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Bone in the Throat

Bone in the Throat [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Bourdain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

There is one thing in the world that Tony Pagano cares about passionately--learning to make great, food under the guidance of a great, if drug-addicted, chef. But it is not as easy as that--the FBI are never convinced that being part of a crime family means only being their relation, nor is Tony's uncle Salvatore "Sally Wig" Patera. It was Sally Wig who got Tony his current job, and even a favoured nephew owes the odd favour back--when Sally and his pals borrow Tony's kitchen to kill and dismember an enemy, they ruin the chef's best knife and Tony's peace of mind. What makes A Bone in the Throat such an effective gangland thriller is that its hero is as much at an angle to the universe as the posturing bullies he is trying to avoid; he cares about family loyalty, of course he does, but his ultimate obsessive loyalty is to great cuisine. Snappy dialogue and convincing outbreaks of quite horrid violence make this an intelligent thriller of Brooklyn and New York skullduggery; it is Tony and his yearning to be free to cook that makes it memorable. --Roz Kaveney


A superb tale of violence and backbiting... simply towers head, shoulders and upper torso above everything else. -- GQ

Gangster fiction to feast on. -- Independent

Raw and cooking. Rare and well-done. -- AA AA Gill

Wonderful fun, a perfect book to read at the beach. -- Michael Crichton, New York Times Book Review

a saucy, spicy caper that slips down as easy as a sidewalk hotdog -- Observer

chef Anthony Bourdain proves himself as adept with the pen as he is with the knife - no reservations -- Guardian

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 419 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (31 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847670547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847670540
  • ASIN: B002VM7G8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #140,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great starter. 11 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Anthony Bourdain's first novel is a fresh take on the New York gangster novel. He draws on his own experiences as a chef, memorably described in Kitchen Confidential, to create engaging characters and some superb dialogue. The story of how Tommy, a young sous-chef, becomes entangled with some pretty unpleasant low lifes is funny and sometimes chilling. Sex, violence and some great food; all you need really.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bourdain's Breezy and Gory Debut 20 Feb 2003
Several years before hitting the nonfiction bestseller lists with Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, former chef Bourdain penned two crime novels. The first of these opens as follows: "Two-hundred-and-eighty-pound Salvatore Pitera, in a powder-blue jogging suit and tinted aviator glasses, stepped out of Frank's Original Pizza onto Spring Street. He had a slice of pizza in one hand, too hot to eat, and he was blowing on it as he waddled through traffic."
If you like that sentence, you'll probably like this breezy and very gory debut which weaves cuisine and wiseguys into a satisfying little crime novel. The story concerns Brooklyn sous-chef Tommy, who is caught between mobster family members and the feds. All he wants to do is be left alone to cook, but people getting whacked, tortured, and dismembered keep interrupting him. Bourdain does a great job of both incorporating all his kitchen insider knowledge and the rhythm of mobster conversation and lingo into a fast moving pageturner.
This debut was closely followed by the much less satisfying Gone Bamboo, which picks up where this leaves off. Bourdain then turned to nonfiction, before returning to the crime genre with the brand new book The Bobby Gold Stories.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raw meat. 2 Sep 2003
Set in the Bronx and Brooklyn, this is a grisly and graphic story of mob murder, dismemberment, and torture, along with the businesses of protection, loansharking, and money laundering. Tommy Pagano, the sous-chef at a small restaurant, who was cared for as a child by his mob-connected uncle Sal Pitera, finds himself up to his prime rib in dangerous mob business when Sally wants payback. Sandwiched between bloodthirsty racketeers on one side and equally threatening and sinister investigators who want him to give up Sally and his "friends" on the other side, Tommy has more than ample reason to fear for his life.
Suspense and horror are leavened throughout by humor, which comes mainly from absurdities--a hitman standing naked while he dismembers a body in order to protect his clothes, a chef upset because someone used his kitchen knife instead of a boning knife, a mobster telling a hitman that his actions were "bush." This is primarily a fast-paced story of murder and mayhem, with humor on the side and lots of insights into the restaurant business. Local color, realistic-sounding (and often funny) wise-guy dialogue, an engaging main character with whom we sympathize, and investigators who are sometimes as venal as the men they investigate will keep you reading well into the night. Mary Whipple
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Godfather meets Christopher Brookmyre! 27 July 2003
By A Customer
This book was a real treat. It made me laugh out loud - funny, violent, bloody, and, incidentally, very well-written. I have now ordered almost everything this man has written and recommended him to all my friends. The author's background as a chef is used to great effect and will no doubt bring a wry smile of recognition from everyone who has any experience of the catering industry. Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sharper-than-a-rotary slicer crime novel 22 April 2001
By A Customer
I was a bit sceptical as to how good a crime novel by a professional chef would be. After all, hasn't Anthony Bourdain already got a successful career working in NY restaurants that are undoubtedly way to chi chi for the likes of me. But now I can't wait to get my hands on everything he's written. This snappy tale of chefs, wiseguys, dopers and bungling cops just grabs you right from the start: a gruesome prologue in which a horribly mutilated body is washed up on a New Jersey beach, and attracts the attention of not only a contingent of NY detectives but also the FBI, the US Attorney's office, a trio of Washington pathologists and a nervous local reporter. Who is he and why is he such a law enforcement magnet? Most of the book takes place in and around The Dreadnaught Grill on Spring Street, New York City. The cast of characters includes a doper chef with a $450 customised Japanese kitchen knife; his sous chef Tommy who's desperately trying to make a career for himself as a professional chef; Tommy's uncle Salvatore "Sally Wig" Pitera (nuff said); Harvey the sleazy onetime dentist turned restaurateur; Charlie Wagons the bathrobe-clad big cheese; Danny Testa the muscle with brains; US Attorney Raymond Sullivan and his (flash) man on the street Al; disorganised Detectives Dudziak and Rizzo; Cheryl the gorgeous waitress; and The Count, a tv has-been and tacky restaurant owner. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story
Read this book as they were filming this for 2015 in the area where I live. Enjoyed it but hope the film reflects this when it finally comes out.
Published 2 months ago by Lorraine Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Part mafia, part cooking
I enjoyed this book. Part mafia, part cooking and I think reading it with Bourdains voice in my head added to the authenticity...
Published 6 months ago by DC
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable tale.
Well written. Violence and bad language to the fore , but for all that a brilliant and funny book Couldn't put it down !!
Published 6 months ago by CJ GRAY
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
i bought it for my husband so cant say much apart from my husband loved it and would recommend to all
Published 9 months ago by Miranda Elam
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and easy read
I went for this book because I like Bourdain as a food writer but hadn't read any of his fiction.
As you would expect from someone who wasn't originally a fiction writer the... Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2010 by N. Solomides
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Don't get me wrong, this isn't in any way a master piece, but it's a very enjoyable book. If you are a Chef or involved in the industry this is a gangster story set in your world... Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2008 by BE.Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Food .. & Foul-play
This is Bourdain's second novel and was actually released in his native USA way back in 1995, but this makes the book all the more impressive, mainly as it predates what one might... Read more
Published on 12 April 2000
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