Bone in the Throat

( 16 )

Overview

A wildly funny, irreverent tale of murder, mayhem, and the mob.

When up-and-coming chef Tommy Pagana settles for a less than glamorous stint at his uncle's restaurant in Manhattan's Little Italy, he unwittingly finds himself a partner in big-time crime. And when the mob decides to use the kitchen for a murder, nothing Tommy learned in cooking school has prepared him for what happens next. With the FBI on one side, and his eccentric wise guy superiors on the other, Tommy has to ...

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Overview

A wildly funny, irreverent tale of murder, mayhem, and the mob.

When up-and-coming chef Tommy Pagana settles for a less than glamorous stint at his uncle's restaurant in Manhattan's Little Italy, he unwittingly finds himself a partner in big-time crime. And when the mob decides to use the kitchen for a murder, nothing Tommy learned in cooking school has prepared him for what happens next. With the FBI on one side, and his eccentric wise guy superiors on the other, Tommy has to struggle to do right by his conscience, and to avoid getting killed in the meantime.

In the vein of Prizzi's Honor , Bone in the Throat is a thrilling Mafia caper laced with entertaining characters and wry humor. This first novel is a must-have for fans of Anthony Bourdain's nonfiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First-time author Bourdain presents a savory portion of gangster tartare spiced with salty mobspeak, coked-up chefs, wild entrepreneurs and foul-mouthed feds, served up in the colorful ambience of Manhattan's Little Italy. The FBI is using a former dentist to open and run a restaurant in a sting operation designed to catch 280-pound loan shark ``Sally Wig'' Patera-a crazed mafioso assigned to do the Don's dirty work. The deluded dentist thinks he really runs the Dreadnaught Grill and blows FBI cash on dumb marketing schemes instead of paying Sally's dues and vig. Meanwhile, Sally's nephew, Tommy Pagano, sous chef at the Dreadnaught, who loathes both his uncle and mob life, still feels loyal to the Family and so gives Sally after-hours use of the kitchen to ``talk some business.'' But Tommy isn't happy when Sally and Skinny di Milito-who strips naked before his hits to cut down on blood-spatter cleanup-kill a fellow mobster and cut up the body with the chef's knife. Though the FBI pressures Tommy hard to sell out his uncle, he stays loyal, at least until the restaurant, the chef and his cooking career are threatened by Sally and Skinny, pushing him into unexpected action. The cast of this dark-humored, street-smart novel romps through Greenwich Village and Little Italy on a testosterone high in a perfect sendup of macho mobsters and feebs alike, while the kitchen antics reveal a real love for-and knowledge of-cooking, including a mouth-watering recipe for Portuguese Seafood Chowder, complete with squid, lobster, swordfish and cherrystone clams. Major ad/promo. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582341026
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/16/2000
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 255,956
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Bourdain is the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. He is the author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and Gone Bamboo

Biography

Like all great chefs, Anthony Bourdain is a true jack-of-all-trades. Just as a truly skilled chef would not limit himself to, say, cooking risotto, Bourdain has approached his writing career in much the same way. His repertoire consists of comedic crime novels, autobiographical travelogues, exposes, and historical explorations -- not to mention a collection of tasty recipes.

Bourdain's career has been characterized by more unexpected twists and turns than one would find in one of his novels. After the native New Yorker graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, he opened his own classic French Bistro, Brasserie Les Halles. However, never satisfied with simply traveling a single avenue, Bourdain tried his hand at penning a novel. The results were wholly unexpected: A witty, gritty mob tale set in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, Bone in the Throat was published in 1995. Bourdain's second novel, Gone Bamboo, followed two years later, and once again the writer's innate knack for black humor was on full display. Publishers Weekly confidently christened him "a new master of the wiseass crime comedy."

Of course, by the time the public had placed Bourdain in a specific literary niche, he was already on to bigger game. In 1999, The New Yorker published "Don't Eat Before Reading This," his scathing exposé of conditions within certain New York restaurants. The article, which garnered wide attention, would ultimately evolve into the critically lauded full-length book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Bourdain brought the same cutting humor and confident swagger that marked his novels to his first nonfiction work, establishing a distinct voice that followed him from genre to genre. Jumping from memoir (The Nasty Bits) to biography (Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical) to culinary how-to (Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook), Bourdain served up his smartypants prose with the same skill he brought to his celebrated cuisine.

In the end, even as Bourdain continues to wear many hats -- master chef, restaurant entrepreneur, novelist, essayist, TV star -- his heart still lies in the kitchen. "When you've been a cook and chef for twenty-eight years, as I have, you never really look at the world from any other perspective," he told PreviewPort.com in 2002. "In many ways that's helpful with all the nonsense -- as one tends to have low expectations. For the time being -- I'm making it up as I go along and trying to enjoy the ride while it lasts."

Good To Know

When PreviewPort.com asked Bourdain who he would invite to "the ultimate dinner party," he responded with his typical deadpan flair, "Graham Greene, Iggy Pop, Kim Philby, Louise Brooks, Hede Massing" and would host it in "the squalid back room of the Siberia Bar in NYC."

You can add sitcom creator to Bourdain's long list of accomplishments. In 2005, FOX TV produced a comedy series based on his book Kitchen Confidential only to unceremoniously cancel the series before it even aired.

Bourdain can currently be seen traveling the world in search of the ultimate eating experience in his very own series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Discovery Channel.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 25, 1956
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      High school diploma, Dwight Englewood School, 1973; A.O.S. degree, The Culinary Institute of America, 1978
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2005

    Not for the Faint Hearted

    My wife bought this book for me as a Christmas gift. We are big fans of Tony. Since I grew up in the NY area, I could really identify with how his characters talked and behaved. Tony uses a lot of NY and Mafia slang, such as 'the vig' (meaning 'the vigorish', which is what you owe a loan shark). His descriptions of what goes on inside a NY restaurant kitchen are dead on. Fans of the 'The Sopranos' will enjoy this book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    It would be a good read even if it weren't Bourdain

    This was Bourdain's first book and while I don't think it catapulted him to fame over night it was a fun read then when I bought the first edition in hardcover and still is now all these years later. I particularly enjoyed the interaction of the protaganist and his French mother.

    J.R. Locke Author, Possible Twenty, a Gangster Tale
    & Down and Out in Manhattan

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Pretty good overall

    Thought it was so-so until the last half of the book. Really liked the last half. Helps to be a foodie!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Not for the faint of heart

    This was a fast and easy read, though quite graphically gruesome in some areas. I have to admit to skipping whole paragraphs and sometimes an entire page because I couldn't handle the graphic violence, but that's just me. I was hooked none-the-less, and read it in a weekend. A surprising, kind of fairytale ending. It was like eating a very spicy entree, and finishing with a smooth, sweet and creamy dessert. Satisfying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 23, 2010

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