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The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked Out the Door Mouth First . . . and Came Back Shaking My Head Hardcover – September 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767931297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767931298
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Host of his own Travel Channel show, chef and food writer Zimmern has made a career of unusual travel destinations and even more unusual food. In this memoir of his exotic experiences, Zimmern shares his favorite experiences as well as his broad-mined approach to the world. From illegal lobsters in Cuba to roasted bats in Samoa to a simple bowl of noodles in Guangzhou, China, Zimmern lets his gusto be his guide, resulting in a passionate but messy read. While he helpfully avoids overloading readers with shock after shock (knowingly referring to himself as "a guy who eats bugs"), he's seemingly uncertain whether to organize his stories by theme or location, leading to repetition nonetheless. Popular ecological themes-sustainable food production, neutral carbon footprints, local ingredients-wend throughout, but the tantalizing focus is Zimmern's unrelentingly positive methods of travel and immersion, emphasizing keystone values like graciousness, open-mindedness and leaving assumptions behind while stirring readers' appetite for adventure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Andrew Zimmern is a food writer, dining critic, chef, and co-creator, host, and co-producer of Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Worlds with Andrew Zimmern. Zimmern is the founder and editor in chief of www.andrewzimmern.com, writes monthly for Delta Sky Magazine and Minneapolis-St Paul Magazine and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Chad Witherspoon on April 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a big fan of Andrew Zimmern's Travel Channel programs Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Worlds I was very much looking forward to reading this book. Sadly, I was quite disappointed with the book. Zimmern is best in a television format. On the printed page he is off-putting and his style of writing alienated me from the first page. There are five main reasons I did not care for the book.

First, the book's title hints at a behind the scenes look at the making of his Travel Channel shows. Instead, what the book provides is largely a repeat of his TV programs with very little additional insights regarding the "bizarre truths" that went into making the shows. I sort of got the sense Zimmern sat in an editing room watching episodes of Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Worlds and then simply wrote down his reactions to what was on the screen. Rather than the actual subtitle for the book, an appropriate subtitle would be "I've seen the TV show, so why do I need to bother with the book?"

Second, on his television programs Zimmern presents himself as a sort of "aw, shucks" guy who lacks pretenses. By contrast, in the book he comes across as exceedingly condescending and patronizing towards average tourists who lack the resources he has to travel off the beaten path. Zimmern describes himself as a "traveler" (not a "tourist") and at multiple junctures in the book he openly registers his disdain for average tourists whom he seems to think never travel beyond the confines of all-inclusive resorts. At one point in the book he actually cautions himself against sounding smug, and it would have been nice if he had heeded his own words throughout the rest of the volume.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Written by the host of the Travel Channel's popular series "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern", The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked Out the Door Mouth First... and Came Back Shaking My Head is an enjoyable travelogue of Zimmern's many cultural and culinary adventures filming the show. From the plight of vanishing foods and cultures subsumed by mainstream globalization, to a session with an Incan witch doctor in Ecuador who blows fire on him, to dining on roasted bats on a Samoan Island, to eating raccoon and opossum in Mississippi, The Bizarre Truth is a chronicle of adventure, strange and wonderful palate delights (or distresses), and above all, an open-minded appreciation of the myriad ways mankind has adapted his diet and his way of life to his environment. Highly recommended, especially to fans of the television show.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great Book. Andrew takes you behind the scenes on his illustrious adventures. Highly descriptive and well-written, you can feel the crash of the ocean waves, the smells of the food, and the adventure that these cultures and great author bring forward. Witty, insightful, and observant, Zimmern is an exceptional Travel author. Write more! Bring us another one Andrew, before these cultures and lifeways disappear.

- Omar W. Rosales
Author, "Elemental Shaman"
[...]

Elemental Shaman: One Man's Journey Into the Heart of Humanity, Spirituality & Ecology
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lydia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fun book! I've watched Andrew Zimmern in Bizarre Foods before and most of the time was really grossed out by what he was eating. Thank goodness he wrote this book! I really came to appreciate how he approaches travel, and appreciate the reasoning behind why people eat all those truly unique and strange foods.

I think my favorite stories were in Iceland - and that's what started out the book. I never thought I'd be wanting to visit Iceland, but he definitely stirred the interest!

He really connected with people and I admire and respect his way of thinking when it comes to eating some of the strange offerings given to him. Some of those folks are so poor, they are offering up a larger portion of food than their own, and who are we to turn that down when it's offered so freely.

Kudos on an interesting book - great way to see travel and now I'm inspired to go traveling and exploring.. mouth first.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Insightful, educational, and above all, entertaining. A great behind the scene look at some of the moments we saw on various programs as well as some we didn't. Highly recommend
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By P. Newhart on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods and Bizarre World takes us behind the scenes of his show in this book where he describes some of his most memorable eating experiences from dumplings to fancy French cuisine to giant fruit bats. He also shares some childhood memories and his beliefs and morals when it comes to food and culture.

For the most part, I thought this was an entertaining read, I enjoy how Zimmern's definition of bizarre isn't only typically "gross" or shocking foods, but also includes unique fruits and restaurant experiences. Items from all around the world are included and the locations vary pleasingly as well from big cities to remote locales. Recommended for foodies and those who love to travel.
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