Friday, April 4, 2008

Last Night at the Lobster

This is a short read--at just 146 pages and sized to fit in your car's glovebox, you could probably finish it in a day or two just reading it during stoplights.

More than anyone else, Manny DeLeon belongs here. As general manager it's his responsibility to open, a task he's come to enjoy. While Red Lobster doesn't license franchises, over the years he's come to consider this one his--or did until he received the letter from headquarters. He expected they'd be closed for renovations like the one in Newington...Instead, headquarters regretted to inform him, a company study had determined that the New Britain location wasn't meeting expectations and, effective December 20th, would be closing permanently. (3)

This is documentation of the final hours of a Red Lobster at the quiet edge of a shopping mall parking lot. The manager, the last few customers, the employees he likes, the ones he doesn't, and the love of his life, a waitress who's dating someone else. It feels very final and nostalgic, but the characters don't make a deep enough impression to rise above the tired plot line. I did enjoy it, but at the same time it felt like it was a writing exercise undertaken by the author and only published as an afterthought. "Hey, this turned out ok and I've already got a name for myself with my ten novels--why not?"

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