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Eating with the Enemy: How I Waged Peace with North Korea from My BBQ Shack in Hackensack Hardcover – April 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312571305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312571306
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“An enlightening, and precarious, experiment in the ways opposing cultures can merge and acquiesce.”
       —Kirkus Reviews
(Kirkus Reviews)

“In this engaging, off-the-wall memoir, Egan . . . demonstrates the power that individual friendships formed across ‘enemy’ lines can have.”
       —Library Journal
(Library Journal)

“A jaunty narrative of one man’s sometimes self-indulgent escapades in the face of government ambivalence.”
       —The New York Times
(New York Times)

“Narrator Traber Burns has a down-home style that sounds like he’s sitting on his porch telling us this unique personal story.”
       —AudioFile
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

ROBERT EGAN has owned and run Cubby’s, a barbecue restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey, for the past twenty-five years. He has served as an “unofficial ambassador” for the government of North Korea and is the chairman of a trade group that has worked to improve ties between that country and the United States. 

KURT PITZER is a former commercial fisherman who has reported from some of the world’s most turbulent regions for The Boston Globe, The Sunday Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, and People magazine. He cowrote The Bomb in My Garden with Saddam Hussein’s nuclear mastermind, Mahdi Obeidi, after helping him escape from Baghdad in 2003.


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Customer Reviews

And might I add, they are good!
Kenan Bell
I have never laughed nor cried so hard while reading a book.
J. Ievoli
The writing is clever, witty and highly readable.
Patricia A Faverty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert Edwards on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You've heard the expression "truth is stranger than fiction"? Well, it was coined for a page-turner like EATING WITH THE ENEMY. You simply could not make up the true story of Bobby Egan, the quasi-wiseguy New Jersey goomba barbecue shack owner who befriended North Korea's diplomatic mission to the UN and became "our man in Pyongyang" (or theirs in NYC--depending on who you believe). This book is equal parts "The Sopranos," "Catch-22," and Graham Greene. But not even Greene could have invented a senior North Korean diplomat who becomes best friends with a working class Italian American burger cook and starts going with him to Giants games, or deep sea fishing, or deer hunting......not to mention Bobby traveling to North Korea (where he is drugged with sodium pentothal), or arranging dental work for his friend Mr. Han that makes Han the envy of the DPRK, or trying to open a franchise of his bbq shack in Pyongyang, or--most incredibly--eventually consulting w/the North Koreans on their nuclear weapons program. The cat-and-mouse with the FBI and the State Department--who were furious that Egan had achieved a degree of penetration they never could, and repeatedly harassed him even as they relied on him to act as go-between--are priceless as well. But what really gives the book lasting impact is that beneath the surreal black humor is a very moving tale of an extraordinarily unlikely friendship, and of a somewhat damaged but always sympathetic man searching for meaning and purpose in his life. Beautifully captured in Bobby's distinctive voice, EATING WITH THE ENEMY is an unforgettable story and a great read. (Hollywood: take note!)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Arias on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found the book a delicious blend of funny and serious, all delivered with an edgy, absolutely credible, Wise Guy tone of voice. It's food, geopolitics and a wild trip behind the mystery curtain surrounding North Korea.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Main on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sandwiched between the FBI and North Korean diplomats, lone patriot, Bobby Egan stuck his neck out in attempts to create peace between two enemy nations. He did it on his own terms and on his own dime, putting himself, his family and his livelihood in danger. He put his principles first and lived by them. And had some wild adventures along the way. Check this book out. It'll surprise you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Nishida on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Eating with the Enemy really makes you wonder about the wisdom of Washington and it's policies. When a potentially nuclear-armed nation has to turn to a burger chef from Hackensack for dialogue and insight about our country, it's time to rethink our foreign policy. The book is a thought provoking and fun read. You won't be able to put it down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela S. Fischer on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Talk about unlikely bedfellows: a burger chef from Hackensack, NJ; Kim Jong Il; the FBI; the mob; Ross Perot; the New York Giants and the NSC. Makes you want to get into the center of it all, just like Bobby Egan did. Read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A Faverty on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the most delightful, funny, thought-provoking, and surprising books I've read in many years. I laughed so hard. knowing all the while this subject is deadly serious.

The writing is clever, witty and highly readable.

The whole story is almost too preposterous to be true, and yet, it is.

I loved this book. It was hard to put down. And when I did, I missed Bobby Egan and the whole crowd. I'm routing for a sequel. Soon.

Patricia Faverty
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Venica Dzizney on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Eating with the Enemy", Bobby quotes and old street saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." The National Security Council and the powers directing our foreign policy should take a common sense lesson from Bobby. May we continue along the path of dialogue toward peace.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kristina Maria on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is hilarious. It never occurred to me until I started reading "Eating With the Enemy" that nuclear negotiations and international affairs could be so funny. I laughed out loud but was also totally inspired by this guy's story!
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