A guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain saw more of the world than nearly anyone. His travels took him from the hidden pockets of his hometown of New York to a tribal longhouse in Borneo, from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Paris, and Shanghai to Tanzania’s utter beauty and the stunning desert solitude of Oman’s Empty Quarter—and many places beyond.
In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places—in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable.
Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place, including sardonic accounts of traveling with Bourdain by his brother, Christopher; a guide to Chicago’s best cheap eats by legendary music producer Steve Albini.
For veteran travelers, armchair enthusiasts, and those in between, World Travel offers a chance to experience the world like Anthony Bourdain.
The audiobook is read by Laurie Woolever, Shep Gordon, Christopher Bourdain, Jen Agg, Matt Walsh, Bill Buford, Claude Tayag, Nari Kye, Vidya Balachander, and Steve Albini.
Copyright 2021 by Anthony M. Bourdain Trust UW; “A Child’s View of Paris (1966),” “Revisiting New Jersey,” and “Uruguay Dreamin’” copyright 2020 by Christopher Bourdain; published with permission of Christopher Bourdain
Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.
Pieces of an Unfinished Jigsaw Puzzle
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—which I hope many inspire people even more to take those trips to parts unknown.