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Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts

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Hungry Ghosts is cooked up by the best selling author and veteran chef, Anthony Bourdain ( Kitchen Confidential , Emmy-Award winning TV star of Parts Unknown ) and acclaimed novelist Joel Rose ( Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster ) back again from their New York Times #1 best seller, Get Jiro !. Featuring all-new original recipes prepared by Bourdain, plus a gu Hungry Ghosts is cooked up by the best selling author and veteran chef, Anthony Bourdain ( Kitchen Confidential , Emmy-Award winning TV star of Parts Unknown ) and acclaimed novelist Joel Rose ( Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster ) back again from their New York Times #1 best seller, Get Jiro !. Featuring all-new original recipes prepared by Bourdain, plus a guide to the ghostly legendary spirits behind these horrifying tales. This horror anthology is sure to please--and scare! On a dark, haunted night, a Russian Oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles--where each storyteller tells a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings--and prays to survive the challenge. Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, Hungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food. Including stellar artists Sebastian Cabrol, Vanesa Del Rey, Francesco Francavilla, Irene Koh, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco as well as amazing color by Jose Villarrubia, a drop-dead cover by Paul Pope.


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Hungry Ghosts is cooked up by the best selling author and veteran chef, Anthony Bourdain ( Kitchen Confidential , Emmy-Award winning TV star of Parts Unknown ) and acclaimed novelist Joel Rose ( Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster ) back again from their New York Times #1 best seller, Get Jiro !. Featuring all-new original recipes prepared by Bourdain, plus a gu Hungry Ghosts is cooked up by the best selling author and veteran chef, Anthony Bourdain ( Kitchen Confidential , Emmy-Award winning TV star of Parts Unknown ) and acclaimed novelist Joel Rose ( Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster ) back again from their New York Times #1 best seller, Get Jiro !. Featuring all-new original recipes prepared by Bourdain, plus a guide to the ghostly legendary spirits behind these horrifying tales. This horror anthology is sure to please--and scare! On a dark, haunted night, a Russian Oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles--where each storyteller tells a terrifying tale of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings--and prays to survive the challenge. Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, Hungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food. Including stellar artists Sebastian Cabrol, Vanesa Del Rey, Francesco Francavilla, Irene Koh, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco as well as amazing color by Jose Villarrubia, a drop-dead cover by Paul Pope.

30 review for Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    I always admire a successful person who crosses over into another field. Anthony Bourdain does a fantastic job of talking his first passion (cooking) and weaving horrific tales around what we consume. I truly believe that if he were still with us he would have gotten better and better at this type of storytelling - which makes me sad all over again that he is gone - (very adult nature).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Anthony Bourdain loved creepy stories, and he was very fond of Japanese culture, and “Hungry Ghosts” is his take on an old Edo-period Japanese parlor game. In the original context, guests would gather at night to tell each other folk tales and ghost stories; in the adjoining room they would light one hundred candles and set a small mirror on a table. After each story, the story-teller would go to the candle room to blow out one flame and look into the mirror. The game was considered a test of co Anthony Bourdain loved creepy stories, and he was very fond of Japanese culture, and “Hungry Ghosts” is his take on an old Edo-period Japanese parlor game. In the original context, guests would gather at night to tell each other folk tales and ghost stories; in the adjoining room they would light one hundred candles and set a small mirror on a table. After each story, the story-teller would go to the candle room to blow out one flame and look into the mirror. The game was considered a test of courage, because the candle room would grow darker and darker as the candles were blown out, creating a creepy atmosphere some believed appropriate for the summoning of the various spirits the tales they were sharing were about. Bourdain’s spin on it is a little different: a Russian crime boss hosts a magnificent dinner, and after the meal is done, he invites the cooks to participate in this game of the hundred candles. The cooks will share scary stories, which are reimaginings of classic Japanese horror stories that all share the theme of food. Or at least, eating. The stories he picked are not terribly frightening, at least not to me; but having read a few Zen folktales, I wasn’t surprised to find most of them contained more or less subtle moral lessons against behaviours like greed, breaking one’s promise, etc. But even if they didn’t spook me, I still enjoyed every story: the artwork is different for each, giving them all a unique style. This was Bourdain’s last book project before he died, and this collected edition of the four issues is dedicated to his memory. I would not say it was his best work, but it has his unmistakable style all over it, and if you enjoyed “Get Jiro!” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), you will probably like a lot as well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Hungry Ghosts: Tales of Fear and Food from Around the World was Anthony Bourdain's last work before his death in June 2018. Bourdain, an admirer of Japanese folklore as well as graphic novels/comics, worked with several artists to compile Hungry Ghosts.They were released as single issues, but I read the book form, which includes all 9 stories. The scene is set with a Russian oligarch-type figure who hosts a dinner party, and wants to end the evening with a parlor game - hyakumonogatari kaidankai " Hungry Ghosts: Tales of Fear and Food from Around the World was Anthony Bourdain's last work before his death in June 2018. Bourdain, an admirer of Japanese folklore as well as graphic novels/comics, worked with several artists to compile Hungry Ghosts.They were released as single issues, but I read the book form, which includes all 9 stories. The scene is set with a Russian oligarch-type figure who hosts a dinner party, and wants to end the evening with a parlor game - hyakumonogatari kaidankai "Kaidan", the game of 100 ghost stories. He invites the chefs to play along as storytellers. Each story is intended to be more macabre and terrifying than the last. As the storyteller finishes, they blow out a candle, making the room darker with each passing story... Until it is pitch black. The sections (scroll to see some of the art from the stories!) are various themes, all include yokai, the catch-all Japanese name for ghosts & goblins. Each story has a larger theme of food, or eating - signature Bourdain. A little unsettling, but not terribly horrific, the stories border more on grotesque and eerie. Artwork is different for each one, adding even more flavor. My faves were "The Pirates", "Snow Woman", and "The Heads".

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Jandrok

    Anthony Bourdain was always one of my favorites of the “celebrity chef” crowd. Bourdain was that rare character who could produce something beyond the scope of a mere cooking show. The man wrote books, both nonfiction and fiction. His forays into television produced “Parts Unknown,” one of the most iconic shows about food and food culture of all time. Bourdain taught us that food could be one of the true conduits to a better understanding of other cultures. Andrew Zimmern covers a bit of the sam Anthony Bourdain was always one of my favorites of the “celebrity chef” crowd. Bourdain was that rare character who could produce something beyond the scope of a mere cooking show. The man wrote books, both nonfiction and fiction. His forays into television produced “Parts Unknown,” one of the most iconic shows about food and food culture of all time. Bourdain taught us that food could be one of the true conduits to a better understanding of other cultures. Andrew Zimmern covers a bit of the same ground, but Zimmern is more in line with the Bobby Flays of the world. You would have never caught Anthony Bourdain rubbing elbows with Chris and Maneet on an episode of “Chopped,” for example. No, Bourdain was more dangerous. His personal demons drove him hard, and we took note of that. He was often rude and profane. But he could also elevate food culture into a work of anthropological art. His demons finally caught up with him on June 8, 2018, when he committed suicide. One of the last projects that Bourdain was working on was a graphic art series in conjunction with novelist Joel Rose. The intent was to produce a comic book/graphic novel in a horror vein, with food as the subject to tie all of the stories together. The result is “Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts,” which I picked up in graphic novel form so I could have the whole effort in one handy volume. The premise is pretty simple. A group of guests has been brought together to a feast hosted by a Russian oligarch of sorts. After the meal he invites the chefs and cooks to the table for a game of “Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai,” or “Kaidan” for short. This was a legitimate historical game played by the Japanese samurai class during the Edo (1603-1868) period. The samurai would gather in a room and 100 candles would be lit, and the samurai would begin telling ghost stories, extinguishing one candle upon the completion of each tale. The room would get darker as the night went on, and the stories would become scarier. The “winners” were those samurai who could last until the final tale was told. Most of the stories involved the Yokai, which is a sort of catch-all term for all manner of supernatural creatures in the Japanese folk mythos. Leaving the room in fear would mean a loss of “face,” but one has to remember that the Yokai were legitimate forces of nature and danger to the Japanese people during this time. Belief in the spirits and demons of the countryside was a given. More of a parlor game than anything to be taken too seriously, it nonetheless sets a perfectly viable stage for the purpose. Each segment in “Hungry Ghosts” is drawn by a different artist. The concept and stories were written by Bourdain and Ross. The whole thing has something of an EC Comics feel about it, which was the stated intent. There is a section in the back that highlights each of the Yokai that appear in the stories, and there are also five recipes drawn from various sections of the book. “Kaidan” - art by Alberto Ponticelli - This is a quick set-up story that introduces the characters and explains the terms of the game to be played. Look close, though….there is foreshadowing to be found even this early in the game. “The Starving Skeleton” - art by Alberto Ponticelli - The owner of a small restaurant refuses to feed a starving beggar. Be careful on that walk home, dude. “The Pirates” - art by Vanessa Del Rey - Wanton women were often driven into the sea by capricious and overly moral townspeople. One such lady is lucky enough to survive in the waves long enough to be picked up by a pirate vessel. Did I say lucky? The men are horny, and the action is fierce. Keep in mind that I didn’t say who was lucky, the woman or the pirates. Let’s just say THAT ain’t gonna grow back. Definitely NSW. “Salty Horse” - art by Leonardo Manco - A rich estate owner has an unnatural taste for horseflesh. After devouring his entire holdings from colt to stallion to nag, he is left only with a stringy old warhorse upon which to feast. The eyes are a delicacy…… “The Heads” - art by Mateus Santolouco - A cook who loses his apprenticeship is taken in by a mysterious group of cooks. Heads will roll…… “Deep” - art by Sebastian Cabrol - An abusive sous chef is given his comeuppance. A reminder to always be careful who you are goosing. “Boil in the Belly” - art by Paul Pope - A young cook visits his parents, but he has an appetite that just won’t quit. Almost like another mouth in his belly that just can’t be satisfied. Don’t worry, though. Those country doctors know how to cure all SORTS of things. “The Snow Woman” - art by Irene Koh - When the demon woman tells you not to speak of your ghostly sexual liaison, LISTEN TO HER!!! “The Cow Head” - art by Francesco Francavilla - A village in the throes of drought and starvation is visited by a mysterious stranger who just HAPPENS to have a cow head in place of a human head. He offers to tell them where to get food, but they decide that he’d make a tasty meal all on his own. This is obviously not a great idea…. The recipe section is pretty cool. The recipes are actually featured in the stories themselves. They look easy enough to make, though you may find yourself hanging out in the Asian section of your market for a few of the ingredients. The art is generally good across the board. “The Pirates” and “The Cow Head” are particularly effective from a visual standpoint. The stories themselves all follow the classic EC Comics formula of moral closure. All of the tales have that particular brand of cosmic justice that ensures that everyone involved gets exactly what’s coming to them. The section on the Yokai themselves is informative. It’s important to realize that Japan is a very haunted place, if nothing else in the psychological sense. The Yokai are more than mere ghosts or spirits, they are often the physical manifestation of natural forces and the power of the landscape itself. To a typical Japanese citizen of the Edo period, these elemental entities would have held great power of belief. “Hungry Ghosts” is a fine graphic novel, and I’m saddened to know there won’t be anymore follow-up efforts. It was nice to know that Anthony Bourdain was continuing to expand his footprint into different types of media. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy this sort of thing. Don’t rest easy, Mr. Bourdain. I hope that yours is a restless ghost, better to remind us all to never take the life we live for granted. You are welcome to come and bang on my walls anytime.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    It's a crying shame that Bourdain’s death means that we won't get to see this side of him come out to play again. I’ve been a fan of the man and his work for many years, but I had no idea he was such an aficionado of Japanese ghost stories. Hungry Ghosts is inspired in equal parts by the classic EC horror titles, and the even more classic Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai. A group of chefs trade ghost stories in an attempt to outscare each other, and each tale is illustrated by a different artist. It's a It's a crying shame that Bourdain’s death means that we won't get to see this side of him come out to play again. I’ve been a fan of the man and his work for many years, but I had no idea he was such an aficionado of Japanese ghost stories. Hungry Ghosts is inspired in equal parts by the classic EC horror titles, and the even more classic Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai. A group of chefs trade ghost stories in an attempt to outscare each other, and each tale is illustrated by a different artist. It's a--you should pardon the expression--tasty brew indeed. The stories are steeped in Japanese lore. In his afterword, “Stirring the Pot,” Joel Rose (Bourdain’s partner in crime) goes into detail about their research sources, mainly the great Lafcadio Hearn. There's also “A Handy Guide to the Legendary Ghostly Spirits behind our Terrifying Tales,” which is pretty much what it sounds like, but is worth reading if you want further background. There are also some recipes which, honestly, feel kind of tacked on. Yeah, Bourdain was, among other accomplishments, a chef. But these recipes--to be fair, they do sound tasty--seem more like a gimmick than an integral part of the book. If you're a fan of horror comics, Anthony Bourdain, or Japanese culture, this book is right up your alley. Me? I’m all three. Didn't stand a chance. Highly recommended!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    I'm starting this review by saying that I have changed my mind about Anthony Bourdain (sort of) in the wake of his untimely death. I used to hate the guy. His obnoxiousness to the animal world...ok, most people eat meat, I get that. But most people don't revel in eating endangered species, either. But it was his detestable comments about vegans, such as saying that we should kill ourselves, that tipped my opinion of him into loathing. Then, after Bourdain's suicide, I watched a YouTube video th I'm starting this review by saying that I have changed my mind about Anthony Bourdain (sort of) in the wake of his untimely death. I used to hate the guy. His obnoxiousness to the animal world...ok, most people eat meat, I get that. But most people don't revel in eating endangered species, either. But it was his detestable comments about vegans, such as saying that we should kill ourselves, that tipped my opinion of him into loathing. Then, after Bourdain's suicide, I watched a YouTube video that threw things into relief for me. It's the old trope of "hurting people hurt people." Like Roseanne Barr, Bourdain was a deeply ill person who lashed out at others to mask his own pain. Bourdain's tragic death and the revelation of his mental illness and addiction problems doesn't erase the suffering he caused animals. Nor does it negate the hurtful things he said about those of us whose values he disagreed with, especially damaging if the listener happened to be a depression sufferer themselves. But now I just feel sad for him, not angry. Still not going to read any of his books or watch his shows, though. I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment. But on to HUNGRY GHOSTS. This is a comic collection featuring horror stories from Japan, home to some of the strangest and scariest ghouls and goblins of any folklore traditions. While the monsters were definitely scary, I felt the stories were just too short to build up any real tension. Many of the comics fall back on gore and body horror, so if that isn't your thing--beware. Interestingly given Bourdain's values, two of the stories involve nonhuman creatures (one real, one fantastical) taking revenge on the people who have eaten them. The artwork is pretty incredible, even when the scenes being depicted are quite ugly. I think I actually may have liked the end pages, which depict and explain several bizarre ghosts and monsters of Japanese legend, as much or more than the book itself.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Most people who knew Anthony Bourdain’s long run as celebrity chef would not be surprised to know he was in love with Japanese food and culture. What is surprising to me is that he had an interest in pre-Comics Code EC horror comix, and was a fan in particular of Japanese yokai (or monsters, ghosts and other supernatural creatures). In Hungry Ghosts Bourdain and his co-writer Joel Rose create a frame to tell some creepy stories: Some Russian guy hosts a dinner party, hiring several master chefs Most people who knew Anthony Bourdain’s long run as celebrity chef would not be surprised to know he was in love with Japanese food and culture. What is surprising to me is that he had an interest in pre-Comics Code EC horror comix, and was a fan in particular of Japanese yokai (or monsters, ghosts and other supernatural creatures). In Hungry Ghosts Bourdain and his co-writer Joel Rose create a frame to tell some creepy stories: Some Russian guy hosts a dinner party, hiring several master chefs for the occasion, and he ends the evening with a parlor game- hyakumonogatari kaidankai, or Kaidan, a game of 100 ghost stories. The chefs, as storytellers, tell yokai tales in the manner of fifties pulpy horror stories, but because they are chefs, the tales are food-themed. A series of different artists illustrate the tales, including Vanesa Del Rey, Francesco Francavilla, and Paul Pope. There are some of Bourdain’s recipes at the end that have nothing to do with the stories. The book was already in production when Bourdain died. This feels like such a niche book. If you like Bourdain as celebrity cook, you might be interested in anything he did. If you like horror, and you like Japanese food and culture, you might like this book, but not necessarily so unless you knew of Bourdain: The title is Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts, not just Hungry Ghosts. I wasn’t really a follower of Bourdain’s cook books or tv shows, but I have some fondness for cheesy fifties horror comics, so I liked it all right.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Wow!Alot of work and research went into this book.I loved it for its creativity,entertainment, are and historical integrity.A rare jem to hold in your hands.Even better to read and devour.The ribbon as a bookmark is classy and an awesome plus.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth

    Oh mannnnn I really wanted to love this. It could have been perfect. I don't know if it was a short production schedule or what but the transitions between issues just did not make sense. First it's these rich guys doing this ritual and I'm thinking damnnn this is going to backfire on them but then in the next few issues the rich dudes are not even there? They explained at the beginning that everyone was to sit together in one room and light 100 candles and after each person told a scary story t Oh mannnnn I really wanted to love this. It could have been perfect. I don't know if it was a short production schedule or what but the transitions between issues just did not make sense. First it's these rich guys doing this ritual and I'm thinking damnnn this is going to backfire on them but then in the next few issues the rich dudes are not even there? They explained at the beginning that everyone was to sit together in one room and light 100 candles and after each person told a scary story they were to extinguish one candle. Except they moved rooms and characters disappeared and the candles kept multiplying??? We have the chefs go into this room with the candles alone without the rich dudes (the characters are divided into the richies and the chefs who just cooked their 5-star dinner), but the whole conceit was that you sit together and one at a time extinguish a candle, chefs and rich dudes alike. I seriously went back to the beginning several times because I was like, am I missing something? It was a genuinely terrifying concept that was executed poorly. A group of people from different worlds, summoned by a mysterious and eccentric millionaire, is convinced to play an ancient samurai game where 100 candles are lit and everyone has to go around telling a scary story and extinguish one candle until all the candles are out and a demon is summoned. That's a genuinely awesome story! But this isn't that story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    An inventive set of tales that features all the tastiness of modern comics art (Francavilla and Pope and Santaluoco, oh my) but lacks a bit of substance. The stories, as is tradition in anthologies, vary in quality, which means some issues are half-full of great stuff and half-full of, erm, the rest. Still, a very worthy dish for fans of the horror genre.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    I was intrigued by a comic that integrated Japanese folk horror with cooking. Plus, I wanted to read something that may inspire me to try cooking different dishes. Gory images mixed with storytelling--graphic imagery and a taste of some of the Japanese folk tale (one I have to confess I heard many times) but not so great for stimulating the appetite or encouraging one to cook. Nevertheless, it did a good job of introducing horror stories in relationship with food.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I enjoy Anthony Bourdain's writing and mourn the loss of his voice. Unlike his other writings i don't hear his voice in my head when I read it, but I love that he worked in comics. His sensibilities still come through. I look forward to picking up the other issues

  13. 4 out of 5

    Colona Public Library

    Horror book? Check! Has Yokai? Check! Graphic novel? Check! It had a so many things going for it for me and it just missed it's mark. Maybe because the short stories were not long enough to get me fully invested. I can not put my finger on it exactly. My favorite story out of all of them was the "Salty Horses". Nice, creepy, and the horses reminded me more of a nightmare than a yokai. Still this is short so give this a try! ~Ashley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Doria

    Delightfully creepy selection of stories drawn directly from Japanese traditional tales, with appropriately brilliant and lurid illustrations. Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. The stories are accompanied by several luscious and elaborate Bourdain recipes which tie in rather wickedly to the stories. However, I found it difficult to contemplate cooking and eating directly after reading this graphic novel!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael J.

    I read this in single issues, published January through April 2018. I highly recommend the collected edition once it is published (October schedule). I'm already missing the observational skills and honesty of Anthony Bourdain. He wasn't perfect but he was genuine. Those properties are reflected in his comics work as well. This is a clever anthology of food-themed horror stories taken from Japanese mythology and placed in various global settings. I wrote an extended review of these issues on my blo I read this in single issues, published January through April 2018. I highly recommend the collected edition once it is published (October schedule). I'm already missing the observational skills and honesty of Anthony Bourdain. He wasn't perfect but he was genuine. Those properties are reflected in his comics work as well. This is a clever anthology of food-themed horror stories taken from Japanese mythology and placed in various global settings. I wrote an extended review of these issues on my blog, which you can access via this link: https://popculturepodium.blogspot.com...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Yves Loomans

    Japanese Ghosts, Food, Great Artists (Pope, Ponticelli, Manco, Francavilla) and Karen Berger. Already the anthology book of the year? —- While reading this I learned about the dead of Anthony Bourdain, co-creator of this book. A lot of us Europeans might not now him but this American masterchef, well esteemed tv host, world traveler and all around nice guy was a very talented writer and huge star in America. He took his life in a hostel in Paris at the age of 61. May his spirit rest in peace. —-

  17. 4 out of 5

    Glen U

    As a homage to Anthony Bourdain, there can be no finer one than this. It incorporates his love of food, graphic novels and Japanese culture, all in one. The artwork is excellent, the creativity is superb and the spirit of the Edo era storytelling game among the Samurai is engrossing. The stories are a mixed bag, as some are too contrived trying to fit into the food theme while others are sublime in their adherence to the horror genre while incorporating the culinary aspect into the tale. A thoro As a homage to Anthony Bourdain, there can be no finer one than this. It incorporates his love of food, graphic novels and Japanese culture, all in one. The artwork is excellent, the creativity is superb and the spirit of the Edo era storytelling game among the Samurai is engrossing. The stories are a mixed bag, as some are too contrived trying to fit into the food theme while others are sublime in their adherence to the horror genre while incorporating the culinary aspect into the tale. A thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel, from one who really doesn't appreciate graphic novels, and an excellent tribute to Anthony Bourdain.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    General warning: this graphic novel is not for the faint of heart. It's, well, graphic. Basically, don't read it where children might accidentally read over your shoulder, that was my mistake when I tried to read it at lunch! These comics are basically a retelling and/or a re-envisioning of Japanese horror stories and folklore. Many of the retellings don't happen in Japan, but the spirit of the tales remain intact, which is key. Most of the tales have a moral, though some you may have to squint General warning: this graphic novel is not for the faint of heart. It's, well, graphic. Basically, don't read it where children might accidentally read over your shoulder, that was my mistake when I tried to read it at lunch! These comics are basically a retelling and/or a re-envisioning of Japanese horror stories and folklore. Many of the retellings don't happen in Japan, but the spirit of the tales remain intact, which is key. Most of the tales have a moral, though some you may have to squint to realize, and most of the victims by the youkai get what's coming to them. For some, it's admittedly overkill (the victim in "The Starving Skeleton"), but the moral persists. And that's the point of most Japanese folklore, especially the ones based in horror, and these particularly warn against gluttony, greed, cruelty, lack of diligence, lack of discretion, and lust (particularly lust that leads to sexual assault — guess which stories were the ones where I was 100% unsympathetic towards those destroyed by the youkai and in fact rooting for the youkai?) Overall, I enjoyed these retellings and reimaginings of some of the folklore I grew up with (even if I had always been told significantly more kid-friendly versions of a lot of these tales), and Bourdain's love and knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture is obvious and appreciated. The main flaw in this graphic novel is that sometimes it was difficult to follow: either an individual story itself (I had to reread a couple of them to really understand what was happening) or the overarching story threading the tales together. But I do appreciate the care Bourdain took in staying true to the original culture where these tales came from, especially when the stories took place in NYC or Europe rather than in Japan.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    Delightfully Disgusting. Didn't expect this from Mr. Bourdain. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have been able to get through this book. It has some really gross stuff in it. REALLY gross. But thanks to Game of Thrones making the eating of raw horse hearts the stuff of TV, I can handle just about anything now. Think EC Comics meets the explicit grossness of HBO and recent horror films and you'll get this. I really enjoyed it. Your taste may surely vary. Paul Pope's art is especially good (as alw Delightfully Disgusting. Didn't expect this from Mr. Bourdain. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have been able to get through this book. It has some really gross stuff in it. REALLY gross. But thanks to Game of Thrones making the eating of raw horse hearts the stuff of TV, I can handle just about anything now. Think EC Comics meets the explicit grossness of HBO and recent horror films and you'll get this. I really enjoyed it. Your taste may surely vary. Paul Pope's art is especially good (as always). Vanessa Del Ray is one scary artist. I look forward to finding and reading Anthony Bourdain's earlier comics.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    A fitting tribute to Tony B.

  21. 4 out of 5

    R.

    Terrifying Tales Served Too Soon with a side of Mashed Pota-toes and Grave-y What could have been a fun Vault of Horror style romp is hampered by artwork a bit too serious for the, ha ha, undertaking. And shitty continuity that would shame the archivists and editors and cosplayers of Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy. And, overall, the entire project is, for my tastes, made creepy in a very un-fun way by the looming shadow of Bourdain's untimely demise - especially when you read the warning, heed t Terrifying Tales Served Too Soon with a side of Mashed Pota-toes and Grave-y What could have been a fun Vault of Horror style romp is hampered by artwork a bit too serious for the, ha ha, undertaking. And shitty continuity that would shame the archivists and editors and cosplayers of Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy. And, overall, the entire project is, for my tastes, made creepy in a very un-fun way by the looming shadow of Bourdain's untimely demise - especially when you read the warning, heed the moral, of the final story. I mean, I know this sounds ridiculous in this day, this age, but Anthony's sad real-life suicide (or "suicide"), takes on the patina of a classic horror story twist ending (with a twist ending) worthy of the Cryptkeeper when viewed, when considered, when focused, through the lens of the classic EC Comics of yore.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Nelson

    What a fine collection of scary stories that made for interesting reading. The fact that the late Anthony Bourdain had the foresight to put these stories together in one place made them accessable to all to read. The graphics are terrific and each story has an underlying theme, that of food. This book is able to say things with the graphics that one wouldn't say otherwise. One of the most unique things is in the back of the book there are some great recipes. But then considering that the late An What a fine collection of scary stories that made for interesting reading. The fact that the late Anthony Bourdain had the foresight to put these stories together in one place made them accessable to all to read. The graphics are terrific and each story has an underlying theme, that of food. This book is able to say things with the graphics that one wouldn't say otherwise. One of the most unique things is in the back of the book there are some great recipes. But then considering that the late Anthony Bourdain was always looking for great food, this makes perfect sense. What an interesting concept and reading this book during the month of October really helps to get one in the mood for Halloween! There also is a glossary that talks about the different legends and beliefs from around the world that were the inspiration for these stories.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Richelle Priscilla

    Man this graphic novel was wild and more than gruesome but it was a fun time. I enjoyed the art and the different stories. I gasped a bit, said ewww a lot and chuckled more than once. I learned a thing or two about different types of ghosts and best believe I’ll be trying the recipes they included at the end. Maybe some of the writing was a bit choppy at times and it’s certainly not the best compilation of stories I’ve ever read but overall, I’d read this again because it was enjoyable, interest Man this graphic novel was wild and more than gruesome but it was a fun time. I enjoyed the art and the different stories. I gasped a bit, said ewww a lot and chuckled more than once. I learned a thing or two about different types of ghosts and best believe I’ll be trying the recipes they included at the end. Maybe some of the writing was a bit choppy at times and it’s certainly not the best compilation of stories I’ve ever read but overall, I’d read this again because it was enjoyable, interesting and the last published work of Anthony Bourdain. 4-4.5 rating

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paolo

    Part ghost story, part recipe book and part monster encyclopedia, this book is a tribute and collaboration with the late chef and food author Anthony Bourdain, who apparently really loved Japanese food. The conceit of the comic is based on a Japanese storytelling tradition and has some pretty neat, if a little short, stories about some Japanese yokai, illustrated by some heavy hitters in the comic scene, including the artist for the Legend of Korea comics!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cora Pop

    I love Japan, its culture, and most of all its ghost stories. This book has amazing graphics and grotesquely horrifying stories of Japan's ghosts, though they are not fully formed, they feel more like vignettes. I liked "The Pirates" and "The Snow Woman" most. However, after all the carnage in the stories, I simply couldn't read the recipes included at the end of the book, not even the one for Saffron Risotto. I had heard of Anthony Bourdain, even before his tragic death this summer, but wasn't fa I love Japan, its culture, and most of all its ghost stories. This book has amazing graphics and grotesquely horrifying stories of Japan's ghosts, though they are not fully formed, they feel more like vignettes. I liked "The Pirates" and "The Snow Woman" most. However, after all the carnage in the stories, I simply couldn't read the recipes included at the end of the book, not even the one for Saffron Risotto. I had heard of Anthony Bourdain, even before his tragic death this summer, but wasn't familiar with his recipes. I realize, from this book and from other readers' reviews, that he was an aggressive carnivore. Everything in this book reflects that, but while the stories can be seen as some sort of poetic justice for the characters, the recipes appear to me as a (not so) subtle re-enforcement of this carnivourousness.

  26. 4 out of 5

    dg

    great illustrations, nonsensical stories. there were two stories that were just about rape and there were also two stories just about pulling something out of a guys ass. why??? a banquet for hungry ghosts by ying chang compestine did it a lot better, and had more recipes/explanation for stories/scary stuff.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    I didn’t love this as much as I wanted to. There’s some great horror artwork, and the stories are ably told, but it was often kind of difficult to discern what exactly was happening, particularly at the end of some of the stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Travis Duke

    (3.5 stars) A beautiful collection of short stories. I must admit I have a soft spot for Tony B, I am a huge fan and I even got to meet him once so I was eager to read this since I am a graphic novel fan. The writing is straightforward dealing with Japanese folk lore with a setting of a dinner party who decide to tell classic japanese horror stories about food. The artwork is beautiful and the story builds to a good climax. I actually might buy this because it is a very beautiful book especially (3.5 stars) A beautiful collection of short stories. I must admit I have a soft spot for Tony B, I am a huge fan and I even got to meet him once so I was eager to read this since I am a graphic novel fan. The writing is straightforward dealing with Japanese folk lore with a setting of a dinner party who decide to tell classic japanese horror stories about food. The artwork is beautiful and the story builds to a good climax. I actually might buy this because it is a very beautiful book especially the cover.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Evie

    One of my absolutely favorite books of the year! This collection is full of many of my loves: horror, food, comics, and mythology. Anthony Bourdain was a brilliant writer, even while being outside of his element. Plus, as an extra, there are a few of his recipes in the back of the book. I am incredibly sad he was in such pain, and that we won't be seeing more of his work.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darnell

    Didn't work for me. It's the usual stories within a frame story setup, but the individual stories are all very short and don't have much impact. Some fantastically creepy art in places, though.

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