Tuesday, April 25, 2006
First off, I want to make it clear that I'm a fan of Anthony Bourdain's books. Both Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour. I read both of those books over and over again and always enjoy the stories. But, unlike most people, I've never, ever seen Bourdain on television or any of his tv shows. My experience with Bourdain has been strictly through his books.
On the way back from South Carolina (after the USBC and a side trip), I stopped off at a JR's to buy cigars and found A Cook's Tour on sale. I loved that book - especially the chapters on riding through the Saharan desert to eat lamb and his visit to The French Laundry - especially his visit to The French Laundry.
Upon seeing the Audio CD, I immediately thought that if the books were so good then having The Master himself, the Bad Boy of the restaurant business, reading the stories would make them come alive and lend greater insight into the mind of the master.
Please God, don't ever let me make that mistake again.
To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement.
Read his books and the man's got some prose. Innuendoes and a great writing style made the stories come alive in my mind. But to hear Bourdain read the passages... gosh, how uninspired he sounds. And that slight New Yawk accent starts to become seriously grating to the mind as he drones on in a relative monotone.
In the book, he writes almost giddy about his experience at The French Laundry. His writing of that experience is awe-inspiring and causes me to curse The Maker for not allowing me the chance to have the same experience. But to hear him read it? Oh God, it's absolutely awful. No enthusiasm. No inflections to suggest his emotion. Just a droll monotone for six discs.
And worse yet, it's an abridged version that deleted the best parts of the book.
Please Tony Bourdain, I love your books, but please don't ever make another Audio CD.