This thin biography has been collecting dust on my bookshelf throughout my entire childhood, carefully avoided until the day when I had read a few mo This thin biography has been collecting dust on my bookshelf throughout my entire childhood, carefully avoided until the day when I had read a few more Jules Verne books, but I wish I hadn’t waited. Verne himself didn’t have the most riveting of lives - so aside from a few anecdotes, this book focuses much more on his work. I would have liked there to have been a bit more about the man himself. It’s a little bit outdated, published when the moon landing was still a project. Despite this - I would still recommend this to readers both young and old.
I knew of course, that Verne was ahead of his time, but I had not fully realized the extent of his genius. This book opened my eyes to a number of inventions, discoveries and events Verne wrote before their time with stunning accuracy. Some familiarity with Verne’s work helps, but really isn’t necessary, as the plots are discussed briefly within. I think that if I had read this book when I was younger, I would have been motivated to read more of his works earlier on, when I could have lost myself in childhood wonder. Read this book to get an idea of why he was so beloved at the time and why he’s still relevant to us today....more
I’d say that this book was quite surprising after reading is last few. It seems like this book is a mixture of old articles, new stories of passion foI’d say that this book was quite surprising after reading is last few. It seems like this book is a mixture of old articles, new stories of passion for food and clarifications on things he’s said in other books or on his shows. All in all while entertaining, it seemed like it was his written catharsis and is probably more interesting to those who have read his other books and watched his shows like me. I wouldn’t recommend reading this if you’ve only watched his show. Many of the articles won’t resonate as potently without knowing the back story intimately. He does summarize the history of any remarks he may be revisiting, but it’s just not quite the same.
He exaggerates a lot, but that’s part of what make’s Anthony Bourdain such a dynamic t.v. personality. I can see a few people didn’t like that in the books and usually I’d agree that it doesn’t come across as well in the written word. However, I’ve watched his show enough that when I read this I heard his voice through my head as if I were listening to an audiobook, so perhaps that’s why it didn’t bother me as much. Overall, I liked Kitchen Confidential a little more from the humor aspect, but I thought that The Nasty Bits was unique in that we see Bourdain in a more serious light then we've seen him before.
One last note : I would like to see one book where he doesn't mention the story of him and his first oyster in France, but I understand this was a life changing event for him. Still, when you're a fan of his books and his show after a while the story gets a little grating on your nerves, like something your parents would say about how everything was better back when they were kids, towns were safe, perversion was created only later by the internet and food was so much more glorious than it could ever be now.
I half expect if I ever meet Mr. Bourdain he'd start off with "Did you ever hear the story of when I was in France and - "
"Yes. Yes Tony, you've told this one before."...more
While I thought that overall, this book was informative, I do think that it was a lot longer than it needed to be. The author of Gene's biography wasWhile I thought that overall, this book was informative, I do think that it was a lot longer than it needed to be. The author of Gene's biography was hand picked by Gene, because he had enjoyed an interview he'd had with David. While David Alexander was no doubt a good journalist, I think that perhaps biographies are a little out of his element. He focused almost entirely on business letters for the first half of the book. While those can sometimes be interesting, many of these were trivial and showed the reader little of Roddenberry's life and attitudes. Some of the letters did have information within them that mattered, or gave us a look into Roddenberry's thoughts, but not enough to justify all of the letters. I think that this book could have been half the length and still given the reader as much information. I also think that the author could have made an effort to get more personal stories during Roddenberry's early career to break up business letter after business letter.
That said, the book did become very interesting a few hundred pages in. The author did get more personal stories about Roddenberry as he was getting into Gene's success in Star Trek, though in some ways I feel he glossed over Star Trek: The Next Generation a little bit, more interested at this time in Gene's eminent death. Nonetheless, the last half of the book was hard to put down and at the end of the book I did feel that I had really gotten to know Gene. I'd say this biography is worth a read once. ...more