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Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart…
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Last Night at the Lobster (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Stewart O'Nan

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1,0681027,835 (3.81)227
Member:JimmieFroehlich
Title:Last Night at the Lobster
Authors:Stewart O'Nan
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 146 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:ennui, torpor, restaurant work

Work details

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)


This is really more of a novella at 149 pages, and can easily be read in one sitting, which I would recommend. I loved this little gem of a novel that examines the lives of the manager and employees of a Red Lobster on the last night before it closes. No one characterizes people living quiet ordinary "invisible" lives better than O'Nan. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Here the feelings and memory of Manny are told. He is the manager of the Lobster. It is the last day the restaurant is open. Some employees have a new job others are looking. Manny has hired his employees for various reasons. The harmony among themselves is not always the best and animosities escalate on this last day.
I liked the story. It is subtly written and easy to read. ( )
  Ameise1 | Feb 11, 2017 |
This is a little slice of life novel that takes a look at the workers and customers on the last shift of a Red Lobster restaurant. It is a look at simple working class people doing what they have to do. The restaurant is closing and only some workers show up for the last day's shift, and those who do are there pretty much for Manny, their manager. All sorts of interpersonal relationships at play, but mostly this is about Manny sorting through his life at that moment. If you have ever worked at a place like this sometime in life you will immediately recognize the atmosphere everyone is in. The author clearly has captured a bit of reality in this fiction. Good stuff. ( )
  RBeffa | Feb 1, 2017 |
With Last Night At the Lobster, author Steward O’Nan has perfectly captured a moment in time that made the reading experience feel quite voyeuristic. The final hours of a Red Lobster Restaurant in New England occurring on a snowy night just five days before Christmas had an authenticity about it that made the reading all the more poignant. I have often frequented these types of chain restaurants that are housed in the back end of a mall parking lot and so the book had a familiar yet despondent note.

More of a mood piece than an actual story, we step into the restaurant and immediately are caught up in the employee’s last shift. As the manager, Manny opens the restaurant we learn that corporate management is closing them down. Some have jobs to move onto and others are being simply let go. It’s understandable that most of the employees who are being let go fail to show up, leaving the rest to scramble to keep the business flowing smoothly. A few customers-from-hell, a couple of surly employees, and the blighted love affair of the manager and one of the waitresses liven up the final hours of the Red Lobster but as the hours tick down the overall feeling is one of sadness.

Although very low key Last Night At The Lobster is a haunting and unforgettable glimpse into the lives of a group of service industry workers who are facing the reality of job change or loss. I read this book in pretty much one sitting and was totally absorbed. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Dec 17, 2016 |
I didn't know what to expect from this little novel but it was a pleasant suprise. A sensitive and thoughtful book about loss and how even the end of a crap job can mess with your dignity. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
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Epigraph
All the vatos and their abuelitas All the vatos carrying a lunch pail All the vatos looking at her photo All the vatos sure that no one sees them All the vatos never in a poem - Luis Alberto Urrea
Dedication
For my brother John and everyone who works the shifts nobody wants
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Mall traffic on a gray winter's day, stalled. Midmorning and the streetlights are still on, weakly. Scattered flakes drift down like ash, but for now the roads are dry.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143114425, Paperback)

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 find the present that will make everything better.

Stewart O?Nan has been called ?the bard of the working class,? and Last Night at the Lobster is one of his most acclaimed works to date.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Managing a failed seafood restaurant in a run-down New England mall just before Christmas, Manny DeLeon coordinates a challenging final shift of mutinous staff members, an effort that is complicated by his love for a waitress, a pregnant girlfriend, and an elusive holiday gift.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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