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Bone in the Throat Paperback – 23 Jul 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Crime; New edition edition (23 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841950963
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841950969
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,909,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 2 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 April 2001
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 July 2003
Format: Paperback
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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