November 11, 2012

Review - Heads in Beds (Jacob Tomsky)

In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.
Heads in Beds is a funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life, told by a keenly observant insider who’s seen it all. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on in the valet parking garage, the housekeeping department’s dirty little secrets—not to mention the shameless activities of the guests, who are rarely on their best behavior. Prepare to be moved, too, by his candor about what it’s like to toil in a highly demanding service industry at the luxury level, where people expect to get what they pay for (and often a whole lot more). Employees are poorly paid and frequently abused by coworkers and guests alike, and maintaining a semblance of sanity is a daily challenge.

Not only have I got a soft spot for behind-the-scenes looks, I also love traveling which, more often than not, involves staying at a hotel. Needless to say Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky went straight onto my list of books I really wanted to read.
The thing is that books like these are usually written by wanna-be authors who, with any luck, have a bit of talent up their sleeves, plus a proficient editor, which may then result in an enjoyable, insightful and fun read. Sadly, this isn't the case here.
The combination of a startling overuse of the F-word - 56 times in various combinations, preferably using the word "mother" as prefix - and suggestions to weary travelers that all seem to revolve around lying to the people at the front desk so as not having to pay for this or that, leaves only little room for maybe one or two actually interesting observations. All this "revelatory" book gives insight to is the mind of an annoyingly prepotent employee who apparently dislikes his job and thus felt like yammering about it in the form of this book whereas, in my humble opinion, the better choice as an outlet for dishing the dirt would have been, plain and simple, a blog.
Of course those not easily offended by certain crude expressions might find this book quite entertaining and a breezy read, though I have to say it certainly didn't work for me.
In short: Little insights, lots of swearing!

2/5 Trees

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. What a bummer, Birgit! I love reading about hotels because I do love to travel too, and it's always upsetting when a good premise ends up being a great disappointment!

  2. This sounds interesting. I may have to check it out.

    <3 Melissa