Yes, hot on the heels of the books JULIE AND JULIA and Anthony Bourdain’s KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL we have a new, engaging – if cynical – insight into the world of lower income service jobs – WAITER RANT.
WAITER RANT reads as much as a contemporary confessional novel as the nonfiction rant of a thirty something waiter it claims to be. And this story-telling is what raises WATIER RANT from a mere collection of blog posts to an engaging, page turning read. The author’s well honed writing skills – he’s been writing a waiter blog for years - and it's on display often in these pages.
Our nameless author pulls us into his tale from the start, relating to us his disaffection with his efforts to become a priest at a seminary where he grew cynical about the ways of the contemporary church; leaving his path to the ministry our author next offers us his erstwhile attempt to offer ethical, caring care to the mentally challenged, a series of jobs which left him still in his 20’s and fed up with duplicity of the health care system. Down on his luck, willing to take just about any temporary employment as a way to make money – we get to the core of this tale – our authors’ fiery plunge into the world of waiting tables in the world of New York City’s fine dining – an experience that he relates with humor and not a little sarcasm.
Our author goes on to become the manager of a new fine dining establishment in a nearby upscale town – he labels it “The Bistro” in his blog and this book – and finds that managing a restaurant is more daring and challenging that he at first thought. As we read we’re offered his thoughts on any number of dining topics – some of the most cutting and hilarious revolving around the less than stellar impact on American dining life caused by the success of the FOOD CHANNEL and its 24 hour/7 day a week superstars and the development in the American dining world of a type of diner our author labels “foodies”.
WAITER RANT ends, appropriately enough, with “in your face” recommendations to those of us who dine out - a part of the book not to be missed!
All of this said let me give you fair warning – WAITER RANT is NOT for the faint of heart – the language can be salty, the subjects at times more “adult” than “family” and this former seminarian proves his cynicism with his sometimes caustic view of humanity.
Yet for all its 21st century sarcasm, WAITER RANT is as one critic wrote “never overbearing and certainly never self-righteous”. One critic of the book even compares it favorably to the runaway-hit TV show THE OFFICE… ”parts of the book were just flat out funny, in that kind of way that Office Space is funny to those who work in the corporate world.”
As is becoming usual, if you’re intrigued by my review of WAITER RANT I invite you to launch yourself into the reviews found at the major internet book sites – some these folks are writing their OWN books as they review this one – WAITER RANT is that inspiring to some readers! Maybe you'll feel that way about WAITER RANT too?
Listen to the review here WBAA radio website.
Listen here: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbaa/.jukebox?action=featured