A Waiter in Paris: Book summary and reviews of A Waiter in Paris by Edward Chisholm

A Waiter in Paris

Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City

by Edward Chisholm

A Waiter in Paris by Edward Chisholm X
A Waiter in Paris by Edward Chisholm
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  • Published Aug 2022
    384 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A Dickensian tale of a young man's trial by fire in a French bistro gives rise to biting commentary on Parisian culture in Chisholm's intoxicating debut...Bittersweet and enchanting, this serves as a potent look at the gritty underbelly of a glittering world." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An enlightening view of the underworld of fine French dining." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Chisholm's fortitude in the face of hot-headed, violent chefs and infernal fourteen-hour days without breaks in pursuit of his goal is admirable, and makes for compelling reading. An entertaining and enlightening memoir." - Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"Chisholm is a wonderful observer of people, of poverty, and of the French." - Simon Kuper, author of The Barcelona Complex and Spies, Lies, and Exile

"A young Englishman's journey into the merciless world of Parisian restaurants is propulsive, harrowing, and expertly observed. I could practically smell the grease and feel his terror and—ironically—his hunger. I don't think I'll dine out in quite the same way again." - Pamela Druckerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting and There Are No Grown Ups

This information about A Waiter in Paris was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Edward Chisholm

Edward Chisholm was born in England and moved to Paris after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. A resident in the City of Lights for seven years, Chisholm spent the first four of them working all manner of low-paid restaurant jobs, from waiting and bartending, while trying to build a career as a writer. Now Chisholm makes a living as a freelance writer. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Financial Times magazine. He lives in England.

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