“Finding a new food you like is one of the great things about traveling.” This premise underpins the book World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, formulated from a 2017 brainstorming session by the revered and beloved late author/TV host Anthony Bourdain (who committed suicide in 2018). His “lieutenant” Laurie Woolever—a writer/editor/conduit who worked alongside him for nearly a decade—fleshed out his miscellany of opinions and predilections into a compendium. These highlight his humor, openness, and unceasing love of offal.
World Travel gathers locales where he’d been the world over, yielding a pragmatic resource and indexical atlas, replete with quotes pulled from Bourdain’s vast media output, notably Parts Unknown and No Reservations. It’s a tribute, per Woolever, to Bourdain’s “acid wit and thoughtful observations and a few sly revelations of the mysterious contours of his battered heart.”
The book is wide in scope but broken down into glimpses, bite-sized rather than comprehensive. With whiplash transitions, the reader is wrenched from India to Kenya to Myanmar to Peru via market stalls and restaurants. The cited spots in each locale were those memorable to Bourdain. As he himself summarized in his candid, uncontrived way, “I go places, I come back. I tell you how the places made me feel.”