Tyler Hill's Reviews > Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
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's review
Apr 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012
Read in March, 2012

I've watched dozens of episodes of Bourdain's show, "No Reservations," but have never bothered to pick up any of his books until now. I think that, possibly, it is because that -in general- I'm more interested in Bourdain as a traveler and as a food enthusiast than I am about Bourdain as a "bad boy." And, my impression of his most well-know work, Kitchen Confidential, is that it relies heavily on the later.

That said, as someone drifting later and later into my 30's, and as a father of two, I do have to admit that I'm interested in the idea of Bourdain as an aging bad boy interests me. And, that's a theme that is revised time and again in this volume. Whether struggling to make piece with old villains, hunting for new villains and heroes (a whole chapter is dedicated to naming them both) or coming into his own as a father, we see Bourdain managing to gracefully embrace his roll as an elder statesman of food and travel writing.

"There's nothing more pathetic than and aging hipster," Dr. Evil quips in the first Austin Powers movie, and here we see Anthony's deft ability to avoid being pathetic. He still has the tattoos and caustic wit, he still swears like a sailor and isn't afraid to call B.S. on things that frustrate him; but now he's old enough, wise enough and well traveled enough to know that life's too short to hold some grudges and that there is an important roll in life for gratitude and forgiveness.

(Self Promo: Inspired by his chapter, "Virtue," where he lays out what he believes to be the basic culinary skills that everyone should know, I'm undertaking what I've dubbed the "New Virtue Challenge" to learn them all. You can track my progress on my new blog: http://explorerinresidence.blogspot.com/)

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Patrick (new) - added it

Patrick I just started reading his first book and was wondering how different his more recent books must be since he hasn't worked in a restaurant in years. His first book is quite enjoyable so far, but not as much travel (although there is some) as you might like.

Tyler Hill Yeah, I haven't ready his earlier books, but get the impression -based on this one- that he didn't really start traveling till late in life (like his early 40's, even). I probably don't have as much interest in Kitchen Confidential partially because his roll as a traveler is more than half my interest in him as a personality and writer.

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