HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Bourdain's new book ........ Medium Raw

Midlife Jun 15, 2010 04:51 PM

Amazon delivered it yesterday. Started reading just a half hour ago.

Just twelve pages in now and I keep hearing Bourdain's voice in my head as if on an audio book.......... I've laughed out loud six or seven times already.

But, then ......... I REALLY LIKE BOURDAIN.

This is going to be fun !!!!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. c oliver RE: Midlife Jun 15, 2010 05:12 PM

    We listened to him read "Kitchen Confidential" on a road trip. It was hysterical at times. And a damn good read. I've LOLd reading his Les Halles cookbook.

    5 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      josey124 RE: c oliver Jun 16, 2010 07:02 AM

      Les Halles is funny? I will check it out immediately! Thanks.

      1. re: josey124
        c oliver RE: josey124 Jun 16, 2010 08:25 AM

        Totally profane and totally Tony.

        1. re: c oliver
          josey124 RE: c oliver Jun 16, 2010 09:39 AM

          Great! Thanks. I am heading over to Amazon right now.

          1. re: c oliver
            free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2010 07:47 PM

            I love that book. It's very educational and very funny. I wish he'd write a few college texts.

            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
              Phaedrus RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 6, 2010 05:40 AM

              I don't know if the curriculum committee would let the profanities slide.

      2. Phaedrus RE: Midlife Jun 15, 2010 05:37 PM

        Yep, I got it too. Just pages in. Surprised to learn that Scripps had bought Travel Channel too. Sad.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Phaedrus
          c oliver RE: Phaedrus Jun 15, 2010 06:06 PM

          Why is that said? Do they have a track record that I don't know about?

          1. re: c oliver
            Phaedrus RE: c oliver Jun 15, 2010 06:11 PM

            They own Food Network, Bourdain went to the Travel Channel to get away from the Food Network MBA clones who dumbed down the network.

            1. re: Phaedrus
              c oliver RE: Phaedrus Jun 15, 2010 06:16 PM

              Ah thanks. Because of TiVo, I rarely pay attention to where a show "comes from."

              1. re: c oliver
                celfie RE: c oliver Jun 16, 2010 06:30 AM

                an independent production company makes no reservations. travel channel buys it. i don't think scripps will mess with a good thing. unfortunately back then, cooks tour was pretty new and people weren't convinced. cooks tour was even better than no res though.

                1. re: celfie
                  JC65 RE: celfie Jun 16, 2010 06:39 AM

                  I agree whole heartedly. Maybe it was the half-hour format didn't allow long fantasies about The Godfather, or maybe it was because Bourdain wasn't yet completely full of himself, but A Cook's Tour was so much better than what No Reservations has become.

                  Try watching the few episodes that overlap back to back. (shows where both A Cook's Tour and No Reservations did the same location.) In every case A Cook's Tour is the better show.

                  1. re: JC65
                    Phaedrus RE: JC65 Jun 16, 2010 07:09 AM

                    A half hour seems rushed to me. It is much more focused.

                    No reservation is both good and bad, when it is bad, i.e. an ego trip, it is horrible, but when it is good, it is very good. I see it as the mean being the same but the epsilon being much greater for No Reservation than it is for A Cooks Tour.

                    1. re: JC65
                      celfie RE: JC65 Jun 17, 2010 06:23 PM

                      as a caveat i'll add that some episodes of no reservations are so terribly good that they should be recognized as some of the best television moments ever made. as he gets older, more arrogant, and whinier, I can't help but laugh at how the neurotic jew character a la woody allen, larry david and howard stern is romping around the world, in places too insane to imagine.

                      I would say that worst no reservations episodes are when he is in his element. when he is roaming around some city being mister urban jackass. As someone in academia, I find watching him all tactless and clueless amidst bizarre cultures refreshing. Tyipically, I'd see people tip toeing around the whole culture thing and trying to be overly respectful.

                      And if you really want to an AB rebirth, go watch Gordon Ramsay's show where he travels to foreign countries. If you really want to see a jackass in the wild, he's your man.

          2. j
            josey124 RE: Midlife Jun 16, 2010 07:01 AM

            I don't like Hardcover books, so I have to wait. Not sure if I can though. I LOVE Kitchen Confidential. Especially the audiobook. I really, really hope he will do Medium Raw as an audio too.

            7 Replies
            1. re: josey124
              c oliver RE: josey124 Jun 16, 2010 08:26 AM

              Check your local public library. That's what I'll be doing.

              1. re: c oliver
                josey124 RE: c oliver Jun 16, 2010 09:40 AM

                Do they get paperbacks earlier?

                1. re: josey124
                  c oliver RE: josey124 Jun 16, 2010 10:09 AM

                  Oh, sorry, no. I just rarely buy ANY books so I get hardbacks from the library. You can do a reserve if it's owned by the library but not available.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    josey124 RE: c oliver Jun 16, 2010 10:30 AM

                    Hardcovers are just to bulky and heavy to carry around much. Maybe I get an ebook for the iPad :-)

                    1. re: josey124
                      nvcook RE: josey124 Jun 18, 2010 02:54 PM

                      Saw this thread and immediately got on my Kindle and ordered the book. 30 seconds later it's downloaded. I also only paid 12.99. I love, love, love my Kindle. I also won't be giving up regular books anytime soon, there's just something visceral about reading an actual book...
                      Can't wait to start "Medium Raw".

              2. re: josey124
                bookhound RE: josey124 Jun 16, 2010 09:04 AM

                He will definitely be doing an audio version. In this interview where he details his diet for a week he refers to himself reading for an audiobook.


                1. re: bookhound
                  josey124 RE: bookhound Jun 16, 2010 09:40 AM

                  Thanks for the link!

              3. Veggo RE: Midlife Jun 17, 2010 07:12 AM

                Bad Boy Bourdain is coming to a theater in St. Pete on Nov. 19, but this is no book signing. $40- $125 to hear him speak? Ouch. Has anybody heard him and is he worth the price of admission?

                6 Replies
                1. re: Veggo
                  c oliver RE: Veggo Jun 17, 2010 08:39 AM

                  Somebody on CH (for the life of me, I can't remember who) did pay to see him and thought it was great. After my coffee maybe I'll remember.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    applehome RE: c oliver Jun 17, 2010 09:03 AM

                    May I refer you to...


                    I did ultimately think it was worth it. He's a funny and entertaining guy and his show is everything he is.

                    1. re: applehome
                      c oliver RE: applehome Jun 17, 2010 09:08 AM

                      It was YOU! I knew it was someone I should remember. This old lady thanks you.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        weezycom RE: c oliver Jun 17, 2010 01:06 PM

                        Didn't pay, but saw him at a book signing at the local Borders. Almost wet myself, I was laughing so hard.

                  2. re: Veggo
                    josey124 RE: Veggo Jun 17, 2010 09:34 AM

                    I was there when he was in Calgary. I loved it. He is funny and entertaining but definitely also has a message. My boyfriend was skeptical but liked it a lot.

                    1. re: Veggo
                      porker RE: Veggo Jun 17, 2010 01:34 PM

                      Depends on your feelings. If your a big fan, I think its worth it.
                      I saw him in Montreal at the Carona theater then on to a dinner with him and maybe 50 guests in a restaurant across the street.
                      Was lotsa fun.
                      He spent time sitting from one table to another chitchatting. The food was over the top as the cook was really trying to impress (everyone).
                      Bourdain made a bizarre exit (to me anyway). Without any apparent warning, he stepped out onto the sidewalk. I'd say for a smoke, but he had quit by then, or to stretch his legs, or simply to get a breath of fresh air. He looked up and down the street a couple of times, flagged a taxi, got in and rode off - that was it.

                      I thought Kitchen Confidential was a masterpiece at the time - made me feel that, ummm, its normal to be abnormal working in a kitchen...
                      I also gave Bone In The Throat and Gone Bamboo a read. Very different genre (listen to the literary guy! :-), fiction, but good reads anyway.

                      I'll have to look out for Medium Raw.

                    2. Midlife RE: Midlife Jun 17, 2010 04:55 PM

                      OBSERVATIONS ALONG THE WAY........................

                      At page 106:

                      Still pretty much enjoying it but the laugh-out-loud stuff ended maybe 50 pages ago and was followed by a rather disjointed series of observations on a sordid time in the Caribbean, life as a young cook, snippets from TV show visits to street food sites and restaurants, and observations on the horrendous contents of mass-produced hamburger meat.

                      Scratching my head a bit at this point, but carrying on.

                      1. enbell RE: Midlife Jun 17, 2010 05:40 PM

                        Bourdain was on Talk of the Nation yesterday. What I caught of the interview was pretty good

                        1. Midlife RE: Midlife Jun 18, 2010 04:00 PM

                          Bingo !!!!! Chapter 12 - "Go Ask Alice". Bourdain gets into his hate/love/understand thing about Alice Waters. Could easily describe what he says in his own language but this post would be removed instantly.

                          I've personally defended Alice Waters here as being a person with a great idea who is her own worst enemy and an unfortunate spokesperson for her cause. I've excused the messenger because of her message. Bourdain really doesn't excuse her at all, but it kinda reads like maybe his publisher's attornies made him um-m-m 'round out' his comments with some degree of understanding of her underlying motives.

                          Priceless barbs begin the chapter. He says that Waters wrote a letter to newly elected President Obama pretty much demanding that he bring her on board, with a couple of her friends, to become an advisory panel to select a new White House Chef and establish a national good food agenda. This, he says, after she had admitted that she hadn't voted in 44 years. He later skewers her for not knowing the Heimlich maneuver after so many years as a "chef" (something he's not really sure she is or ever has been). He also criticizes her wood-burning oven egg scene on Sixty Minutes as being totally inappropriate (I kinda thought it was cool at the time). And it goes on............. and on.

                          Anyway, his bottom line on Waters is that her reality just isn't the same reality as that of most of the rest of humanity. As I have, he says it's unfortunate that such a really good agenda is being publically hurt by a really poor spokesperson. He compares her to some outspoken celebrities who think it's OK for them to take enormous positions on political issues. He says their motivation is fine but, after you listen to them for a while, you wish they'd do the cause a favor and just "shut the $#!&@! up".

                          Lovin' this book again! Onward................

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Midlife
                            Midlife RE: Midlife Jun 24, 2010 05:55 PM

                            Finished it yesterday. Pretty enjoyable all around. A little disjointed in places, and repeated a few episodes from his TV shows, but a good time anyway.

                            1. re: Midlife
                              c oliver RE: Midlife Jun 24, 2010 06:14 PM

                              I'll look forward to the audiobook. Thanks for posting about this.

                          2. EWSflash RE: Midlife Jun 24, 2010 07:38 PM

                            I'm five chapters into it and love most of it.
                            a chapter so far has been a lilttle disappointing, but I'm enjoying the hell out of it. The 2nd chapter is way too priceless.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: EWSflash
                              EWSflash RE: EWSflash Jul 3, 2010 01:24 PM

                              No, wait, that was the third chapter.

                              And the part about Sandra Lee in the first chapter is an absolute do-not-miss.

                              I'm finished with it, and recommend it. It will be one of those books I pick up and reread a little bit of here and there from now on.

                            2. Phaedrus RE: Midlife Jun 25, 2010 07:24 AM

                              A few chapters in, his take on culinary school is priceless, and probably good advice. The business in the Caribbean was probably written after a bad acid trip.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Phaedrus
                                jim1126 RE: Phaedrus Jun 29, 2010 06:40 PM

                                I loved that Caribbean chapter! I'm halfway through (it's stairmaster reading for me).

                              2. porker RE: Midlife Jul 3, 2010 09:47 AM

                                Lesley Chesterman did a review on Medium Raw in today's Montreal Gazette
                                She liked various parts, but came away feeling like it was more of a rant against certain individuals from his past.

                                1. duckdown RE: Midlife Jul 4, 2010 06:19 PM

                                  I'm on Chapter 17 now.. It's a good book and there are some definite highlights, most of what has been mentioned already, but I have also noticed he's re-used or is rehashing old material.. I only noticed mostly because I've read his other books as well (Kitchen Confidential, A cooks Tour, The Nasty Bits & No Reservations). One or two places it seems to carry on a little too much on a certain subject; but I guess it's just one that irritates him so much..

                                  Still got some pages to go, a good purchase, Indigo delivered it very quickly for a good price (free shipping rules)

                                  1. Phaedrus RE: Midlife Jul 17, 2010 06:00 PM


                                    This week's New York Times Book Review just reviewed it.

                                    Show Hidden Posts