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We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people....
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Jubilee tells the true story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress. Vyry bears witness to the South's antebellum opulence and to its brutality, its wartime ruin....
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A down-and-out musician chops off his hair to become a server at the top of the Hollywood food chain, discovering a cloistered world of money, fame, bad behavior, and intrigue.
Waiter to the Rich and Shameless is not just a peek into the secretive inner workings of a legendary five-star restaurant; it is not just a celebrity tell-all or a scathing corporate analysis. It is a top-tier waiter's personal coming-of-age story, an intimate look into the complicated challenges of serving in the country's most elite, Hollywood-centric dining room while fighting to maintain a sense of self and purpose.
Of the many millions of food service workers around the globe, only a tiny number ever ascend to a top-level position at a world-renowned restaurant catering to iconic celebrities, moguls, and politicians. As one of those select few, Paul ("Pauli") Hartford is the first waiter to open the door into a cloistered, coveted world of money, fame, bad behavior, and intrigue. He peels back the veneer of civility and culture at the nation's most preeminent celebrity hangout, the Cricket Room, in Beverly Hills, California. He exposes the epic human foibles of its elite clientele, the dining room's corrupt corporate culture, its clandestine culinary practices, and the heartbreaking struggles of its beleaguered waitstaff.
This keenly-observed story also traverses Pauli's 10-year evolution from a jaded, party-hungry rock musician who moonlights as a bartender, into a snobbish and pretentious waiter, and finally into a polished and sophisticated server who takes his job so seriously that it drives him to the brink of illness. Pauli finds himself at first seduced by his famous guests' glamour and self-indulgence, then accustomed to it, and finally appalled by it.
For obvious reasons, some details and specifics about the real Cricket Room have been cleverly disguised, but discerning listeners will easily connect the dots.
What disappointed you about Waiter to the Rich and Shameless?
There were so many rave reviews posted for this book that I was extremely disappointed to find that I completely disagree. Maybe I was hoping for another Kitchen Confidential, but this is a far cry from Bourdain. There's a difference between irreverence and immaturity, and for me the sense of humor just isn't there. His random literary and cultural references are ill-informed and often just off base. I found the author's voice puerile and when he stands in judgement of his clientele (when, that is, he isn't self-righteously defending them against his superiors) it's difficult to understand why he believes himself in a position to judge. The drug-fueled orgies, boob-centric sexual fantasies and hair metal waffling makes it difficult to find credibility in his blatantly subjective brand of moral judgement, not to mention that he can't resist boasting about the size of his erection. And, yes, he calls it by a proper name.
Has Waiter to the Rich and Shameless turned you off from other books in this genre?
No. I'm hoping for better.
What three words best describe James Patrick Cronin’s performance?
The performance is fine.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment. Though I now have a different career, I've done my time as a service professional in high end restaurants in a high end resort. I find the author's blatant disrespect for the kitchen in a dining establishment of this caliber to be particularly off-putting. The servers are a big part of the equation, yes, but the chef, sous chef and line cooks are at very least an equal part of that same equation, and, whether or not one likes them personally, to show zero respect for what they do, their training, skill level, and the difficulty of their job, is dismissive, arrogant and ignorant in the extreme.
68 of 72 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
For those of us who’ve worked in corporate, one can easily relate to the author’s dismay with the management mentality that he felt ruined his favorite job ever. This story is loaded with celeb stories and a superb ending. Hope to hear more from Mr. Hartford soon.
25 of 27 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I didn't have big expectations on this book but I was seriously mistaken and am so happy that I chose this book to listen to. I am intrigued by those whom have the gift of writing. What got my attention about this book to begin with, was the fact that Mr. Hartford is not a celebrity and thought that the book would have funny stories about the rich folks he served. Which, there was plenty of that. However, what I really took away from this book was the way he was able to capture the personalities of the people in his life and himself . I truly enjoyed when he would describe their personalities, behaviors and how he interacted with them. And then his own responses to them. What came across to me was the respect he has for others and were able to showcase their strengths and idiosyncrasies. I did this type of work in my twenties for a couple of years. So I enjoyed the work stories the most. The interactions he had with his coworkers was well written. I could relate to many of the things he wrote. I think more folks will find read this book and react the same way. This type of work is demanding, physically and mentally. Great read! Can't wait to see what's coming next from this author.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Wait! Was I the only one who found this book hilarious? His snarky comments lit up the pages and I was truly relieved to follow his life lessons along the way. <br/><br/>Celebrities, Sass, sex, drugs and rock’n roll exactly the way it is working in the fast paced restaurant business. <br/><br/>I recommend this book!
13 of 15 people found this review helpful
I got this book for some light and entertaining reading/listening (on Audible) but found myself pulled into the story much more than I expected to be. I usually listen while driving and I would literally find myself sitting in my garage or a parking lot to finish out each chapter if I arrived at my destination too soon.
It's a true, first hand account of life behind the Hollywood/Beverly Hills curtain but it also takes a fascinating look at the social dynamic between those with power and those who may not be perceived to have power but actually do (you'll have to get the book to understand). All in all, a very close and entertaining look at how the many gears (gears meaning everyone including celebrities) work on the inside of the big, shiny machine we all see on the outside. One man's journey framed inside the true stories of being a waiter to the rich and shameless. Highly recommended!
21 of 25 people found this review helpful
If you are into celebrity tell-all's or ever wish you could be a fly on the wall of your favorite celebrity?? THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!! The writer lets us peek into a world that only a few ever get to experience. Want to know who the best tippers are in Hollywood? Want to know who is a real douche canoe? Get this book. You will laugh and you will be entertained! I have listened to about 50 celebrity books and a few tell all's, this one is the best. Other tell all's don't want to offend the celebrities they have encountered.. Paulie does not GAF!! BUY THIS BOOK!
20 of 24 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Waiter to the Rich and Shameless?
I just finished reading the book WAITER TO THE RICH AND SHAMELESS. You won't be able to put it down. Paul Hartford takes you on the most interesting journey of his life as a server to the stars at one of the most expensive restaurants in the country. And what a journey it is! The book is fantastic, enlightening, and a GREAT READ! I know all Audible Listeners will enjoy it. On a personal level I couldn't stop listening and fished it in iless than two days. Don't miss out on Paul's wonderful story. Steve
What other book might you compare Waiter to the Rich and Shameless to and why?
RICH AND SHAMELESS IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR that can't be compared to any other book I have ever read. It is simply a fantastic read. I had to purchase a hard cover for my personal library, that I rarely do. IT WAS SIMPLY THAT GOOD. I couldn't stop listening!
What does James Patrick Cronin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The narration could not have been better. He made me feel as if I was having lunch with Johnny Depp. Wonderful!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I could not stop listening. If I was at work I probably would have gotten into trouble for being plugged in all day.
Any additional comments?
Did you ever fantasize about sitting next to your favorite celebrity, politician, or favorite author and sharing a $7,000 yes seven thousand dollar glass of wine? If you have your fantasy will come true just by listening to the book WAITER TO THE RICH AND SHAMELESS! This listen is a journey and a wonderful experience. S
22 of 27 people found this review helpful
This book took me on the journey of a man who comes of age while serving top celebrities at an infamous Beverly Hills restaurant. The memoir is loaded with celebrity anecdotes, but what makes this book so timeless is when the author comes full circle in his own personal life while struggling corporate managers who seem clueless. Hearing his stories about feasts hosted by Johnny Depp and of Russell Crowe etc. just make his own story that much more interesting. I will revisit this story again. I highly recommend.
18 of 22 people found this review helpful
A server's coming of age story from behind the velvet ropes...
Listening to this memoir by Paul Hartford is like getting the inside track on the legendary stories you usually only hear second- or third-hand: the wait-staff getting the chance to rub shoulders with high-profile celebrities, only to find out that some are really huge jerks or some are even more generous than you’d expect. But this account, as incredible as it is, is as good as it gets!
The stories that Pauli tells are hilarious, disturbing, off-the-wall, and just as juicy as a thick steak. It won't take long for you to figure out the Beverly Hills restaurant, and that’s a nod to Hartford's writing ability as he captures the essential characteristics of each celebrity like an artistic portrait. The best part of the story is how Pauli proves what we've all known the whole time -- money isn't everything. It helps, but boy, it sure doesn't buy class. This was an electric story and a fun escape into the shoes of someone else's upside-down experiences.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Waiter to the Rich and Shameless again? Why?
Absolutely.Too many funny anecdotes to truly appreciate in one reading
What was one of the most memorable moments of Waiter to the Rich and Shameless?
Russel Crowe episode followed by Johnny Depp
Which scene was your favorite?
Wedding in Tuscany
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
Funny,well written and articulate account. I worked in the same industry and echelon for many years. This book made it easy to realize that restaurant life, management trends and celeb traits don't seem to ever change, just the faces.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful