Reviews for Heads in Beds : A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality


Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
Comparisons to Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential (2000) are inevitable but not entirely accurate. Yes, both Tomsky and Bourdain purport to expose the underbelly of service industries with which most readers are familiar, hotels and restaurants. But where Bourdain is all rock 'n' roll, egotistical bluster, Tomsky is surprisingly earnest and sympathetic; there are, after all, no television programs called Top Desk Clerk. He wants your respect, not your adulation. Sure, he tosses off a few requisite f-bombs, instructs readers on how to steal from hotel minibars, and name-drops Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, more so because he seems to feel the genre demands it. Indeed, it would be easy to pen a book about crazy hotel guests. But this memoir succeeds, instead, in humanizing the people who park our cars, clean our hotel rooms, and carry our luggage. You will never not tip housekeeping or your bellhop again. Tomsky fell into hotel work and proved to be rather good at it; the same can be said for his writing. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
Kitchen Confidential for hotel-goers. Tomsky is the ultimate hotel lifer. He's performed virtually every task that a hotel worker can perform, including room service, maid service, car service, concierge service, etc. (If nothing else, his debut memoir teaches us that it takes quite a few people to run a hotel.) Despite the many frustrations involved with the tasks of his job--not to mention having to deal with the exasperating clientele--Tomsky found a happy home in the hotel world. To many readers, this may not seem like a glamorous profession. However, when the author is passionate about his career and is able to express his passion on the page, it can be a joy to read about (see Kitchen Confidential). In his debut, Tomsky doesn't quite hit the top level, but he provides an enjoyable chronicle. From the opening bit about his adventures with valeting, it's clear that Tomsky worships at the altar of Anthony Bourdain, arguably his era's finest service memoirist. The comparisons between this book and Bourdain's work are inevitable, and Tomsky's didactic and sometimes overly lengthy explanations slow the book down. For many readers, the behind-the-scenes stories about hotels are intrinsically less interesting than those about restaurants, but the author's anecdotes are at best hilarious and at worst, mildly entertaining. Ultimately, Tomsky's enthusiasm for his profession and keen eye for detail keeps his book from becoming just another backstage look at the service industry. Lacks the spark of Bourdain's work, but readable and often engaging. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2

Those who want a hotel up-grade, who must make a same-day room cancellation without getting charged, or wonder why hotel water sometimes tastes like lemon Pledge need look no further than Tomsky's memoir, a collection of stories, memories, and secrets about the hospitality business. Bouncing around various hotel jobs--bellman, housekeeping manager, front desk attendant--for more than a 10 years, he's got the skinny that would make most travel sites blush. Follow his advice and you'll be drinking from the mini-bar and watching in-room movies for free. But this is more than a collection of trade secrets; it's a colorful tale filled with vibrant characters from crazy bellman to even crazier guests. Tomsky is a solid storyteller who is able to intricately detail all the insanity surrounding him. Agent: Farley Chase. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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