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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Grant
  • NANTUCKET, MA, United States
  • 03-10-13

The presidential suite of audiobooks

I travel on business a lot. I stay in hotels over 150 nights a year. This book was not only entertaining and a pleasure to listen to (Thomsky is a natural reader/actor/performer), it gave me some real insight and tips for how I should approach my stays in hotels. Funny as hell. Full of interesting stories. And the author experienced something of a dramatic arc from beginning to end. Very well done.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 01-20-13

credit worthy

Novel view of the hotel and service industries. It kept my attention and made me laugh.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 02-05-13

Entertaining & Informative

This is how an "industry insider" book should be done - exactly the right mix of industry secrets, hilarious anecdotes, and personal details all wrapped up in a neat package. Bravo to the author for his wit, his willingness to dish the dirt, and the wisdom to narrate it himself. I can't wait to try out the mini-bar trick to see if it works (maybe I'll try it in a friend's room first). This would be a perfect book to listen to on a plane or during a long car ride - by the time you get to your destination, you could score a room upgrade!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Abigail
  • URBANA, IL, United States
  • 12-03-12

Funny, honest writing.

I love that the author read it because you are experiencing the moments as he intended. I think anyone who has ever had any job in a service industry would completely appreciate this book. The writing is crass at times but that is how people talk. People who are not ok with crass or crude humor should probably not read this.... or work at a hotel. I love crude, honest, and brutal humor and real-life observations and telling it like it is so I absolutely loved this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Brett
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 04-13-13

Back Office Gossip That You Know You Love

Any additional comments?

This book will make you laugh as well as shake your head in judgement. It is a completely engaging memoir of a man's career in (and corruption by) the hotel industry. Its style is profane and the language is foul but this is actually well used here. I honestly felt like I was in a break room listening to author tell his stories to me. Straight junk talk but there is an honesty and a likeability here to keep you reading. <br/><br/>It might be easy to judge the author poorly for, on the one hand, preaching about service and on the other running scams on the customers, and in many cases his preaching points doubled back on themselves leaving me to wonder which direction his moral compass really pointed. However, in the end I think that this story delivers what it intends to and more. Besides, in the course of this work I saw some glimpses of a really great writer (the description of New Orleans was poetic) and I hope to see more from him in the future. <br/><br/>Will this book shock you? yes<br/>Will this book make you mad? yes<br/>Will this book change the way you see hotels and the employees? yes<br/>Will this story engage you from start to finish? yes<br/><br/>You will enjoy this book if you have ever lingered at the water cooler to talk junk about your employer and listen to gossip about the office.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • Bremerton, WA, United States
  • 01-04-13

If only it was longer.....

Would you consider the audio edition of Heads in Beds to be better than the print version?

Not sure but I would assume yes due to the amazing performance by the author. Knowing his own characters he brought them to life in a way that I would not have been so bold to create myself.

Which character – as performed by Jacob Tomsky – was your favorite?

All of them. Seriously.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

-tip the usher on the way in :)

Any additional comments?

This storys characters came alive. It was almost a mistake to listen to this at work as I had a couple close calls of "coffee sprayed monitor" due to the amazing writing and narration. Ne'er again will I say the oh so ignorant phrase "I don't want to trouble him" and just say "No thank you, I appreciate the offer". <br/><br/>Thankfully I have always learned to book through the actual hotel. I rebelled against hotels a while back due to expensive rooms and usually sub-par service, opting to spend a couple extra dollars on a B&B (they are always happy to see you but not so great for epically loud sex). <br/><br/><br/>Also a cool shout out to The Las Vegas Hard Rock for having exceptional concierge. I really hope my husband tipped them for bringing my drunk ass up to the hotel room that night I got lost. Stay in their suite tower, drop the extra coin as I assure you, they are amazeballs.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding book and even better narration!

Where does Heads in Beds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book in its category ranks in the top two.<br/>

Who was your favorite character and why?

Torn between the author and the bellman/doorman.

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

His very real voice I.e. the street talk.

Any additional comments?

Truly a great listen one of about three books I was able to listen to straight thru, the author was an amazing narrator as well. Opened my eyes into a service I love to use but always wondered how to improve my stays, and more importantly how not to behave.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining

Great listen and well worth the credit. Not a family road trip book but it will make you laugh, as long as you don't get offended by tough language. I am glad the author did the narration because it would not have been the same coming from someone else.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Eye Opening

This book was entertaining and enlightening from the very beginning. The author uses a bit too much crude language for my liking, but he does a great job with the story and throws in lots and lots of little tips along the way. I will never ever check into a hotel the same again. I will never look at the front desk clerk the same again.

For seasoned travelers, watch out, you might see yourself in this story! But if you pay attention at all, you should be able to improve your future hotel stays. This inside look at the hospitality industry is probably more gritty and detailed than the industry is comfortable having exposed, but that's what makes it great. Peppered liberally with doses of humor and a very light, quick paced storyline, this book was over far too soon. Very well done and if Jacob "Thomas" Tomsky wants to write "Heads in Beds 2", I'll be at the head of the line to grab it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A worthwhile use of a credit - easy & entertaining

This book was a fun listen and a worthwhile use of a credit. The stories are entertaining - if not always told with a cohesive narrative - and for someone like me who generally sticks to nonfiction/history it was a great easy listen/distraction. I liked that Mr. Tomsky narrated the book himself as the flourishes he adds to his own stories greatly improve the listen. Don't buy it if you're expecting Dave Eggers or David Sedaris type essays - also don't buy it if you're looking for honest to goodness travel tips. I thought the publishers pushing the book as having travel/hotel upgrade tips was disingenuous - Mr. Tomsky does use 'tips' as gateways to tell a story the 'insider tip' he offers is almost always give a big tip.

In short - well narrated, funny, easy listening....would be great for a long plane flight.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful