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.
Last Night at the Lobster is a small, but genius, book. There’s a lot of raw emotion packed into this little package that makes it surprisingly worth reading. Stewart O’Nan does a brilliant job of taking characters who are somewhat two dimensional and making them wholeheartedly believable.
Though Christmas-themed, not a holiday book. By the time you put this down, you aren’t in love with Manny DeLeon. If anything, he is more of a waste by the final page, but that’s something I loved about this book: there is no moment of revelation. This book feels real.
Pick it up, flip through it, and give it a try. It was the first book I read by O’Nan, and it hooked me on him
–RB (December 3, 2011)