World Travel by Anthony Bourdain — Book Review
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I had such high hopes for World Travel: An Irreverany Guide, but it fell flat for me. Maybe Laurie didn’t have a lot to work with because it was Bourdain who had the content in his head—so it just feels like she is trying to pick up the pieces and there isn’t enough to do some of the lesser travelled or familiar places justice.
The best I got from the book were quotes from Bourdain to Laurie, and referenced materials that he would read and prep himself with for his trips—so there are some great book recommendations if you want to follow in his biblio-footsteps to learn about the places themselves better.
Take the very short Croatia chapter for instance:
“For the Croatia episode of No Reservations, he read Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, a two-volume book that details her six-week expedition, undertaken in 1937, through the Balkan states, published on the eve of Germany’s invasion of Yugoslavia.”
I don’t mean to sound ridiculous, but as a Serbian American, the Croatia chapter left me cold, like a wasted opportunity. Bourdain was all about giving voice and spotlight to the sidelined and undiscovered, but this book was all tease, no sustenance.
The book feels like a coffee table book at best. But kudos are deserved to Laurie, for I don’t know if anyone else could have done a better job given the circumstances and what Bourdain left behind.
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