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Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart…

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

by Stewart O'Nan

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1,024958,286 (3.79)180
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
Tags:ennui, torpor, restaurant work

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


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Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan was originally published in 2007. My hardcover copy has 146 pages. This is a brilliant, exquisitely crafted novel. It rings true on every page. It's short, but every word was carefully chosen and every description is perfect. In Last Night at the Lobster we are following the day of Manny, the manager of a Red Lobster on its last day of business. We're privy to his thoughts as he follows his routine and company policies, as he manages the employees who do show up, and as he deals with the snow outside that is developing into a blizzard. A perfect novel. Rating: 5; http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/
( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Audiobook narrated by Jonathan Davis

Five days before Christmas, Manny DeLeon arrives for his last day as manager of the Red Lobster. Corporate has sent word down that the under-performing store, near a highway and separated from a run-down mall but an expanse of parking lot, is to be closed. If their last day wasn’t bad enough, a blizzard is brewing. Manny must convince his nearly mutinous staff to excel at their jobs for just one more shift, serving the patrons as if their jobs and the restaurant’s success depended on it. And while he wears the demeanor of an unflappable manager, inside he is torn – between his pregnant girlfriend at home and the waitress he is still in love with.

This slim volume is a study in reflection. The reader witnesses Manny’s struggles, small victories, and seemingly endless defeats as he continues to put one foot in front of the other, ever hopeful that things will work out, and that he is somehow in control of his future success. There are no pretty romantic endings here, no sudden realizations or changes in character. Instead Manny plows through his day (literally and figuratively), doing his best even when he realizes that his best isn’t quite good enough.

It is a perfect appetizer of a novel, whetting my appetite for O’Nan’s writing, and leaving me hungry for more.

Jonathan Davis does a fine job on the audio. He has a gift for voices and brings the various characters to life - both men and women.
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  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Short. Good bits, boring bits, confusing bits, and a few not-quite-realistic bits. If you've worked in a restaurant, or retail or service, you might like it. I've been a cashier and a CSR so I kinda empathized.
And I didn't expect any plot, so that lack was not a problem. But it was like the author cheated by providing us with these icons of Last Day, Red Lobster, Shopping Mall, Waitress Named Rox, Snowstorm.... Nothing was enlightening, nothing fresh was revealed or proposed. But at least I remember it well enough to add to this review, here in late March 2011 - that could be considered a plus. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
A quick fun read, about the last night of a dying Red Lobster restaurant, I wish it had been a little funnier and more of the employees had lashed out at the customers and each other. ( )
  zmagic69 | Dec 1, 2014 |
Six-word review: The shining art of simple narrative.

Extended review:

Four stars for this tiny little book, 146 pages in which not very much happens, and what does happen is a miniature drama played out on a miniature stage by characters whose sheer ordinariness is almost a distinction in itself? Yes, because to give it anything less would seem false to the idea of perfection.

A chain restaurant is closing. On its last day and night, just before Christmas, a reduced staff--some of whom are facing unemployment--have to stay on task through the final cycles of the day's routine. Manny the manager takes responsibility for keeping up morale and seeing that the bases are covered, all the while dealing with an inner struggle of his own.

I read this through in just a few hours. And now I'm off to look for other work by this author. ( )
  Meredy | Jun 4, 2014 |
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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
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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