[In the Weeds] s a fast-flying, deep-diving, funny, loving, tender, joyful, painful, jolting, twisted, tumultuous and shockingly wild ride. Reader: Hold on tightly ... Vitale’s relationship with Bourdain, a beloved yet very complicated man, fuels this engrossing travelogue’s engine ... In the Weeds explores the tightrope of personal and professional longings and expectations; the complexities of borders and the people within them; the ache for mutual trust and the ache of distrust; the multiple meanings of home and family and friendship; the allure and intensity of lust and seduction ... Bourdain’s fans will find plenty to savor, think about and discuss. This is Vitale’s memoir, his singular account. Stones are lifted. Curtains are pushed back. An engaging narrative is woven. Vitale opens his heart and veins to create powerful, poignant, passionate prose. A page-turner, indeed.
Vitale’s storytelling is, in a word, frenetic. The sometimes disorganized stories he tells criss-cross countries and are loosely organized in thematic chapters that cover the moods of an entire shoot ... In the Weeds is also a revealing snapshot of what a television director has to do behind the lens to turn raw, unpolished travel footage into a glittering Emmy-winning gem ... In the Weeds is emotionally exhausting, exhilarating, and fascinating, and at under 300 pages, it’s not a long read, but the most intense I’ve had in ages. And all I hope now is that Vitale finally got a long stretch of rest, because god damn, making TV with a legend sounds harder than I could have ever imagined, in every way possible.
The stories Vitale has to tell are incredible ... It is engrossing reading material, until you remember we’re talking about actual people who created television for our viewing pleasure. But that is the trouble that becomes inescapable amongst all this posthumous Bourdain content; he was real and the people around him were too.
Vitale is an engaging and self-aware storyteller, who writes and structures this memoir in the style of the immersive documentary television he’s known for ... This adventurous and candid account is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Bourdain’s work and an honest story about persisting in the wake of loss. It will resonate with many readers as a travel and entertainment memoir, exploration of grief, and tribute to a beloved figure.
Accepting the impossibility of ever capturing the essence of such a brilliant, curious, darkly funny, loving, cruel, über-rebellious, wholly mercurial man, a shell-shocked Vitale still lays out an immersive narrative, rich with insight and detail, of their work together ... If not capturing Bourdain, Vitale’s account might be as close to an authentic portrait of the late chef-traveler as readers will find.
Vitale’s memoir [...] is a fascinating insider’s account of the making of groundbreaking TV ... Vitale’s writing is seductively alive, pulsating with events and vividly rendered observations of people and exotic locales, hairbreadth escapes, and all the high-wire escapades, cultural revelations, and ethical questions that accompanied being Bourdain’s traveling companion ... itale admits that he struggled to articulate his own story, but if he was worried he was not up to the challenge, he can put those fears to rest. Drawn from show footage, notebooks, logs, travel itineraries, e-mails, and old receipts, his book is thrilling, sobering, harrowing, and as entertainingly frenetic as the events described, a tale told by a survivor still trying to make sense of it all.
Vitale’s arresting tales of life as chef-turned-media star Anthony Bourdain’s longtime director and producer offer a vivid look at a demanding, passionate, volatile man ... Vitale shares mesmerizing recollections of their travels [...] while probing the fascinating and frustrating facets of the chef’s larger-than-life personality ... fans are sure to eat this up.