In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.
Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your mini-bar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business, revealing the crazy yet compelling reality of an industry we think we know. It is an incredibly funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life and boy, is there a market for it: in 2010, the American lodging industry generated $127.7 billion in revenue. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on the valet parking garage, and the housekeeping department's dirty little secrets.
Prepare to be moved, too, by his insightful honesty about the profession; employees are often poorly paid and frequently abused. However, Heads in Beds is more than just a memoir. Jake explains the secrets of the industry, offering easy and legal ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle - from scoring late check-ins and upgrades to getting that pay-per-view charge knocked off your bill. This book will give you the knowledge you need to get the very best service from any hotel or property, from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, it will keep the bellhops from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and stomping the crap out of it.
©2012 Jacob Tomsky (P)2012 Random House Audio
"Jacob Tomsky is a star. The kid writes like a dream. Heads in Beds is hilarious, literate, canny, indignant and kind - revealing an author who manages somehow to be both a total hustler and a complete humanitarian. I love this book. Keep an eye on this writer. I'm telling you, he's a star." (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
The book started off a little slow. But that did not last long....written very well. I like the fact it was narrated by the author. He brought real life to all the characters he played. As the book continued I felt like I was going on this journey with the author. I literally laughed out loud and was saddened at how the author's life was playing out. Perfectly narrated! I wish it didn't finish! Great book!
If you want to hear the shady side of the hotel business this is a good insight
change the narrator ...I never finished this book 1st time in all my 50 Audible Titles . It was so irritating listening to someone who sounded like Sylvester the Cat.
As a hotelier who rose from page boy to GM. hope the listeners know not all hoteliers are shady , hustling or drug dependent. But hospitality professional who enjoys being a gracious host.
Here's where the audio version of a book can really make a difference.
I'd read some print reviews and comments that characterized the narration as arrogant at best, and flat-out insulting toward hotel guests at worst. And I can see how, without the winking wryness of Tomsky's voice narration to smooth things over, this could definitely come off as more of a whiny rant than the ironic-but-human tone the author (I think) intended.
And I can totally see why some people took offense--Tomsky makes no bones about hotel service being all about the bones--or bricks, or bennies, or all those other nicknames they have for tip denominations.
If the staff's not making fun of us behind our backs (literally--and with hand motions--I wish I could cite the chapter but you'll just have to get the book...), they're key-bombing us, or peeing into our cologne bottles. (Okay the peeing in the bottle story is apocryphal at best and only involved a celeb athlete, but still...)
But don't despair; Tomsky gives back by telling us what to do--and what not to do when we check in. If nothing else, you'll have fun figuring out the celebrity blind items. (Spoiler/answer key: Tim Burton, John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jordan)
Tomsky can write, and he has a few good anecdotes, but not as many as you'd think given all his years in the biz. He sounds like a genuinely good guy whose writing has been snarked-up by too many readings at the Knitting Factory--I heard the Brooklyn-hipster-style in his voice before I even confirmed that's where he lived.
But he arguably makes up for it with some awesome NYC and Nawlin's accents.
Frequent travelers probably won't find anything new here, and I'm not sure there's enough "inside dirt" for this to be a truly explosive read, but I was thoroughly entertained nonetheless.
A great audio book that accompanied me in a long train journey. It was easy to follow and very well read by the author. For frequent travelers, this book is indeed a sneak peak behind the scenes of the many hotels we visit. I would recommend this one as one of the best audio books I have purchased.
Someone who would take less offense at the vulgarity, f-bombs, and crude language.
Language would be my focus.
After Bossy Pants by Tina Fey and David Rakoff's works, this was a favorite.
He fairly took on the gritty and the great of working in the hospitality industry.
When I found this audiobook and read the title, I thought it was an expose` of hotels--all the little particulars of making rooms ready for strangers. Only a few minutes into the narrative I realized I was completely wrong. A few more minutes and I was hooked--the protagonist begins the book as a hapless valet at a moderate New Orleans hotel. The book chronicles his rise to front desk, through a move to New York, and dreams of a larger life. It can be surprisingly sad in parts--remembering his friends in New Orleans post-Katrina, but laugh out loud funny in others (I'll NEVER forget the guest with the brown paper bag). The reader has the advantage of being the author, so he knows exactly where to delight and surprise the listener. To me, wanting something different, this book was exactly right, even though it was nothing like I thought.
This book is a million times better than "Waiter Rant." It's smart, funny, and tells me more than I want to know about the hospitality industry.
Its just darn funny.
A behind the scenes look.
Tommy - the writer and narrator
I have done many of the things observed in the book. So embarrassing.
A fun read
Worth reading because it does give some insight and it is funny but if you have not learned to tip and if you are a jerk, you REALLY need to read this because then you truly are an “ugly American” even in the US.
For the rest of us who know how to treat people (and it has nothing to do with traveling – could be eating out) it is just somewhat insightful and funny.
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