Amanda Ching's Reviews > Bone in the Throat

Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain
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Mar 07, 12

Read from March 04 to 06, 2012

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 mundane life. Bourdain, at one point mentions that a woman in the shower hums the final Jeopardy theme to time her conditioner. I like that kind of random shit. And I liked the ending. The last line has a swear word in it. I like that stuff.

On the other hand, a lot of the things I like are kind of indulgent. A session of the main character prepping the kitchen for service starts on page 35 and goes until page 39. Paragraph after paragraph of "then he added cumin, and chanterelled the mushrooms, and peeled some garlic." I can see how some people would think that was excessive and indulgent. I can see how structurally it's almost too much for the books. There's a whole scene about a secondary character almost getting busted whilst scoring H that doesn't really have a place in the book. BUT I loved it.

So what do I do? I give it four stars for everything I love. I give it two stars as an objective reader. Three means it was "meh".

But it wasn't meh to me, right? It was fricking awesome. Two characters briefly discuss whether or not it's classy to run over a body of a person you just shot with your stolen car (Misplaced modifier is misplaced, i know.). "It gets forensics on the wheels." LOL. Later two characters talk about the guilty pleasure foods they love (Al's wife makes him red jello with fruit cocktail in it and he LOVES it.). I love that stuff, the sidebar kibitzing.

So yeah, Bourdain, I see what you did that. You awesome guy, you.
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