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Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts

(Hungry Ghosts #1-4)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  224 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Berger Books
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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 "
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 ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
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
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
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
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
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!
Oct 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
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.
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.
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
Yves Loomans
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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. —-
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
Charlene Nelson
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
A Russian oligarch wins a catered dinner and as a post meal game, he suggests the chefs join the guests and recreate a samurai-era tradition of telling ghost stories. What follows are 5-6 ghost stories told by different chefs that are less scary and more gory and gross.
The set up is so brief, and the chefs and guests are totally interchangeable. Each story is tangentially linked by the themes of food, gluttony, and cravings. But what makes a ghost story even scarier is when they get personal, a
Eve Schaub
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm a fan of graphic novels and Anthony Bourdain, but not horror... if you love all three I can guarantee you'll adore Hungry Ghosts. I love the audacity of this premise more than anything- the combination of food, blood and guts, Asian monsters and comics sounds like it might be hard to sustain for very long but to the contrary: the gruesome tales unfold effortlessly, like so many ghost stories told at an all-chef slumber party.

A little gross and grim for me, but at the same time a demonstratio
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
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 ...more
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
While it was interesting (and some of the stories I actually knew, thanks obsession with Manga) there seemed to be lacking a concrete thread from one story to another. Some ended similarly while others seemed to just end. If this was supposed to be something of a roundtable of stories (like the game is supposed to be played) that wouldn't have happened. I didn't need character development because the star of the show were the stories (which weren't as scary as they could have been) but I would'v ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
As I had expected these short stories all focus on eating. Not eating delicious mouthwatering food but disgusting and nauseating consumption. People eat horses, people eat people, ghosts eat people and it's all pretty gross. The stories weren't scary so much as just straight up gruesome. The one I actually really liked was "The Snow Woman" which was quite beautiful. The others I could take or leave. I appreciate the overall message of the bigger story which was not to be greedy and selfish, to h ...more
Richelle Priscilla
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Scott Gould
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love Anthony Bourdain, obviously. But this was so dumb, I can't even really be mad at it. Maybe the stories were too short to get invested in them in any real way. Cool art though, good for some sight gags.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Short little horror stories from a man who's now joined the ghosts. Relatively little time for character development in these tiny quick tales, the set up is good but these just exist to creep you out a little. They aren't more than little snacks.
Jana Eichhorn
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story collection, perfectly spooky. I'm glad I bought this one.
Eric Riggs
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun take on Bourdain's love of food, culture, and horror. Quick read with some great recipes.
Sarah I
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Great art and concept, but the stories fall flat.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fitting tribute to Tony B.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
some of the art was very good, but it just didn't work for me... got it for the recipes really.
Lizzy  Walker
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review forthcoming for Monster Librarian.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Two stars for weird stories, four for awesome illustrations. Meet in the middle. Meh.
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Anthony Bourdain was the author of the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, in addition to the mega-bestsellers Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour.

His work has appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker, and he was a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. He was the host of the popular Emmy and Peabody Award winning television show Parts Unknown.

Other books in the series

Hungry Ghosts (4 books)
  • Hungry Ghosts #1
  • Hungry Ghosts #2
  • Hungry Ghosts #3
  • Hungry Ghosts #4