Cosmopolitan: Bartender's Life and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.00
  • Save: $2.38 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for *FREE* Super Saver Shipping! Excellent customer service, qualifies for Amazon A to Z satisfaction. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life Paperback – September 14, 2004


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.62
$7.99 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life + The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft
Price for both: $36.51

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767912101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767912105
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Marvelous.  Toby Cecchini is no part-time, blender-drink-slinging woo-woo pouring dilettante. He's a professional. A hard, wise, funny, sad and unflinching look at the world from the other side of the bar.  Beautifully written, as fascinating for its backstairs account of hip restaurant/bar/lounge hijinks as it is for its unique perspective on human behavior. New York night life in all its true, hilarious, horrific, poignant and pinheaded glory.”
-Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential

“Toby Cecchini is something of an expert in creating hospitable environments: for drinkers with his bar, and for readers with this book. He writes with a quiet, lucid style about a profession that is generally loud and chaotic, and he makes almost every aspect of his bartending vocation, including, and perhaps especially, the bad behavior of some of his patrons, totally engaging. He has also captured an essence of New York life in the way that Midwesterners are, for some reason, uniquely able to capture it. Finally, though this book’s title is an overt reference to a particular mixed drink, what it embodies and anatomizes so well is an outlook on the world, in this case from behind a bar.”
-Tom Beller, author of Seduction Theory and The Sleepover Artist



From the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Cosmopolitan is a memoir of the bartending life structured as a day in the life of Passerby, the bar owned and run by Toby Cecchini. It is, as well, a rich study of human nature—of the outlandish behavior of the human animal under the influence of alcohol, of lust, and of the sheer desire to bust loose and party. As the typical day progresses, Cecchini muses over a life spent in the service industry and the fascinating particulars of his chosen profession. He is by turns witty, acute, mordant, and lyrical in dealing with the realities of his profession, shedding plenty of light on the hidden corners of what people do when they go out at night.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
5
3 star
5
2 star
6
1 star
0
See all 25 customer reviews
Um, call me crazy, but isn't that a mite highfalutin to describe watching someone chip ice?
buddyhead
I read each and every bad review of this book here but I read it anyway and I can also tell you that all of the criticisms can be safely dismissed out of hand.
Opinion_Sharer
The other aspect of the book that was mildly disorienting to me is that it is not a coherent story.
Joseph Biskup

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By buddyhead on August 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Toby Cecchini's lavish and loving descriptions of alcohol really make you want to have a drink; in fact, I'm a beer-only guy, and found myself hankering for a martini or Manhattan while I read Cosmopolitan. Not with the author, though, who maintains the effete and disdainful tone of a French snob throughout. There isn't a single instance in this book's 238 pages where a $10,000 word and/or a French turn of phrase wasn't substituted for the $10 version, regardless of the fit. This was as goofy as it was distracting, and I can't imagine it endears the smarmy author to anyone who reads this.

Case in point: "I always marveled at the élan with which he pulled off that simple action; my efforts at duplicating this maneuver always end with me bludgeoning the recalcitrant glacier mercilessly as chips fly helter skelter." Um, call me crazy, but isn't that a mite highfalutin to describe watching someone chip ice? And while describing the staff at a restaurant where he used to work: "Even now, at the remove of more than a decade, it is easy to conjure, but difficult to summarize, the atmosphere of that floor, its peculiar combination of superfluous terror and incestuous, striving kinesis." Pal, the only reason it might be "difficult to summarize" a bunch of the interaction between a bunch of waiters, cooks, and bartenders, is because you're trying too hard. The last time I saw this much use of the word "lovely" was when I brought our daughter to my grandmother's senior center,

It gets worse.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Cecchini should have gotten out of the business years before writing this book. Yes, he has a knack for using big words in hopes of bringing this book to a more literary level, but he should have stuck to finding better stories instead. As a regular at two bars in Los Angeles, I have personally seen funnier and more interesting moments than Cecchini. He's so hard-boiled and tired that he barely seems interested in his own anecdotes. I don't mind bitterness, in fact the more the better, but without a sense of humor in telling the story, he doesn't make this a fun read. My fantasies of bartending are shattered forever. Fun as a concept, not so fun (or interesting) to read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Pearce on October 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one sitting on a Saturday night and it made me wish I had gone out and drank Manhattans instead. (This is a compliment to the author) Having spent fifteen years in the service industry both as a bartender and waitress, I found the stories in this book a bit boring. I was looking for some laugh out loud accounts and really good stories. I found the book a bit depressing, although I have to say that I have a lot of respect for the author and can fully relate to his tales. I would recommend this book to anyone who has worked in this business.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carmine Russo on December 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a professional bartender (31 years behind the stick), I can attest to Cecchini's authenticity. With style, sardonic humor (aside from the Boston shaker, the bartender's most effective tool), grit and total 360 vision, he breaks down the experience for even the most clueless civilians to grasp.

"Foodies," "restaurant people," hospitality workers, "bar dogs," "bar whores," however titled, are a definite sub-culture, observing humanity under a naked black light. Anthony Bourdain eloquently illustrated the inner workings of the restaurant and Toby Cecchini follows suit with his own distinctive style in autopsying the professional bartender and his personal life.

I personally know the feeling of inventing a drink, showing it off with pride, and the subsequent bombardment of requests by spirit-ignorant dilettantes, the bastardization of the recipe by anyone who ever picked up a bottle of well vodka, and the regret that churns your gastric acids on just hearing the name of your drink hurled through the air. Toby brings that mix of pride and disillusionment to light with humor and without crying over the loss of his monster.

Everyone who's ever been a bar or restaurant patron needs to read this book to try and pick themselves out of the crowd. Consider it a training manual in human behavior for the uninitiated and alcohol-impaired.

Regarding the Cosmopolitan, I'd have to say that despite occasional criticism from the new genre of "bar chef's"... what the hell does that mean anyway?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I love memoirs and when I had heard some buzz on this book I went ahead and picked it up. I read it fairly quickly and when it was over I felt down and unsatisfied. Cecchini's writing tries too hard to be literary and isn't straightforward enough. A lot of big words that seem out of place for a book about nightlife and booze. The cover made me think it would have been a lot more fun about a business that seems glossy and glamorous. Unfortunatly, Cecchini seems to think it was a drag one time too many - it wouldn't be an understatement to say that he's a little hard-boiled in the way he tells his story.
Definitely a great atmosphere book, in that the place seems real but the customers act like jerks and who wants to hang out with jerks? Just wish it was more fun, is all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?