Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky
A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

84%

10 Critic Reviews

Tomsky's didactic and sometimes overly lengthy explanations slow the book down.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.

Jacob Tomsky never intended to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in “hospitality” for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel. He’s checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room-service meals, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. In Heads in Beds he pulls back the curtain to expose the crazy and compelling reality of a multi-billion-dollar industry we think we know.

Heads in Beds is a funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life, told by a keenly observant insider who’s seen it all. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on in the valet parking garage, the housekeeping department’s dirty little secrets—not to mention the shameless activities of the guests, who are rarely on their best behavior. Prepare to be moved, too, by his candor about what it’s like to toil in a highly demanding service industry at the luxury level, where people expect to get what they pay for (and often a whole lot more). Employees are poorly paid and frequently abused by coworkers and guests alike, and maintaining a semblance of sanity is a daily challenge.

Along his journey Tomsky also reveals the secrets of the industry, offering easy ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle. This book (and a timely proffered twenty-dollar bill) will help you score late checkouts and upgrades, get free stuff galore, and make that pay-per-view charge magically disappear. Thanks to him you’ll know how to get the very best service from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, you will keep the bellmen from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and bashing it against the wall repeatedly.

 

About Jacob Tomsky

See more books from this Author
Jacob Tomsky is a dedicated veteran of the hospitality business. Well-spoken, uncannily quick on his feet, and no more honest than he needs to be, he has mastered every facet of the business, worked in many departments, and received multiple promotions for his service. Born in Oakland, California, to a military family, Tomsky now lives in Brooklyn, New York. www.doubleday.com www.jacobtomsky.com
 
Published November 20, 2012 by Anchor. 322 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Dec 16 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Heads in Beds
All: 10 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Dec 15 2012

Tomsky's didactic and sometimes overly lengthy explanations slow the book down.

Read Full Review of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Mem... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Clancy Martin on Nov 30 2012

The prose is brisk and smart, and Tomsky also provides helpful appendixes at the back

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Nov 05 2012

Mr. Tomsky turns out to be an effervescent writer, with enough snark to make his stories sharp-edged.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Rhetta Akamatsu on Nov 05 2013

The book is an entertaining look behind the scenes of the hotel business and worth picking up for that reason...it is honest and eye-opening and definitely worth picking up.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by ManOfLaBook on Aug 17 2012

The book is a quick read, funny and sometimes offensive (in a good way).

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Renee C. Fountain on Nov 20 2012

Heads in Beds is a very fun, entertaining read. It is incredibly relatable, not only for a consumer, but also for anyone who has worked in a public-oriented service industry.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Marcia Kaye on Dec 16 2012

Tomsky’s writing is fluid and colourful . . . In almost every chapter . . . he includes delightful extras rarely found in tell-all books.

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Slate

Good
Reviewed by Alice Gregory on Nov 30 2012

The book, which charmingly has no 13th chapter, is cut through with detours, many of them more interesting than Tomsky’s actual memoir.

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Newsday

Good
Reviewed by John Wilwol on Dec 12 2012

Coarse, smart and wickedly funny, the author delivers hilarious caricatures of the hotel guests and colleagues he has encountered over the years.

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North Jersey

Excellent
Reviewed by Jessica Gresko on Dec 04 2012

Readers may wonder if his tips will work anywhere else. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But his stories are so good, it almost doesn't matter.

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