Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A Perfect Waiter

by Alain Claude Sulzer

Unlucky in love... just like me!

Okay, got that out of my system (maybe).

Seriously, though, this is a really sad book. A German-Swiss waiter leads a lonely life of rigid routine, having never recovered from a romantic betrayal 30 years earlier. He takes pride in being very good at his job, the same job he had in the 1930s when he met the love of his life, a slightly younger man who seemed to love him too for one bright, shining season, only to abandon him for a wealthy patron and a ticket to America.

A letter out of the blue from his lost love, alone now and in dire straits, asking for help, stirs up repressed memories and pain. Can he trust this tale of woe? Should he care? Does he owe anything to the man who ruined him so many years ago? If he's never recovered from the relationship, perhaps he owes it to himself to seek closure of some kind. But the truth is elusive, subjective and offers no solace. This story is relentlessly sad, but also beautiful, fragile and vivid.

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