Waiter Rant offers the server's unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places.
Through outrageous stories, The Waiter reveals the secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and how to keep him from spitting in your food. The Waiter also shares his ongoing struggle, at age 38, to figure out if he can finally leave the first job at which he's really thrived.
(P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"The other shoe finally drops. The front-of-the-house version of Kitchen Confidential; a painfully funny, excruciatingly true-life account of the waiter's life. As useful as it is entertaining." (Anthony Bourdain)
"I really enjoyed Waiter Rant. The book is engaging and funny, a story told from my polar opposite perspective." (John DeLucie, chef of The Waverly Inn)
If you're looking for funny customer stories or gory details of what actually happens in a kitchen, you might be disappointed.
Although it does feature a few stories, the book is mainly about the waiter psycho-analysing himself and everyone around him. The narrator does a good job narrating what can be a somewhat boring (at times) autobiography. But if you dive into this knowing what to expect, it could be a very enjoyable 9 hrs.
Good, but could be better.
Either wait for the abridged version or skim the blog. The stories of annoying customers and other hassles of the restaurant business are amusing, but you have to wade through too much painfully bad dreck to reach them. Rather than focusing on what he's good at - recounting everyday incidents in the life of a waiter - the author spends most of the book trying to convince us/himself that he is now a Writer. So besides the fascinating details of his childhood library visits and the pain of a critical writing review in college, we get the flowery descriptions of sunsets, painfully artificial expository dialogues, and essays on his views on illegal immigration, the homeless, and what it feels like to be discovering his 'gift' for writing. Skip it.
I am a big fan of kitchen confidential and when I saw this book hit the site I purchased it without thinking twice. An excellent listen from start to finish. The author sheds light on the other side of restaurants the front end. In this book the so called face of a restaurant is shown in many lights. The book has grit and glamour and shows you the many joys and evils of working in a high class eatery.
An excellent read/listen for anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant in any capacity or for anyone who is simply interested in seeing a vivid behind the scenes look into this fascinating world.
This book starts off as the laugh out loud adventures of super waiter, focused on funny customer stories, and waiting misadventures. However, at about the half-way point, it begins to devolve into the psychology profile of a loser middle aged waiter and his struggles with aging. If I wanted a nonfiction psych biography of someone I'd never heard of, I'd go read livejournal. I wish the second half of the book could have been as good as the first half; the first half is worth the read, but the second half isn't.
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.
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.
I like books like this - zeroed in on a subject, not trying to contain the whole "sturm und drang" of a life in a few hundred pages. However, the story did rather deflate in the middle, as though the writer/waiter was flummoxed after the initial setup in a "what do I do now?" sort of way.
I love the book name and writer's name, though I could have done without his frequent identification of women by their hair color - eg a "brunette" or a "redhead". I thought this kind of parlance had disappeared by now, and it seemed too retro and sexist when compared to the contemporary feeling of the story.
Still a good read, though!
The Waiter was an interesting listen when you're hearing the stories of annoying customers, awful management, and kooky coworkers. The narrator of this book does a good job bringing personality to "the waiter" and also paints a convincing narrative of the customers he encounters. Where the book loses a few stars is the overly stylized dialogue that you'll hear when you're listening to the water recount conversations with his co-worker Beth - it sounds more like a Dawson's Creek script then how real friends would converse. I also could have skipped the waiter's psychoanalysis of customers and co-workers - he seems to think his background in psychology allows him to analyze the behaviors of others. But overall it's a good listen - it is fast paced, funny and leaves you with tips and stories you'll remember and consider the next time you're eating out!
This book isn't terrible and it's easy to listen to while doing other things - you don't need to worry about missing any of the plot! The author seems to think very highly of himself, and it's apparent throughout the book, which does get a bit irritating. Overall it's an easy listen, and a bit of an insight into the world of America's hospitality industry.
Great inside look at the restaurant world from the server's eye view. Well written, interesting and insightful. Should be required reading for the many manners-challenged people who forget The Golden Rule whenever they step into a restaurant.
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