Last Night at the Lobster
The Red Lobster perched in the far corner of a run-down New England mall hasn't been making its numbers and headquarters has pulled the plug. But manager Manny DeLeon still needs to navigate a tricky last shift with a near-mutinous staff. All the while, he's wondering how to handle the waitress he's still in love with, what to do about his pregnant girlfriend, and where to...more
I don't know if everyone can appreciate exactly why this book is so perfect, but what O'Nan has done in capturing the mood of a crew of food service workers just as their workplace is about to shuts its doors forever is remarkable.
In any service environment, a peculiar culture builds up among the employees, but in food service that culture knits itself in a very specific way. It's all about the money: how the servers relate to the kitchen staff, bar staff, and managers ...more
Eating at the humble Red Lobster won’t be quite the same after reading this bittersweet ode to the service industry.
It’s a grey, snowy Saturday a week or so before Christmas, and the Red Lobster near a rundown New England mall is about to close down – for good. Sales just aren’t up to scratch, and all the staff has been let go, except for five, who are being offered jobs at an Olive Garden a few towns over.
In fact, today is the restaurant’s final day, and it’s up to hard-working manager Manny De ...more
The book follows Manny, hour by hour, in the restaurant while a blizzard dumps snow on the parking lot outside. Some of his crew show up in spite of the weather because they have a sense of loyalty toward Manny. Manny is kind and ...more
What I loved about LAST N ...more
Stewart O'Nan made the most mundane thing (a story about the last day at a Red Lobster) and made it into a beautiful, moving story. In just a short time (less than 150 pages), he painted characters that I hope I can meet again someday to see how their new lives work out.
This was an interesting project. He basically wrote a story backwards. This is a story about an ending, with the hope of a new beginning.
I learned about this book on NPR, and learned about Stewart O'Nan by reading Faithful, a ...more
a.) the cover and size grabbed my attention
b.) it's set around the holidays and I needed a good Christmas book to read.
O'Nan is a really good writer, no doubt about it. He's got a good voice. He's very descriptive and does a great job of putting you in the setting.
This book, however, was greatly disappointing. It had been lauded by folks like the NPR critics, but I'm not sure why. Yes, he painted a stark and realistic portrait of what it's like to work in a res ...more