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Last Night at the Lobster | [Stewart O'Nan]

Last Night at the Lobster

Perched in the far corner of a run-down New England mall, the Red Lobster hasn't been making its numbers, and headquarters has pulled the plug. But manager Manny DeLeon still needs to navigate a tricky last shift. With only four shopping days left until Christmas, Manny must convince his near-mutinous staff to hunker down and serve the final onslaught of hungry retirees, lunatics, and holiday office parties.
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Publisher's Summary

Perched in the far corner of a run-down New England mall, the Red Lobster hasn't been making its numbers, and headquarters has pulled the plug. But manager Manny DeLeon still needs to navigate a tricky last shift. With only four shopping days left until Christmas, Manny must convince his near-mutinous staff to hunker down and serve the final onslaught of hungry retirees, lunatics, and holiday office parties. All the while, he's wondering how to handle the waitress he's still in love with, his pregnant girlfriend at home, and where to find the present that will make everything better.

Last Night at the Lobster is a poignant yet redemptive look at what a man does when he discovers that his best might not be good enough.

©2007 Stewart O'Nan; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"A deeply moving novel about how we work, how we live, and how we get to the next day with our spirits intact. If there was ever a book that embodies what's best in us, it's Stewart O'Nan's Last Night at the Lobster." (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (78 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.6 (35 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Story
3.9 (32 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Richard Boston, MA, United States 12-08-10
    Richard Boston, MA, United States 12-08-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    13
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    2
    0
    Overall
    "Very good novella"

    This is a short novel...aka a novella...and it's worth the price of entry. I greatly enjoyed the author's "The Great Circus Fire" and this is a small but tasty slice of life taking place on the last night of a restaurant that's going out of business.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ohio Foodie Gambier, OH USA 08-27-12
    Ohio Foodie Gambier, OH USA 08-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sweet story but I expected more"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I just wish there was a bit more substance to it


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stewart O'Nan? Why or why not?

    Yes. The writing is engaging and evocative.


    What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

    The sound of his voice. He is very expressive, too.


    Did Last Night at the Lobster inspire you to do anything?

    No, we read it for our book group and talked about this point, but I wasn't particularly inspired.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Misty Las Vegas, NV, United States 04-19-12
    Misty Las Vegas, NV, United States 04-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly Enjoyable Tale of Everyday Life"
    What did you love best about Last Night at the Lobster?

    It was funny and endearing. My husband and I listened to it on a road trip. We laughed and related to the characters. If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you will love this book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last dinner. I don't want to give anything away, but we still quote lines from it when we're buying vegetables at the grocery store.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    I heard a review of this book by Maurine Corrigan on Fresh Air. I'm glad I took her advice and bought this book. The narration is great, too. This is an entertaining listen that will stick with you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Portland, OR, United States 12-22-08
    Melanie Portland, OR, United States 12-22-08 Member Since 2007

    I love words that can take me into other worlds.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    265
    14
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    6
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    Overall
    "Not a Christmas story"

    Although this book was listed by Audible among its holiday selections, the only connection with that category is that the events take place on December 22. Rather, this is an unremittingly depressing account of the last day of a chain restaurant. The manager is very appealing in a Charlie Brown sort of way, always running for the football that will inevitably be yanked away. The reading is well done. But don't expect to come away from this book with any warm feelings about the redemptive power of goodness or hope.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 12-22-08
    Rebecca 12-22-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    182
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Waiting for something to happen..."

    and it never does. The author did make me care about the protagonist, but nothing truly resolves and it's quite a depressing little account. Only if you're interested in the most trivial minutiae of running a Red Lobster and managing its marginal employees is this the book for you.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audrey Marlton, NJ, USA 02-05-08
    Audrey Marlton, NJ, USA 02-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    14
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Lobster Lover"

    Excellent story...well told with enough left to the imagination you believe it could be real.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty 05-05-14
    Betty 05-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing .. this is my life"
    Where does Last Night at the Lobster rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Bottom half. It was well written and well read but the story just got me down.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stewart O'Nan? Why or why not?

    Sure. He did a good job.


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I have.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. It make me sad. People can do their best and still get kicked around. I didn't enjoy it. I work in retail and experience this.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was recommended to me by someone I met online and don't know. I don't know why. She said it was one of her favorites. There you are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Michigan, USA 12-27-13
    Jennifer Michigan, USA 12-27-13 Member Since 2011

    You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    22
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meh...."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not especially, the story just kind of sat there. I kept waiting for something to happen and then the book just ended.


    What could Stewart O'Nan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Something dramatic or exciting could have happened.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    SPOILER ALERT: There were several scenes where something could have happened. The unknown car could have come in and robbed them. One of them could have won the lottery and they all fought for the winning ticket. But, alas nothing did happen ever.


    Do you think Last Night at the Lobster needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't read it. It did have some interesting characters, but they never did anything that would make me want to read another book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 11-29-13
    Richard 11-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The audio version is terrible"
    Any additional comments?

    This is such a good book to read, but listening to it was so excruciating that I literally could only listen for about 3 minutes...I have read and re-read the print version, but would not recommend the audio version to anyone -- the narration is flat and lacks the necessary nuance to captivate the listener in the way the print version does.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 12-25-12
    Barbara 12-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"
    Would you try another book from Stewart O'Nan and/or Jonathan Davis?

    Maybe. I've read other books by this author and enjoyed the character studies even though nothing much happens in his books. This one had even less plot and limited character study.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The author did a good job of showing the main character's somewhat obsessive traits.


    What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The book was well read, but I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more had I read it instead of listening. Some books are just better reads.


    Do you think Last Night at the Lobster needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No follow up needed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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