I don't know how full of it or himself Anthony Bourdain really is. I've been a quasi-fan of his after seeing his show on the Travel Channel. Yes, including the one where he ate a cobra's heart in Vietnam.
Needing a book to fill some gaps last weekend, I bought his, uh, memoir. I started it Friday night, read in gaps, and finished it last night. I'm going to read it again, because it's a rich story and while I absorbed a lot of it I know I missed some things I want to reabsorb.
What I do like is Bourdain's unapologetic approach. He will tell you he is an asshole in the kitchen, he loves his drink, and he will dismiss you (in more ways than one) if you even think of approaching life through a PC filter. No one will like everything about him, but I like his authenticity.
The book is rich, but rich with actual experience. He doesn't write to impress, but he writes with good detail and a hell of a varied vocabulary, and that impresses. There are places where he over-labors some points, but you can skip them without feeling robbed.
It's clear he enjoys learning and has fun while he's doing so and also while using what he learns. He made it a point to know everything about the restaurant business because it's the only way to do it right.
I admire people who unpretentiously and without the show of speaking straight actually speak straight. They just do what they do, without complaint or apology, and if they don't like what they eventually find themselves doing, they make a change. This strikes me as one of these guys. I recommend the book.