Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life
Am I the only person who has trouble turning off a bad movie or just not finishing a not-so-great book? I always do this to myself; I'll keep plugging through either the film or novel feeling like there has to be something of a redemptive quality lurking somewhere in the end, something to make the mediocrity worth it, make sense, and leave me with something enlightened in the end. By now, I know that nine times out of ten, this never happens; watching Bloodsucking Freaks from start to finish only made me feel worse in the end for wasting all that time.While Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life by Toby Cecchini is certainly nowhere near as bad as Bloodsucking Freaks, I really do think that it's time to throw in the towel and move onto something a bit more...well, interesting. I had heard about Cosmopolitan, and I was instantly taken in by the idea - what stories a bartender must be able to tell! I thought, wow, interesting stories, and maybe I'll be able to learn something in the process about alcohol...I must admit that once I win the lottery, I'd love to learn a bit of anything concerning mixology (and really should know more about wine). Even cooler - Cecchini had originally published parts of his memoirs in Slate Magazine, which is where David Plotz, the author of The Genius Factory, is from.Cecchini can write, arguably better than Plotz. The main difference, however, is that Plotz kept my attention. Cecchini - not so much.While I'm sure Cecchini did fabulous on his SAT's and can mix a great drink (he reinvented the Cosmopolitan as we know it, hence the title), his "stories" blend from one to the next and all in all just aren't very interesting and come across as horribly pretentious. I'm made it to page 105 and have been through his "learning to tend bar" days, his fascination with hotel-bars, obnoxious American drinking habits...and I just can't help but wonder: what the hell is he going to talk about up to page 238? I'm not even half way done?Insofar as learning about drinks? My best bet is the five-drink recipe appendix. Otherwise, I saw and then instantly forgot lots of expensive, French, no-so-typical wine names.The overwhelming majority of user-written reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble seem to mirror my complaints (pretentious, monotonous, dull, and tepid, yet well written), with a few people particularly enamored of the novel, for whatever reason. I do not think that I would recommend that anyone run out and buy Cosmopolitan, but I wouldn't necessarily crinkle up my nose and/or roll my eyes if you said you were reading it. I think that the time has come for me to move onto something else.