Gone Bamboo

Written by:
Anthony Bourdain
Narrated by:
Chris Patton

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2016
8 hours 57 minutes
A hilarious thriller that pits a CIA-trained assassin against a cross-dressing Mafioso.

Henry and his wife Frances have gone bamboo—living an idyllic, tequila-drenched life as two of the Caribbean’s most charming expatriates (and professional assassins). But when Charlie “Wagons” Iannello, a powerful capo with a heart of gold, is relocated to the island under the Federal Witness Protection Program, Henry and Frances’s plan suddenly, dangerously falls apart. Now, despite the fact that Henry once tried to kill Charlie, the two join forces against the transvestite mob boss looking to ace Charlie, and the scene is set for an unpredictable tale of low life and high comedy.
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Zona G.

Neither this nor Bourdain's debut novel are groundbreaking crime novels. Having specifically been into the genre, though, it is clear that he is a great lover of crime fiction and somebody well versed in its tropes. This is fine! A great thing about genre is that it provides such tropes for people with peculiar perspectives or styles to take up and spin in their personal fashion. Bourdain is still a ways from the height of his powers here. He is still very clearly trying to be somebody--see e.g. the naughty boy tone of the introduction written for, I assume, a reprinting of this book to catch the wave of Kitchen Confidential, and compare that to e.g. the better parts of A Cook's Tour only a short time but a great deal of experience later. That said, he is erudite, funny, and imaginative in his use of mob/crime genre tropes and this book is extremely readable/listenable, if also fairly disposable.

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