Michael Fazio is one of Manhattan’s ultimate go-to guys and he has written a juicy, compulsively readable memoir, tell-all book, “Concierge Confidential,” which St. Martin’s Press has just reissued in paperback.
Written with Michael Malice — a name that sounds too good to be true for this particular book — the breezy 271 pages take us through Fazio’s professional life, from being a Hollywood schlepper (i.e. personal assistant to a movie agent) to working as a concierge for the Intercontinental hotel chain in New York and then on to his current position as co-owner/operator of Abigail Michaels Concierge.
If you are fascinated by the behind the scenes machinations at a first rate hotel — and who isn’t? — the book will delight you because the bulk of it is devoted to the time Fazio spent at the Intercontinental meeting the demands of his well-heeled clients.
Everything from arranging for a bathtub to be filled with melted chocolate — for a special anniversary celebration — to making sure a rich Russian got to and from an Atlantic City casino with a pile of cash.
Many of us think of a hotel stay as a pretty simple transaction — we rent a room and then go about our business in whatever city we might be visiting — but Fazio worked with folks who had tons of cash to blow and wanted their every little need tended to by a concierge.
The book gives us a full accounting of Fazio’s education in locating and hiring escorts for his guests as well as arranging middle-of-the-night massage sessions (with and without a “happy ending”).
More than most fast-lane memoirists, Fazio understands that we expect lots of dirt — and a least a few names named — after plunking down our hard-earned dough.
“Concierge Confidential” delivers the goods on such prima donnas as Rosie Perez, Salma Hayek and Brooke Shields — Fazio gives us quite specific horror stories on each — as well as a real education in how to provide good service for a customer.
How many memoirs manage to be both a quintessential show biz beach read and a text that should be taught in every business school in the country?