is what everyone suspects. Occasionally, Henry freelances with hit jobs and the last being Charlie (before he b ...more
Amanda
Jan 15, 2008 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like fun action novels
If you want drama about a war-torn middle eastern country, or hollow romance, don't read this book. If you want to read about guns, boozing, assassinations and good food, then this is the book for you. Not to mention the toughest, sexiest female lead character I've ever read about.

Anthony Bourdain writes a good action novel. I didn't even know this was a sequel to "Bone in the Throat" (since my library never has it), and it was still great!

The pace of this book is lovely. There's action interspe
...more
Dan
Pure escapism from Anthony Bourdain (author, chef, professional traveler, TV host). This is a macho, gritty, sexy yet grim beach read - which is to say, it was a lot of fun. I challenge you to read this book and not wish you were right there with the characters in the Caribbean, whether they're drinking tequila in a dive bar on the beach or they're dodging a spray of bullets in an automatic weapon firefight. Looking past the sun, surf and sweat (and of course, food), Bourdain did a great job mak ...more
Treasure
I am trying out Bourdain's fiction, and I am quickly learning that I prefer his non-fiction. It's not that the fiction is bad, I just don't enjoy the mobster scene he writes about. And the langauge and sex references seem like they are "placed" rather that really necessary. His food details are fun, though.
I adore his non-fiction, for being gritty, funny, honest, and even respectful upon occasion (only of other cultures and other cooks, though, the rest of us can go to hell and that's why I like
...more
Chris
Anthony Bourdain may have the perfect life. Apart from being a great chef and writer, his name may be affixed to the best show on American television.

Before becoming a TV star, he wrote books. Kitchen Confidential put him on the map, and if you haven't read it, you should. But this book is very different. It's just fun -- violent, sex-fueled fun.

This is beach reading, except I read it in snowy Ohio over Christmas. Still, a story about a hitman and his wife trying to evade a crossdressing Mafia b
...more
Emily Hipsh
Enjoyed this story. Captivating. Write more, Anthony!
Gretchen
Not enough food stuff but still pretty good characters.
Yorkshiresoul
Chef Bourdain's second gangster novel is much funnier, sharper and more satisfying than his first. The leading character of the gun for hire Henry is believable and more personable than his earlier creations and the cast of supporting cooks, girlfriends, mobsters and gung ho security men are all well crafted.

The action fairly rattles along and Bourdain is generous with his helpings of booze, blood, drugs, sex and violence. Lashings of violence. Both funny and sad in parts, Gone Bamboo is like To
...more
Alexandra
Naja. Ganz guter Kriminalroman, der im Serienkiller, Mafiamilieu auf der westindischen Insel St. Martin spielt. Spannend schreiben, sprachlich gut formulieren und Personen skizzieren kann er ja ausgezeichnet - der Bourdain - dafür, dass er eigentlich Koch ist. Aber der Plot ist eben sehr amerikanisch flach, kann man gleich mit einem Spezialeffekteteam und Bruce Willis in der Hauptrolle hollywoodlike verfilmen. Da bin ich eben von einigen Österreichern und Skandinaviern mittlerweile tiefergehende ...more
Jen
Moves some characters that had supporting roles in "Bone in the Throat," so the nostalgia is nice and the characters are much more vividly drawn this time, but it's still not a great read. The narrative plods along for a while and then suddenly leaps to what fees like the climax--my first thought was, "am I missing a few chapters here?"--and then mopves on to what feels like the beginning of a following book.
Michael
Interesting book. Fun, easy read, but nothing really great about it. I wasn't impressed with the prose or the story. The only part I found fascinating was when he wrote about food. Makes sense for the guy who wrote Kitchen Confidential . ...more
Aaron Kuehn
Yes, THAT Anthony Bourdain, host of many cooking programs on the tele. I can’t stand the guy on TV but he sure can write! Two professional assassins are relaxing on a tropical island when someone they were hired to knock off shows up on the island in the witness protection program. It’s a cat and mouse game that makes you laugh out loud. Intrigue, humor and amateur sleuthing round out this fun read.
Ariana
really kept me going. i read this one and off for a bit. sometimes i would go a couple of days without reading and when i started reading it again..i was back into it as if i'd never stopped reading the book.

i recommend reading 'bone in the throat' first due to there being characters from that book in 'gone bamboo'. i love how tony describes the food and beverages to the T.
Jen
Great book! I've never read anything like it! Would definitely make for an awesome, action-packed, shoot-em-u-, blow-em-up movie... I wish somebody would do it! Bourdain did great work with this one. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Felt just like a beach bum on the islands. Glorious! Better than Stuart Woods on his best day- a thousand times better!
Jess
This is not a great book, though its not awful. If you have never been to St. Maarten, it is a generic thriller, with some added condescension towards tourists. If you like St. Maarten, however, it is fun to read, you'll recognize some of the spots and understand the main characters tendency to get naked everywhere they go.
Greenockian
I'd never heard of Bourdain until I read Kitchen Confidential on holiday this year. I loved that one and ended up loving this just as much. It's an easy read with lots going on - the perfect late night or weekend away book. The characters are interesting; the plot well paced and the smell of gunsmoke almost real!
Elizabeth
MUCH better than the Bobby Gold Stories. The character were a lot deeper, the action more intense and I felt much more attached to this story. While I enjoy crime/mob shows on TV, I feel I haven't read many 'crime' or 'noir' books but I really enjoyed this one. Looking forward to reading all of Tony's fiction.
Kathy Chung
reviewed at :Mama Kucing Meow : Gone Bamboo by Anythony Bourdain

One advise..don't read this book on an empty stomach. Reading it makes my stomach hungry although this book is not about food
Michelle
It's entertaining; that's for sure. I don't have any of Bourdain's other work to compare it to, but this was entertaining. I couldn't help but envision him narrating the story the whole time. It's detailed. It's trashy. It's about mobsters. I liked it.
Joyce McCombs
Mar 31, 2008 Joyce McCombs rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs a reality check... life is GOOD
Tony takes you on a tour of beaches and gangsters and sun and murder.... with some seriously hot descriptions of good food in the bargain...you can feel the sand in your toes, the snap of the shrimp on the barbie and the waves breaking on the shore...escape!
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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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