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Flash in the Pan: Life and Death of an American Restaurant Hardcover – November 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671686925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671686925
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,679,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

When The Falls opened in lower Manhattan in 1990 with all the pomp and press attention befitting a "hot" new trendy restaurant, no one imagined that it would close in little more than a year. The story of The Falls sadly typifies those dining-as-theater eateries where an artsy space, chic clientele, and modelesque service upstage the cuisine. Blum, a writer for Esquire , Vanity Fair , and The New Republic , offers a voyeuristic behind-the-scenes account of the intricacies of starting and running such an establishment. Filled with plentiful humor and satisfying anecdotes about the characters and events that make up the hip "downtown" New York scene, Blum's book is more an entertaining look at, rather than a serious dissertation on, the restaurant business. Recommended for popular business collections.
-David Nudo, New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

David Blum is the editor of Kindle Singles, the storefront for high quality longform writing on Kindle. He was previously the editor in chief of The Village Voice and has written for New York magazine, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. Flash in the Pan, first published in 1992, was his first book.

More About the Author

David Blum works for Amazon.com as the editor of Kindle Singles, the store for original, high-quality longform fiction and nonfiction on Kindle. He began his career as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and has worked as a contributing editor at New York Magazine (where he coined the term "Brat Pack"), Esquire and The New York Times Magazine. He has also written for The New Republic, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. In 2006 Blum became editor-in-chief of The Village Voice, and later served as editor-in-chief of the New York Press and 02138 Magazine.

Blum's first book, "Flash In The Pan: The Life and Death of an American Restaurant," was published by Simon & Schuster in 1992, and was named a notable nonfiction book of the year by The New York Times Book Review. His second book, "Tick...Tick...Tick...: The Long Life & Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes," was published by HarperCollins in 2004.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Meghan on June 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved the book because it gave an entertaining look into the world of New York City restaurants and the city itself in 1990. Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in the drama that goes on behind the scenes at hip restaurants (who always try to project an aura of 'cool').

The witty, sharp writing of reporter David Blum help paint a vivid picture of the characters who tried their best to make their culinary dreams a reality. Clashes of big personalities, debates over the right type of house potatoes (fries or mashed? Very divisive) and territorial fights over the stereo system are just some of the problems faced by the crew heading up The Falls restaurant. Part of the appeal of Flash in the Pan comes as a form of nostalgia: set in 1990 SoHo, the book serves as an example of how much and how little has changed in the restaurant world in the past two decades.

In spite of the fact that the title gives you an immediate hint about the fate of the restaurant, the descriptive and funny writing has you invested in their dream.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By twig on August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Food lit is one of my more favorite genres, and I'm always interested to read more about how restaurants work. I found 'Flash in the Pan' to be an engaging, interesting and well-written read with a great attention to detail. I think anyone who wants to know how restaurants are put together would find a lot of value in this book. I'm glad I read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Richardson on May 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is about what happened to a resturant from the concept through opening and the closing of the establishment. If you have never worked in the Food Industry then I would not by this book. If you have been in the food industry you might enjoy the read. I have been in the industry for over 20 years and found the book kind of intresting but nothing outstanding. The other reviews hear just are trashing the book for no reason.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Anton on November 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating narrative about the birth, life, and death of a restaurant. If you've ever been in the business, or are thinking about it and think it might be fun, this is a real cautionary tale. The hubris of the people involved is staggering, and it's not a surprise that the enterprise failed, but what a spectacular flame out!
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