In anticipation of Charles Leerhsen’s book coming out October 11, Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain, I’ve contacted him about giving Cats Working an interview once I’ve read the book.
He hasn’t responded to that, but I have pinged his radar because he sent me this link to an article he wrote published Oct. 1, “Anthony Bourdain’s Last Days Revisited.” (It makes you give an email address, but once the site sends you something, unsubscribe, which I did.)
It doesn’t state the article is excerpted from the book, so Leerhsen may be providing additional information here. He discovered that Le Chambard, where Bourdain took his own life, is now squeamish about the whole subject. They refused to let Leerhsen reserve that room (he did get Eric Ripert’s room next door), but the next day, he and his wife actually finagled their way back in and stayed in Bourdain’s room.
The story ends on a supernatural note that reminds me of some months ago when Roc and I watched a book eject itself from my bedroom bookcase.
The article is definitely worth a read.
In other Bourdain news…
Here’s an interview with Leerhsen by The Guardian that offers some insight, if you ignore the reporting’s factual errors, such as:
- In the third paragraph, they mention a show running three seasons. A Cook’s Tour, or even The Layover, were two seasons each. If they’re talking about No Res or Parts, they’re WAY off.
- I’ve never seen anywhere that Tony was ever a co-owner of Les Halles. He was broke in his chef days, and he consistently said he never wanted to own a restaurant.
- He was 61 when he died, nearly three weeks before his next birthday.
- The Hong Kong episode wasn’t posthumous. I believe it first aired in the U.S. the same weekend the skank shacked up with Hugo and cavorted for the Roman paparazzi.
I was luckily able to read the book review published today by Dwight Garner in The New York Times, subtitled “Light on Subtlety, Heavy on Grit.” A few snippets…
“Here are the prostitutes, a lot of prostitutes, and one-night stands, and rumors of affairs with other food-world personalities.”
He compares Leerhsen’s bio to Laurie Woolever’s “authorized” book…
“A previous book, “Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography” (2021), compiled by Laurie Woolever, felt like an official Bourdain-industry product. It was worthy but dull.
“It was heavy on pontificating celebrities, from the food, television and journalism worlds, who tried to puzzle out what made this magnificent, pagan, literate, lantern-jawed beast tick, to put him on the couch.
“Leerhsen’s book, on the other hand, has a lot of people trying to join Bourdain on the couch, ideally without his trousers, and thus has more adrenaline and feels truer to life.”
On brother Chris: Here’s a Leerhsen interview with the L.A. Times where he describes what apparently was going on behind the scenes between the brothers, and how Chris tried to deep-six Leerhsen’s book.
[Fun Fact: Did you know there’s virtually no such thing as defaming the dead? They are considered memories, with no active reputation to “protect.”]
The skank vs. Ottavia: Here’s another article called “Everything We Know So Far,” which gives some info on Ottavia’s role and how the skank wanted to erase Tony’s family — at least on social media.
The skank’s reaction: After her last texts with Tony went public last week, she posted a photo of herself on Instagram — defiantly no-class as always.
A friend on Instagram sent me an Italian post from an interview on kikapressandmedia. Translated, it begins…
“Down and out in paradise, the unauthorized biography focused on the character of Anthony Bourdain, has sparked new controversy: once again in the media meat grinder there is AA.” [Abbreviation mine]
AA is quoted on the text messages…
“Those who made the messages public are vultures, and there are many around a famous person. Those who sold them will see it with their karma.”
[NOTE ADDED 10/5: Just noticed another point. Above, AA predicts bad karma for the “vulture” who “sold” her texts (before she did?). Even more ludicrous than thinking her vulgarity has monetary value is her delusion that Tony’s family sought anything beyond the relief of finally getting the truth in print. Or that Leerhsen paid people for cooperation. That’s not how biographers work.]
AA ends with belated recognition of Tony’s child, so she’s working hard for sympathy…
“His daughter, me, my children have suffered, we must transform this poison, I am turning it into my cure. With Anthony we shared being alcoholics, we supported each other with a sense of dark humor, we were very lonely, but two alcoholics together drown.”
Ottavia today? With the provocative click-bait title, “How Anthony Bourdain’s Estranged Wife’s Life Is Drastically Different Since He Passed,” I thought Ottavia had opened up to someone. Wrong. Writer Tara Dugan cobbled together a so-called profile of Ottavia without speaking to her, since there isn’t a single quote, nor providing any fact that isn’t publicly available and possibly dubious. I’m just sharing it as a glaring example of “lamestream” journalism.