I think that if the author read this book himself he would have put in more energy into the performance. This reader sounds like he is reading the back of a penut bag at the end of a long red-eye flight to Newark.
I listened to this book as a result of listening to "Heads in Beds". I enjoyed that book so much that I wanted to see what else, like this book, was out there. While both are about the lives of men in the service industry they couldn't be more different. I wanted to like this book more but it didn't work for me on a number of different levels.
First there was the tone. This author is a bit of a know it all and spends a lot of time lecturing and explaining everything from waiting tables to the meaning of life. He even explains his own cliché analogies. Exaggeration? Perhaps, but this book is the result of a blog - 'nuff said.
Second was the plot. I know that there may be no plot in these types of stories but for me a good memoire has some character arc that shows the character moving from one point to another. Heads in Beds does this well. The character starts naïve and good and eventually is corrupted by the hotel industry until ultimately it climaxes in a way that leads to change and rebirth. This story is woven behind the vignettes and is subtle and clever. This book just reads like the author’s personal journal. There is no real arc because the author already starts perfect (see my first point).
Third was the lack of entertainment and educational value. If there is no plot then I want at least some of this. I didn’t learn ANYTHING new about the restaurant industry - hard to believe about a so called rant. People have sex in the bathroom and illegal aliens work in the kitchen. Wow. I probably could have figured that out without having to work in the restaurant biz.
OK so I have been pretty tough of this guy. Is this book really that bad? No. It is entertaining enough to listen to as you mow your lawn or wash the dishes or snake the drain or whatever other task would be hell without some droning on about something in your head. I put this on the level of reality TV. This is “reality fiction” and just like its counterpart on TV it is not worth much but can be entertaining if you're only half engaged.
(Now watch this guy go out and become the next genre fiction mega author celeb)
I have never felt so irritated at an audiobook as I did while attempting to stomach this whiny, self-serving and terribly written book. The author constantly talks about how he is too good to be a waiter, because he is "a writer." I have news for him. He's no writer!
I adored "Heads in Beds" and Anthony Bourdain's books and I had high hopes for "Waiter Rant." The only reason I finished it was so that I could give this book one star, knowing in good conscience that I gave it a real chance to win me over.
Kinda of a mindless read.
Miller was ok
It could have bee more interesting and less predictable,,
I liked this and it certainly gives some real insight into the restaurant world (ugly insight most of the time!) It also justifiably highlights the pretentiousness of people, their demands, rudeness, etc. It even gives 40 ways to be a good customer. But it noticeably includes very little about waitstaff conduct, and therefore, 40 ways to be a good waiter. I'm not one of the jerks (20% is my standard tip) but I've had plenty of pretentious, uninterested, inflexible servers. And yes, the few that have been really bad, I've stiffed them --sorry but that's how it goes! Also, there are a lot of other jobs (in a commercial laundry as a teenager was a great one) that are just as tiring, and filled with rotten management. So my sympathy runs thin at times. Aside from those aspects, it was entertaining. Just wish he'd been a bit more balanced.
I will recommend Audible to anyone who loves multi-tasking. I am able to learn while being active. It takes away my stress, totally!
This book wants me to meet the writer!
Excellent writing and amusing narration.
The book admirably narrated by Dan John Miller who brings it to life in all it's splendour. So much more than just a collection of waiter's anecdotes, it leads you into the intricacies of the food serving world, the delicate balance, power struggles and all aspects of the restaurant business.
" You're ready to do something when you're ready to do it. "
Most of the book takes place at a New York City restaurant named "The Bistro" (pretty generic, no?). The waiter gives us a composite picture of his life as the waiter by observing the mesh of interactions between the management, fellow workers, and customers. The good, the bad and the more than often ugly.
I enjoyed the psychological angle. I love the way the Waiter analyses his doings and feelings, manages his relationships with others, and draws a philosophical portrait of the waiter's trade. Most of which can be applied to other trades and people. I love how he balances his criticism with empathy for all and how he shares the truth about sanitation, poverty, relationships, self-confidence and bad customers. It's a tale of a man who chose an occupation out of despair and became excellent at it while preserving hope for the future by tuning out his passion.
" Cocooned inside our private dramas we often don't realize life is rolling by us like it should "
I read that a number of the weblog readers were disappointed by the book. I can't speak for them, but I've added the weblog to my blogroll since.
He's a waiter. He's really a writer. Refreshing. An engaging read (or listen).
I was looking for funny accounts of crazy customers. And while it had a few, there was way too much autobiography of pre-waiter life and psycho babble. The author studied psychology and it's like that makes him an expert as to why his customers and coworkers act the way they do. He should have just stuck to one story after the next without overanalyzing it to death. When we did get actual customer stories, they were cute but not laugh out loud funny. I'd "read" this book if a friend loaned it to me, but I wouldn't recommend paying money for it.
I found this book totally entertaining. The narrator does a very good job. He changes up tones to keep things interesting. Though trying to sound like a female at times was kind of funny. This book did open my eyes to some of what waiters go through when they pick this as a career path. I give this book all five stars without hesitation.
I would skip the first two chapters, which give the backstory of how the author became a waiter. The rest of the book is fun and amusing, probably more so for people in the restaurant business and people who dine out often.
This book was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be more of a compilation of short and funny anecdotes about irate customers. While there were these scenes in the book, it was more of a memoir about the author's experiences as a waiter. The book focuses on two particular restaurants, and was an eye opener for me. I have no experience in the restaurant industry other than as a consumer, and I enjoyed hearing about the day-to-day life of a waiter. There were some things I figured happened, and some things I had no idea about. Of course, there is the obligatory chapter on disgusting conditions in restaurants and what some waiters do for revenge (yes, including spitting in the food of customers who complain and return meals constantly). This just bolsters my motto: there are two people in life I do not piss off - the person who has control of my food and my hairdresser! Everyone else? Well, they are fair game, LOL!
The narration was very good as well. The narrator was even keeled when needed, but just as easily was very emphatic when he had to let loose with a curse or two!
Overall, I really liked this book.