The Bobby Gold Stories by Anthony Bourdain

Before vaulting to fame with Kitchen Confidential and shows like No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain penned a series of crime novels in the late nineties. All three are available in the CLEVNET catalog. Judging from The Bobby Gold Stories, Bourdain may have been a very good fiction writer.

Fresh out of prison, Bobby Gold works security at a Manhattan nightclub while moonlighting for his old pal Eddie Fish. But he is a reluctant enforcer, dissatisfied with the work and dreaming of faraway places. When he falls for Nikki, the new sous-chef at NiteKlub, both of their lives begin to unravel. Will the two find a way to escape the culinary underworld or succumb to their own inner demons?

Along with tantalizing descriptions of food—a monkfish truffle risotto Nikki prepares for Bobby—Bourdain serves up some truly menacing scenes. In one, Bobby is sent to collect an overdue payment:

“It’s got to be an arm – at least,” said Bobby. “And, of course, the face. You know how that is… There’s gotta be something for show.”

He proceeds to offer the man a handful of pills to kill the ensuing pain.

Fans will recognize Anthony’s voice and sense of humor throughout this twisted tale. I also recommend the 2021 documentary Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, which depicts his early days as a chef and writer.

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