The Bobby Gold Stories
This was an interesting novel suggested to me by my sister Janick.
Anthony Bourdain is a world-famous chef. He's been on the Food Network and now the Travel Channel and is best known for eating outrageous foods from around the world. He's very charismatic and, I'm sure, pisses many, many people off. He's obviously very intelligent and self-confident to the point of arrogance. But he's also very compelling to watch.
My sister told me, a few weeks ago, that he is also an author of crime fiction. "You've got to be kidding. He's a cook!. What could he possibly write about?" I already knew that he'd written a few memoirs but fiction is another kind of writing.
The Bobby Gold Stories is his third novel. It could easily have been published by Gold Medal Books if this were the 50's. The book is short, 165 pages, and the first two chapters will grab you by the throat and shake you around the room. The pacing is lightning fast and the atmosphere is so authentic you can hear and smell the locations the book is set in.
Set in modern times, in New York City, the book follows Bobby Gold from prison to being an enforcer for a small-time crime boss named Eddie Fish. Fish owns a night club that Bobby runs security for, Fish is also a loan-shark and Bobby has to sometimes "encourage" payment from his customers.
Bobby Gold is good at what he does, even though he doesn't like the job as much any more. But Bobby's life is about to change when he meets Nikki; a cook in the night club.
The story is fun, the dialog jumps off the page and the story is interesting in that it does not go where you'd expect. One of the things I like about the book is what it leaves out; you can be in the middle of an action scene and Bourdain just fades out and skips ahead a few months. This has the combined effect of keeping you reading to find out how things ended up and you get the feeling that Bourdain was thinking, "You know how this goes, blah, blah, blah. Let me tell you what happens next." But the effect was a good one; the story was told in a fresh way which I enjoyed.
The best moment, for me, that set the tone of the whole book was chapter 2. Oh my God! That was tense.