Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain

Sous chef Tommy Pagano received his job through the financial connection his uncle has made with a restauranteur in New York’s Little Italy. This financial connection, though, is in the form of a loan via the mafia, and Tommy’s Uncle Sally is squeezing more than just a job for his nephew out of the owner, Harvey. He uses the kitchen to carry out a hit on a fellow mafia member, forcing Tommy to decide if he should rat out his uncle or keep quite in order to save a job he loves.

I picked up this book solely because one of my favorite actors is set to star in the film adaption. It’s not something I would normally read nor would I have inter-library loaned it all the way from Texas. But it was a nice step outside my comfort zone and, for more than one reason, reminded me of a favorite television show.

By the time I reached chapter eight, I had come to the realization that this book might be better presented as an audiobook. The dialogue is very specific to the region in which the story is set and not all together easily understood. It’s a rather acquired taste.

I thought the mystery would be a stronger aspect of the novel, but there is no mystery behind the murder. We know who did it. We know how the body was disposed of. I guess, rather, the mystery comes to whether or not Tommy will rat out his uncle and the fate of some of the other characters, particularly the heroin-addicted chef under whom Tommy works.

There were moments when I considered giving up on the book and other moments where I could not stop reading long enough to rejoin my family to watch television together. In the end, if I had to give it a ranking, I would add three stars and call the book good but not great. Will I see the movie? More than likely, yes. I think the actor set to play Tommy would have great fun in the role.

Book Mentioned:

  • Bourdain, Anthony. Bone in the Throat. New York: Villard Books, 1995. Print. 290 pgs. ISBN: 0679435522. Source: Library.
Book Cover © Villard Books. Retrieved: May 25, 2013.

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