Wednesday, 27 October 2004

The Waitress by Melissa Nathan

aka when writers don't live up their first novel.

I was really looking forward to Melissa Nathan's second novel. The Nanny,her first book was great and I was eagerly anticipating the release of her second, The Waitress. Unfortunately I was really disappointed by this book. The characters are awful and the writing is dire. In fact it's so bad that I don't think I'll even be able to finish reading it.

I've just begun chapter 7 (about a third of the way through the book) and I hate the main character. I hate her best friend, i hate the love interest and I hate the random teenage secondary character. But It's the main character I hat the most.
No one with a degree from Oxford University gets any kind of sympathy from me.

It is totally unbelievable that someone with a degree form Oxford would be working as a waitress because they don't know what they want to do with their life, I don't care if does happen in real life or the author knows someone who went through the same crappy-job-crisis, it doesn't work in a book because to the average non-oxbridge educated person this is impossible. Yes, I said impossible.

Correct me if I'm wrong but to get into and graduate from Oxford University you have to be driven, determined,self disciplined and goal oriented, not some weak-arsed bitch with the emotional maturity of a damp sponge. If she'd made this character a graduate of any other university I could and would have bought the scenario, I would have found it totally plausible and believable and probably would have been able to sympathise with her. I may even have been able to relate to her on some levels. But Oxford, no bloody way.


  1. Good post EG. Though I can't say I agree hugely (sorry - don't want to annoy/offend you).
    You're definintely right that to graduate from Oxford you need "to be driven, determined, self disciplined and goal oriented". However, you can still be that, but end up being totally useless when you leave Uni.
    No matter what Uni you go to, it acts as a comfort blanket. Student Life simply does not equate to reality, and it keeps you sheltered in a bubble (hey, you probably knew this already - sorry if I'm being patronising).
    So you can happily go through GCSEs, A-Levels and Uni being focussed on doing the very ebst you can academically. Imagine you do Classics at Oxford - it's the passion of your life, you've always wanted to study it, so you strive to get the best results possible.

    And then you're ejected into the cruel harsh world, which actually doesn't give two shits about academic achievement, and particularly not in a field like Classics. You wore yourself out doing your UnderGrad degree so you on't want to do any more studying. So where do you go from there?

    And that's not mentioning that a large proportion of students at Oxford probably come from very closeted families, where they've never had to survive without their parents' backing.

    But hey, these are just the thoughts of the UB. And you know, it's GOT to have been a good post to get me ranting!!!

  2. I have to admit I never really considerd the coseted factor, and I supose the family of the main character is somewhat like that. You make some very interesting points, and I have to admit you have made me rethink my opinion of the character and I may give the rest of the book a go !