The late Bourdain (1956–2018) was a celebrity chef and world-traveling TV star, whose personality is reflected in this charming book, cowritten by Woolever, his assistant ... The book is full of irresistible illustrations, including the cover ... An exhilarating and worthwhile choice for those planning an actual trip and for stay-at-home travelers.
Woolever paints a vivid picture of eventually brainstorming the book on a single day...in March 2018, sitting in a cloud of smoke at Bourdain’s dining room table ... It’s this feeling of being in the room with Bourdain that makes World Travel: An Irreverent Guide so tantalizing ... the fact is, World Travel is the closest you’ll ever get to hearing from Bourdain again. It’s wonderful to have him in your head when you walk into, say, Horumonyaki Dojo for all the barbecued organ meats in Osaka, which he calls the city of excess and the true culinary heart of Japan ... at a time when traveling abroad continues to feel like a fairy tale, thumbing through a book of recommendations that may or may not be outdated by the time you get through customs is still a bit like consuming a novel before a trip. It colors in the edges of a place and leaves you to discover what’s there for yourself, guided by a knowing voice.
This is an odd, bittersweet mash-up of a travel guide ... Complementary sidebars written by friends and family are sprinkled throughout. Oddly, though, there’s no mention of COVID-19, let alone how a traveler might navigate our pandemic world to reach any of these destinations. A surprisingly useful guide, but only for a time and place well beyond ours at the moment.
[A] refreshingly unique travel guide that thoughtfully fleshes out Bourdain’s desired intentions with supplementary essays from his peers and loved ones ... The book makes it abundantly clear when we’re reading Bourdain’s voice, stylized in a bold blue font — a thoughtful distinction but perhaps a redundant one as well ... While we often credit Bourdain for his ability to translate the intangible allures of food to the page, this new, geographically oriented compendium also cherry-picks some of his favorite non-gastronomical sites and occasions ... a joyous yet painful reminder of what Bourdain gave the world: an infectious hunger to learn more and eat well.
Readers are fortunate to have Woolever organizing the strategic battle to create what has become Bourdain’s final word on travel ... The simply-rendered sketches are a rich addition, setting the tone for a diverse group of locations ... As the book undoubtedly serves as an homage to Bourdain, World Travel could have benefited from additional essays penned by his dear friends and traveling companions ... celebrates both the refined and the rugged bits of the world on their own terms, appreciated by Bourdain regardless.
Woolever, longtime cowriter with the late Bourdain (1956–2018), knits together an impressive food-obsessed travel guide based on her conversations with Bourdain ... but the book’s power comes from Bourdain’s joyfully combative stances [...] unabashed enthusiasm, dense overlay of cinematic references, and world-weary advice [...] This gloriously messy miscellany of off-kilter observations and lightning-in-a-bottle insights will make one want to read, eat, and experience the world the way Bourdain did. Bourdain’s fans will devour this.
Posthumous selection of Bourdain’s thoughts on places exotic and well known, blended into a kind of Baedeker for the hipster set. There’s Frankensteining at work here, with Woolever, who worked with Bourdain for nearly 10 years, surrounding his pithy excerpts with the kind of dryly useful information of a standard guidebook ... Bourdain went nearly everywhere on the planet, eating and drinking prodigiously along the way. It makes for an exhilarating whirlwind tour, complete with charmingly impressionistic sketches by Allsbrook. It doesn’t substitute for a true travel guide, but anyone who loved and misses Bourdain will want this book.