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A Waiter in Paris


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About the Author

Edward Chisholm was born in Dorset, England, and moved to Paris in 2012 after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. A resident there for seven years, Chisholm spent the first four of them working all manner of low-paid jobs, from waiting and bar work to museum security and market hand, while trying to build a career as a writer. Now, Chisholm makes a living as a copywriter/pen for hire, with ambitions of writing novels. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian and the Financial Times magazine.


An English waiter's riveting account of working in Paris restaurants (...) a searing account of what life is really like 'at the bottom of the food chain', Chisholm's prose positively delights in describing the graffiti, sodden cardboard boxes and litter-strewn pavements. (...) This astonishing book describes a cruel, feral existence and is worthy of standing on the shelf next to George Orwell's Down And Out In Paris And London (1933) as another classic about human exploitation.
*Daily Mail*

Ah, Paris... gastronomie magnifique and... insane shit going on
behind the scenes. A Waiter in Paris charts Edward Chisholm's
jaw-dropping experiences while serving tables in the French
capital, a demi-monde of sadistic managers, thieves, fighting
for tips and drug dealers. Seems like not much has changed
since George Orwell worked the same beat.
*Evening Standard*

Edward Chisholm's book is vividly written and merciless in its detail. Paris and its pleasures always leave one wondering about the seamier side beneath the surface, and here it is. I'd advise readers to enjoy it somewhere warm and comfortable, and on no account to try it before a gastronomic weekend.
*Edward Stourton*

This tough little book documents the experience of being a foreign worker, lost in the understrata of the often exploitative industry from which we benefit. It seems glib to compare it to Orwell when it's more universal, or Bourdain when it doesn't glorify the mess. Not exactly a jolly read, but important.
*Financial Times*

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.
*The Times Literary Supplement*

An absorbing and moving inside look at a Parisian restaurant.
*Library Journal*

We are always hungry for stories from behind the ever-swinging door that separates the calm of a restaurant from the hot temperatures and hot tempers of the kitchen. Edward Chisholm's brilliant memoir shows us the behind-the-scenes chaos, but also lets us tour nocturnal Paris and the strange characters he meets. This is a fascinating book, full of anecdotes that would sound far-fetched in a work of fiction, but that are all absolutely true.
*Woman & Home*

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.
*Publisher's Weekly*

A Waiter in Paris: Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City by Edward Chisholm is a memoir like I've never experienced. (...) This is a memoir that may well be destined for the screen, so do yourself a favour: read the book first. (...) I opened A Waiter in Paris to find a cultural dumpster dive - a deep, penetrating, spiral into the other side of the City of Lights. (...) The beauty of Paris is stripped, yet miraculously upheld, as I descended into Chisholm's engrossing account of a Paris I'd never imagined. (...) This is a brilliant insider recollection, thundering forward in small snippets of characters revealing every hidden corner of the Le Bistro, which incredibly parallels the world of Paris itself. (...) A true story, a non-fiction tapestry, a page-turner that I could not put down.
*The Miramichi Reader*

*Richard Coles*

Orwell created the template. Anthony Bourdain put his hilarious spin on it. More recently, The Bear dramatized it brilliantly for the small screen. Chisholm carries the mantle, and he more than does the genre justice.
*Book & Film Globe*

Emily in Paris this is not

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