From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Anonymity is tough to maintain when you want to do a book tour. Such is the case with Steve Dublanica, a seminary dropout and laid-off psychiatric worker who, in 2004, started www.WaiterRant.net, blogging as The Waiter. His brutal observations on waiting tables at an upscale restaurant he called The Bistro (outed as Lanterna Tuscan Bistro in Nyack, N.Y.) are expanded in this entertaining audio. Dan John Miller is pitch perfect not only as the Waiter—who devolves from woebegone rookie into jaded veteran—but also as his customers, co-workers, bosses and brother. Miller's vocal interpretation dovetails seamlessly with the material. He shines when the Waiter is dishing it out, but even more so when he's taking it. Miller's performance is enthralling during passages in which he reveals his crippling self-doubt, overwhelming sense of underachievement and acknowledgment that he's become somewhat of a jerk. An Ecco hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 28). (Aug.)
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This anonymous work renders in book format a popular blog produced by a veteran waiter toiling in metropolitan New York’s high-pressure restaurants. Typical of bloggers’ output, this is a highly idiosyncratic, little-edited, narrowly conceived work; nevertheless, it’s readable, fun, and, for those unfamiliar with the sphere of personal service, highly instructive. Unlike the suave servers of Europe’s finest restaurants, American waiters rarely find a lifelong career path and present meals only on the way to some other unrelated profession. Customers can reflect human behavior’s extremes, and waiters confront both rudeness and parsimony. In these pages, waiters frequently engage in mutually destructive behaviors with chefs and abuse one another on a personal level. And waiters’ near-total reliance on voluntary tipping can quickly corrupt both the tip’s giver and its receiver. This tell-all is likely to spawn notoriety for the people who run the front of the house just as Anthony Bourdain’s journals did for kitchen staff. --Mark Knoblauch
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