Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cheri Raves About Waiter Rant

Like many Americans I spent a fair amount of my young adult life waiting tables. It wasn’t a particularly memorable or happy part of my life, and I am happy to say I have left it far behind. So when I got this book to review I looked at with lukewarm interest at best, but nonetheless packed it on an overseas trip that would afford me the luxury having time to actually read a book cover to cover. Boy am I glad I did.

The author, who penned this tome anonymously under the name of "The Waiter,” is one of the best writers I’ve come across in years. In his skillful hands, the subject matter of waiting tables at an upscale Manhattan restaurant becomes the stuff of psychology, philosophy, and the human drama.

While reading this memoir, I found myself laughing out loud, for much of the book is indeed hilarious. I marveled at how you can never underestimate just how strange some people can be. And I even cried, for every now and then in the midst of drama, chaos and hilarity, the author sneaks in a bit of heart warming humanity, humility and grace. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being immersed in the writer’s world, his cutting edge style and keen observations bringing to life a cross section of society in their native habitat from a vantage most of us will never have.

After watching my reactions during reading, and hearing the snippets of prose that were just too good for me not to share at the moment, my traveling companion couldn’t wait to lay claim to the book as soon as I finished reading.

According to The Waiter, eighty percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. That’s encouraging news for the human condition, but it’s the remaining twenty percent, the “socially maladjusted psychopaths,” that make for fascinating reading, replete with tales of customer stupidity and arrogant misbehavior, and restaurant owners, chefs and coworkers with extreme paranoid tendencies and grudges to carry..

On the practical side, The Waiter reveals the secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and how to keep servers from spitting in your food (and worse, much worse).

The Waiter’s writing career started via a blog, also called Waiter Rant (click to www.WaiterRant.net, or see the blog list on this page). The fact that such a blog could parlay into a full time writing career and a book contract with a major publisher (Harper Collins) is testament to the quality of the writer’s ability to tell a tale and engage an audience. I can’t recommend this fun and insightful read highly enough.

Click here for more information or to order from Amazon.com.

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