Book Review of The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes

The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes
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Parker Bowles reminds me of another British writer I find quite funny - Tim Moore; if you don't care for Tim, you won't much appreciate Tom's sense of humor.

As for the book itself, Mr P B started off on the wrong foot with elver fishing in England; might've worked later in the book, but left me with a "what's going on here?" feeling. The "danger" element had to do with its taking place largely at night, along with the stories of violence towards poachers.

After that he moves on to New Mexico and Nashville (chilies and BBQ), though the biggest danger with the latter seemed to be keeping his food down after over-sampling in his contest judging stint; Our Hero does manage keep down the dog in Korea, though the going was tougher than he'd initially thought. Obviously he lives to tell of fugu sushi in Japan (twice!), as well as sampling "stinky tofu" in China.

The Laos entry comes closest to actual travel writing, though he has a couple of sessions with insects along the way. Spain, perhaps, comes closest to actual "danger" (the fugu notwithstanding), joining a group of local mollusk gatherers on offshore rocks with crashing waves.

Sicily, like China, proved an excuse to eat. A very thin one, IMHO, as The Mafia isn't really a huge problem for your average tourist, but makes a handy premise. I confess to a severe aversion to anything mafia-related, so skimmed the chapter for food references, and came away not feeling I'd missed much.

Serious foodies might likely look down on his antics, and those looking for travel narrative might find the book lacking with its focus on eating. For my part, Parker Bowles achieved what he set out to do. I'd read another series of adventures.