gone bamboo

In addition to being a renowned chef, journalist, non-fiction writer, and TV host, the late Anthony Bourdain also wrote novels. One of his books, a comedic crime thriller called Gone Bamboo, is now becoming a TV series from producers Webster Stone and Robert Stone, whose credits include The Conspirator, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and The Negotiator. The story follows a former CIA-trained assassin who enters the Witness Protection Program, only to have his past come back to haunt him.

Deadline broke the news that Gone Bamboo, the novel by Anthony Bourdain, is being turned into a TV series. There’s no network or streaming service in place just yet, but Webster Stone and Robert Stone have acquired the rights for scripted series based on a pilot. The book was published in 1997, with Bourdain saying: “I wanted to write a sociopath beach book. I wanted a hero and heroine as lazy, mercenary, lustful and free of redeeming qualities as I sometimes see myself.”

Here’s the synopsis:

CIA-trained assassin Henry Denard is looking for the good life when he retires with his wife, Frances, to the Caribbean. He may have botched his last job a little – allowed Donnie Wicks, the guy Jimmy Pazz hired him to kill, to escape with his life – but Henry and Frances are determined to take it easy.

That is until Donnie agrees to testify against Jimmy Pazz, and gets relocated by the Federal Witness Protection Program to Saint Martin as well. Now Jimmy Pazz is after both men – the mobster, and the man who was supposed to kill him – and things in Henry’s paradise are about to get a lot more complicated.

I haven’t read the book, but I dig this synopsis, and it has the potential to become a fun TV show, provided it ends up going to series somewhere. Gone Bamboo was Bourdain’s second fiction book. He wrote four works of fiction, two comic books, and eight non-fiction books. While his fiction work came in the 1990s, Bourdain rose to prominence thanks to his 2000 bestselling non-fiction title Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He would go on to host the show A Cook’s Tour, which ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network, followed by the Travel Channel shows Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. He followed those up with CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, a series he was still filming at the time of his death in 2018.

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