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This Hyperink Quicklet includes an overall summary, chapter commentary, key characters, literary themes, fun trivia, and recommended related readings.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When I look back on the last five years since I wrote the obnoxious, over-testosteroned memoir that transported me out of the kitchen and into a never-ending tennuel of pressurized cabins and airport lounges, its a rush of fragments, all jostling for attention. Some good, some bad, some pleasurable and some excruciating to remember.
The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdains fifth book, is a collection of essays written in the years after publishing his breakout book, the bestselling Kitchen Confidential, and is aptly subtitled Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones. Though the book is not enough to gain a sense of Bourdain as a person or a chef, the collection of rants, essays, travelogues, and short fiction could be considered a digestif to his other books, or an amuse-bouche for new readers.
Bourdain is famous (maybe infamous) for his profane and gleefully anarchic writing, for smudging the clean and pristine pages of food writing with smears of grease, cigarette ash, and spilled vodka. This is perhaps best evidenced by the three names on the dedication page: Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee, of the Ramones. Punk beats thrum through his books, along with a heady and unapologetic hunger; the book has a yearning to see and eat and drink and smoke, more and more.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Nicole Cipri is a restless wanderer and passionate writer. A graduate of the Evergreen State School in Olympia, WA, Nicole has since written about such varied topics as modern urban farming, the role of glitterbombing as political theater, and the economic impacts of natural disasters. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, @nicolecipri.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Bourdain is acerbic, occasionally self-righteous, and furiously down-to-earth. He doesnt aim to shock, but rather, to shake his readers out of their comfort zones. He wants them to get down in the dirt with him, or in the steambath of a crowded kitchen; he wants to pry open peoples eyes, ears, and mouths, and force-feed them everything they didnt know they were missing. These essays were written in the years that followed Bourdains sudden rise to stardom (and infamy). There is anger and indignation, and there is homesickness and weariness. In the end, theres a fierce joy, and an acknowledgement of just how damn lucky he is.
If theres a story arc to be had in the pages of The Nasty Bits, its about learning to be humble, no easy feat for anyone in the restaurant business, which Bourdain has often characterized as ruthless, absurd, and full and sadistic misfits. Bourdain is a stubborn asshole, and never tries to pretend otherwise. He admits to posturing and sticking his foot in his mouth, remarking in one of his own commentaries, what a twat I was when I wrote this.
In his preface, Bourdain describes a phenomenon thats familiar to anyone who has spent significant time traveling: the more you travel, the less you know. The boundaries of your own knowledge and experience seem more apparent than ever, and you start to glimpse the stunning breadth of your own ignorance. Its both frustrating and addictive, Bourdain writes. Which only makes it harder when you visit, say, China for the first time, and realize how much more of it there is and how little time you have to see it.
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- Quicklet on Anthony Bourdain’s The Nasty Bits
- About the Book
- About the Author
- An Overall Summary
- ...and much more
- Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits