Customer Reviews for

The Other Typist: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

The timing for Suzanne Rindell's The Other Typist couldn't be be

The timing for Suzanne Rindell's The Other Typist couldn't be better. Set in the 1920's in Prohibition New York City, it it the perfect companion for those who enjoyed Baz Lurhmann's spectacular film of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby.
As the title ...
The timing for Suzanne Rindell's The Other Typist couldn't be better. Set in the 1920's in Prohibition New York City, it it the perfect companion for those who enjoyed Baz Lurhmann's spectacular film of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby.
As the title character in The Other Typist, Odalie Lazare is the female equivalent of Jay Gatsby. She  mysteriously shows up one day to apply as a typist at a police precinct. It is a job that men reluctantly allow women to fill, as they are not as good as typists as the women.
The other main character in the novel is Rose Baker, as unassuming and plain as Odalie is vivacious and beautiful. She grew up in an orphanage and had a boring, lonely life until Odalie walked into her life."On that particular day, she entered very calmly and quietly, but I knew; it was like the eye of a hurricane. She was the dark epicenter of something we didn't quite understand yet, the place where hot and cold mixed dangerously, and around her everything would change."Rose becomes enchanted by Odalie and is thrilled when Odalie befriends her. Odalie takes Rose to wild parties in hidden speakeasies, lends her gorgeous clothes and even invites Rose to move into her fancy Park Avenue apartment with her.
Soon a spider's web encompasses Rose. Seduced by the fanciful lifestyle and believing that Odalie thinks of her as a sister, Rose nevertheless has nagging suspicions about Odalie. She catches Odalie telling different stories about her past, and when they run into a man who claims to know Odalie by a different name, things start to unravel.
The story is told by Rose, who is writing this from some sort of institution. Something bad has clearly happened, and Rose is unspooling the turn of events from her point of view. The mystery of what has occurred is not immediately evident, we must wait (im)patiently for Rose to complete her story.
The Other Typist seduces the reader just as surely as Odalie seduces Rose. Rindell weaves her story, keeping us turning the pages with her fascinating characters and cat-and-mouse plot. The setting of a 1920s NYC police precinct feels fresh, and who knew that women worked as typists there back then?
I found it interesting that when one of the women became pregnant, she continued to work well into her pregnancy, even when she was clearly showing. It never occurred to me that women were allowed to be seen outside of their home obviously pregnant, let alone continue to work back then. But I guess if a family depends on a women's income, she'd have to work.
The end of the story is literally jaw-dropping. I read the last few pages several times, and I'm still not sure that I completely know what happened. It has been called a mashup of The Great Gatsby and The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I also think that the many people who liked Gone Girl will like this book, although I think The Other Typist is much better. It is the best literary mystery of the year, and it didn't surprise me to find that it is an Amy Einhorn imprint. No one finds better debut novelists that Amy Einhorn.

posted by bookchickdi on May 21, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

I kept reading! On and on and on..hoping something fantastic wou

I kept reading! On and on and on..hoping something fantastic would happen, but no, that never happened. The author leads you on throughout the book and the reader can't help but wonder what kind of zinger she is going to drop in our laps. But strangely nothing happens, ...
I kept reading! On and on and on..hoping something fantastic would happen, but no, that never happened. The author leads you on throughout the book and the reader can't help but wonder what kind of zinger she is going to drop in our laps. But strangely nothing happens, nothing at all. The ending leaves the reader scratching their head. I hated all the characters. They weren't meant to be likable, but you need at least one to keep you happy! There was very little emotion, everyone seemed one dimensional and sociopathic. Initially, I was upset to see it wasn't a big 500 page book (the kind I like). However, it ended up being the slowest, most tedious 294 pages of my life. 

posted by AngieJG on May 28, 2013

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A historical fi

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A historical fiction with a little bit of an eerie thriller twist.  Rose is telling the story from the future and it is obvious that from the start the story is going to go downhill at some point, but the reader just doesn't know when, where and why.  The who part is easy - it is clear that the new typist Odalie will be involved in some way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Interesting read

    I read this book for bookclub after it was highly recommended by another member. We just met last night and most every enjoyed the book. A couple people said they just didn't get it. Rose works in the Typist pool at the police precinct during Prohibition. She was an orphan and the most gullible, self righteous person in the world. When Odalie joins the typist pool Rose become infatuated with her and will do anything do be friends with Odalie. We learn Odalie is the biggest lyer in the world and not sure if she even knows what the truth is. In the end Odalie comes out on top and Rose is the biggest loser (In a mental ward).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Not what I had hoped it would be

    I was disapointed in the flow of the story. It was slow and sometimes hard to follow

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    I enjoyed this book. Very quick and easy read. Really would have

    I enjoyed this book. Very quick and easy read. Really would have liked a better or more of an ending but still very different and enjoyable.

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    Posted July 7, 2014

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    Posted March 27, 2014

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    Posted October 25, 2013

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    Posted August 30, 2013

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    Posted December 31, 2013

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