A collection of short stories or perhaps a novel in story form about a restaurant bouncer/mob enforcer. I haven’t read anything by Anthony Bourdain before and certainly not his fiction. I was surprised when someone not primarily known for fiction writing, writes fiction, and it feels like fiction that comes together in a way that is enjoyable. Maybe my standards are too low for that kind of thing, but given how easily something like this could become a vanity project/ego trip.
The stories themselves circulate around Bobby Gold who seems to feel like he’s losing steam with his chosen profession. He’s a large guy and that comes in handy a lot in his life. One of the early stories involves him needing to enforce on a debt. The debt can be paid, but the price has to be exacted with a broken limb. In other of the stories we find Bobby getting involved with a cook in the restaurant, and her blooming understanding of the kind of guy she’s getting involved with and her coming to be ok with all that. In other stories, more workman stories, we see various parts of the life he’s involved with. A particularly funny story involves Bobby sitting in a restaurant with a friend in his business who takes one look at the menu and decides that the carefully crafted dishes can be ordered ala carte, if you’re the right kind of customer. The playing off of mob stuff versus prima donna restaurant customers is a funny comparison.