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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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942919,236 (3.8)148
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

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

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Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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 |
An amazing, quiet book. ( )
  KatieCarella | Apr 12, 2014 |
A very quick read. A lovely portrait of a segment of society not commonly found in literature. Manny broke my heart. Such small dreams, and yet even those cannot be reached. ( )
  Narshkite | Mar 24, 2014 |
Those of you who follow Ellen's thread might remember that Ellen picked this book up while shopping with our own Katie (katiekrug) when they had their recent meet-up. She reviewed it on her thread and then very graciously sent it to me to read, so thank you Ellen for a delightful read. This book is set in a very narrow frame of time - the last night of a Red Lobster restaurant's existence. The restaurant is being closed down, so the staff will no longer be working together, although some of them are being sent to another restaurant owned by the same chain. It is just a few days before Christmas and there is a winter storm brewing. Does it really matter if the Lobster opens one last time? Told from the perspective of Manny DeLeon, the manager, this simple story is a glimpse into the world of food service that rings true for anyone who has ever worked behind the scenes. It is also a study of how what is comfortable and familiar is hard to let go of. We don't always get what we want. And we don't always say the right thing just because the moment is ripe for eloquence. I really liked this "little gem of a novel" as Ellen referred to it and think it is one that I will return to. Highly recommended. ( )
  Crazymamie | Dec 18, 2013 |
I like O'Nan and I liked this book. One gets the sense he found a Red Lobster that was closing, sat there throughout the last day and recorded what happened. If you've ever worked a job in food service, or any sort of close customer contact job you will recognize the character types in this book.

Truth be told this is the best book taking place in a Red Lobster I've ever read (and likely the only one). Cheap jokes aside, I am looking forward to picking up another O'Nan in the near future. Luckily for me he's written another 13 or so. ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:20 -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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