How World Travel: An Irreverent Guide Is Different From Anthony Bourdain's Other Books

For hardcore fans of the late Anthony Bourdain, his most recent book, "World Travel: An Irreverent Guide," may seem like a bit of a departure from his earlier works. According to The Takeout, the main reason is that "World Travel," though based on Bourdain's notes and a brainstorming session with his assistant, Laurie Woolever, wasn't actually written by Bourdain himself. The book was instead put together by Woolever and includes writing by those close to Bourdain.

Originally, "World Travel" was meant to be a guidebook to 43 different countries, accompanied by a dozen original Bourdain essays filled with his unique humor, experiences, and perspective. However, after his passing in 2018, Woolever was left only with a recording of the hourlong conversation she and Bourdain had had about his next book idea. She used that, along with moments from Bourdain's TV shows and essays by his close comrades (such as his brother, Christopher), to complete the story and keep Bourdain's legacy alive.

What inspired Woolever to complete Bourdain's book

In an interview with CBS News, Woolever detailed what made her want to continue working on "World Travel" after Bourdain's death. At first, she thought the book was over. But due to encouragement from Bourdain's family, Woolever, who also co-wrote the chef's "Appetites" cookbook, decided to finish the project.

After 10 years of working side by side with Bourdain, Woolever knew him deeply and found herself asking "What would Tony do?" on many occasions. Based on their meeting about "World Travel," as well as a very long list of every place Bourdain had ever been (accompanied by written and verbal stories), she knew what the book needed to include. She "immersed" herself into Bourdain's catalog of work and their years of email exchanges, and she had conversations with the people who knew him best, she told Eater.

When asked whether she thought Bourdain would have liked the finished product, Woolever said she knew he would have been happy to share his views with the world. And so she did.