A Waiter in Paris: Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City (MP3 CD)

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A Waiter in Paris: Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City By Edward Chisholm, Tristam Summers (Read by) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

When an Englishman moves to Paris with his girlfriend, he has no idea how hard it will be to crack the world of restaurant work, especially when she abandons him for a job back in Paris - and to be clear, he doesn’t speak French. Starting as a runner in a nice but hardly Michelin-starred restaurant, Edward (or L’Anglais) is drawn into a strange world of power plays and sabotage as he struggles to climb the ladder to waiter. From the moment a tray of dishes falls over and the staff hastily puts the dirty food back on the dishes, you know you’re not getting a celebration of French cuisine. No, this is a story of a Paris you don’t read about, filled with stolen tips, cut corners, double shifts, and nap breaks in hotel bathrooms, after which the staff go home to squalid living conditions. Have you read foodie memoirs where the waitstaff get a meal before their shift? Not here - you’re lucky to sneak an uneaten roll off a customer’s plate. Despite it all, Chisholm perseveres and along the way, finds companionship with the larger-than-life crew that keeps the restaurant going. Plus, he got an entertaining book out of it as well! 

— Daniel Goldin


An evocative portrait of the underbelly of contemporary Paris as seen through the eyes of a young waiter scraping out a living in the City of Light. A waiter's job is to deceive you. They want you to believe in a luxurious calm because on the other side of that door . . . is hell. Edward Chisholm's spellbinding memoir of his time as a Parisian waiter takes you beneath the surface of one of the most iconic cities in the world--and right into its glorious underbelly. He inhabits a world of inhuman hours, snatched sleep, and dive bars; scraping by on coffee, bread, and cigarettes, often under sadistic managers, with a wage so low you're fighting your colleagues for tips. Your colleagues--including thieves, narcissists, ex-soldiers, immigrants, wannabe actors, and drug dealers--are the closest thing to family that you've got. It's physically demanding, frequently humiliating, and incredibly competitive. But it doesn't matter because you're in Paris, the center of the universe, and there's nowhere else you'd rather be in the world.

Product Details
ISBN: 9798212521468
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: April 18th, 2023
Language: English