Was the first book of any famous writer not successful?

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Anthony Bourdain is the first one that comes to mind.

Was the first book of any famous writer not successful?-第1张图片

People always talk about Bourdain’s wildly successful memoir, Kitchen Confidential.

Rightfully so, if you asked me. Kitchen Confidential is a good book. It’s raw, fun to read, and you learn a lot of things about the culinary world — not all of it good. Some of the stuff that’s happening to your food before it’s served to you is wild.

“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.” — Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential

One thing that was notable to me about Kitchen Confidential is how well-written it is. The metaphors are deep. The descriptions are vivid. It reads like someone who’s put time into the craft of writing.

This begs the question:

Was Bourdain naturally such a good writer that his first book was a massive success and a future cult classic?

Not exactly.

Kitchen Confidential was published in August of 2000, and it was actually Bourdain’s THIRD book.

Before Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain wrote a book called Gone Bamboo, published in 1997. It’s a crime thriller about a retired CIA agent who gets caught up in mobster stuff. It performed poorly in sales.

Before that, Bourdain published a book called Bone in the Throat, a culinary mystery novel about a young chef in Manhattan’s Little Italy who, again, gets caught in the mob. Bourdain paid for his own book tour on this book, and it also ended up performing badly.

Before he published any book at all, Bourdain submitted work to literary magazines in New York City. He wrote for 5 years for various magazines and eventually managed to get a small book advance from Random House.

Before Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain was a writer, but not a mainstream one. He was an author, but no one knew who he was.

He was not successful.

I haven’t read his literary magazine work, but I’m assuming that long before Bourdain was crafting those soothing opening sentences for his popular TV show, Parts Unknown (or any of the shows before that) he wasn’t even a great writer. Reading Kitchen Confidential is reading 10 years of dedication to the skill of writing.

Writing is a skill that takes time, experience, and maturity to build.

Bourdain is one of many authors who published several books before becoming a successful writer.

Oh, and want to know something funny?

In 2015, Bourdain’s first novel Bone in the Throat was made into a movie, directed by a guy named Graham Henman.

The film only has 3 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has a 6.0/10 on IMDB.

The more you know.

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