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Down and Out in Paradise
The Life of Anthony Bourdain
Table of Contents
About The Book
Anthony Bourdain’s death by suicide in June 2018 shocked people around the world. Bourdain seemed to have it all: an irresistible personality, a dream job, a beautiful family, and international fame. The reality, though, was more complicated than it seemed.
Bourdain became a celebrity with his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential. He parlayed it into a series of hit television shows, including the Food Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and CNN’s Parts Unknown. But his bad boy charisma belied a troubled spirit. Addiction and an obsession with perfection and personal integrity ruined two marriages and turned him into a boss from hell, even as millions of fans became enamored of the quick-witted and genuinely empathetic traveler they saw on TV. At the height of his success Bourdain was already running out of steam, physically and emotionally, when he fell hard for an Italian actress who could be even colder to him than he sometimes was to others, and who effectively drove a wedge between him and his young daughter.
Down and Out in Paradise is the first book to tell the full Bourdain story, and to show how Bourdain’s never-before-reported childhood traumas fueled both the creativity and insecurities that would lead him to a place of despair. “Filled with fresh, intimate details” (The New York Times), this is the real story behind an extraordinary life.
Why We Love It
“Anthony Bourdain was unique, a cross between Julia Child and Hunter S. Thompson. He had a voice on the page and a persona on the screen. Charlie Leerhsen has his own distinctive voice, which perfectly fits Bourdain’s life story.”
—Bob B., VP, Executive Editor, on Down and Out in Paradise
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 3, 2023)
- Length: 320 pages
- ISBN13: 9781982140458
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Raves and Reviews
"A candid new book explores Anthony Bourdain’s trials. . . . [A] gritty, well-researched new biography."
– The Economist
"An unvarnished account of a turbulent life. . . . Grittier than anything we've read about him before. . . . [Leerhsen] is not here, though, to discredit or dismiss his subject. His admiration for Bourdain is nearly always apparent. . . .[Bourdain] would have admired the author’s guts."
– Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"This isn’t an official Bourdain product or a hagiography. . . . This one is thoroughly researched and painstakingly detailed."
– Kara Baskin, Boston Globe
"With zesty verve and material from more than 80 interviews, the author dramatically unfolds an entertaining, ultimately tragic tale. . . A chatty, quick-witted portrait of a complicated, tormented man."
– Kirkus Reviews
“The impressionistic portrait that emerges is of a complex man who combined swagger and spiky cool with deep insecurity, neediness and image-consciousness. . . . [An] unvarnished biography.”
– Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): Down and Out in Paradise Trade Paperback 9781982140458
- Author Photo (jpg): Charles Leerhsen Photograph by Steve Hoffman(0.1 MB)
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