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Works by Tom Vitale


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Tom Vitale's book sharing his experiences traveling and making TV with Anthony Bourdain's is quite a read. There's a lot to unpack and it goes to show you that people and experiences are complicated. Also, that two things can be true at once...Tony Bourdain could be a hero and a horrific boss, a magnetic personality and hard to be around. It's fascinating to read about all of the different situations the experienced and things they went through just to produce one hour of tv at a time. I think that's what made the show so compelling, it certainly wasn't 'fake' or 'put on'. I took a break a few times throughout the book, since Tom was so candid about how tough it was on the road and how stressful it was to work through problem solving on location sometimes. It sounds like an amazing job, but I don't know if I would have made it longer than making one of these episodes without needing therapy and a week long nap. 3.75 stars rounded up to 4.

*(I'm glad I read this and I agreed with another review that said it was an excellent companion to the Bourdain Oral History. I'm glad I read that one first, because it gave me a lot of background on Anthony Bourdain's life and childhood.)*
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mrsgrits | 6 other reviews | Feb 28, 2024 |
My review of this book can be found on my YouTube Vlog at:


booklover3258 | 6 other reviews | Oct 14, 2023 |
the public can't read Vitale's mind, so some assumptions can be made. In working with someone for more than a decade, it's likely to desire to be considered a friend.

Vitale comes off as if he was forever frustrated that Bourdain would never really accept him and be his friend. He definitely captures a grueling situation of, what is the real relationship? However, a relationship requires two people and he doesn't seem mature enough to accept that he could have made his own choices. In the end, no one will know how Bourdain truly felt. However, on the other hand, when it came down to it, he gave him the drive. It could have gone to anyone. So Vitale was indeed trusted in some way.

The irony of course being that, in less than three years after Bourdain's suicide, his colleague and "friend" was busily prepping a tell-all.
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Elle_Rodd | 6 other reviews | Aug 14, 2023 |
There are a lot of moments when I felt uncomfortable reading this memoir of a life in television, as while you'll learn a great deal of what it took to make Tony Bourdain's TV shows, it's also quite self-lacerating on the part of Vitale. His goal is to purge himself of grief and emotional baggage, and get on with his life, as, to be honest, living a twenty-year adventure can just become a good way to avoid dealing with one's own emotional issues; the better not to wind up like his boss and friend. As for whether Bourdain could have been helped with a timely intervention, who knows? Vitale does believe that there were some signs ahead of time that a crisis point was fast approaching, but they were easy to miss in the whirl of making television. I would also note that the more you're familiar with the shows Bourdain and his "pirate crew" made over the years, the more you will get out of this book.… (more)
Shrike58 | 6 other reviews | Jun 20, 2023 |




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