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 May 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    WOW!!! Very different!

    Really kept my attention. Twists and turns. Odd characters. Highly recommended. A++++ job.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Highly recommend this premier novel!

    I am an avid reader, and I knew I was being set up for a twist of an ending, but I was still surprised! Historical fiction lovers will want to read this one. The author states she is a fan of The Great Gadsby, well this is a Gadsby-esque with Catcher-in-the-Rye rolled in.
    Excellent!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    This book is a great quick read. It kept my attention from start

    This book is a great quick read. It kept my attention from start to finish and I hated to see it come to an end.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    I really loved this book! I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge

    I really loved this book! I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge of my seat and couldn't put it down!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2013

    It took me about 100 pages to really become engrossed in this no

    It took me about 100 pages to really become engrossed in this novel, but once the plot got going, I was unable to put this book down. I really enjoyed the seedy, underground world of the speakeasies. Rose is a very observant and sympathetic narrator. The ending kept my head whirling and I am not sure what to think yet! I seriously want to start this one all over. This should be your next novel!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Reminded me of The Talented Mr. Ripley, but with a woman as the protagonist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    Had me from the beginning

    I loved this storey!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    Excellent Mystery

    Fascinating narrator. Fast read. Would make a fine movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    really enjoyed the narrator's voice, and unreliability of narrat

    really enjoyed the narrator's voice, and unreliability of narrator

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  • Posted April 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Rose Baker is a staid, ultraconservative typist/stenographer for

    Rose Baker is a staid, ultraconservative typist/stenographer for the New York City Police Department.  She types reports and confessions of criminals, a responsibility which calls for quite a staunch stamina indeed!  The Sergeant and the Lieutenant Detective seem to vie for her attention, but her respect definitely seems to be for the former, an attitude that perhaps foreshadows some trouble in the future.  A significant change when the department hires a new typist, Odalie, who saunters into her interview and later daily appearance as if she were the most famous movie star in the world!
    Initially Odalie ignores Rose and befriends the other typists who are even blander than the perfect and proper lady, Rose.  That changes, however, after Odalie drops a bejeweled brooch which Rose picks up and conveniently forgets to return to Odalie the next day.  Rindell’s depiction of Odalie is perfect as narrated through the observations of Rose.  For Odalie reads people’s personality quickly and reacts accordingly; but she also seems adept at sensing their weakness which she exploits covertly.  She then introduces Rose to a world of speakeasy rooms and parties where there’s no shortage of liquor despite Prohibition laws.  It isn’t long before Rose is totally sucked into excessive drinking and dancing the latest jazz numbers.  While there’s always a tinge of guilt and questioning in Rose’s acquiescence to every invitation by Odalie, it doesn’t stop Rose from eventually agreeing to be Odalie’s roommate in a very posh hotel in Manhattan.  Then the trouble begins!
    The possibility of raids on the places where the two friends party, the many questions that arise out of Odalie’s stories about her background and the appearance of a man named Teddy carry the rest of the novel into a tense, riveting mystery that ends in a calamitous act.  The reader is stymied about who did what and actually who is the actual perpetrator of several heinous crimes.
    The Other Typist is an excellent mystery that illuminates Rindell’s formidable talent at pacing a story with just the right amount of increasing intensity and dread.  The characterization of both women is superb, one a foil for the other’s sociopathic personality – or perhaps it’s the reverse?  Highly recommended novel about obsession and the unique facets of the criminal mind!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Anonymous

    He took the heart of a little girl and made it grow up too fast.
    Now her word of innocence mean nothing.
    Look at this girl pushed aside by the world.
    Look at this broken girl with her heart in her hands.
    She knows no one cares, she knows no one is coming to help her, but she can't help but hope.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Love

    At first it seems slow, picked up pace. Really good

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  • Posted August 28, 2013

    While I acknowledge that this book might not be for everyone, yo

    While I acknowledge that this book might not be for everyone, you should still pick it up, crack it open and try and give it a chance. This book is quite honestly nothing that I have ever read before and i have read a lot of books, trust me. The very first sentence is captivating and right then there, even on the first page I knew this book would be something else. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    I couldn't put this book down!

    I couldn't put this book down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted August 16, 2013

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    Posted January 18, 2014

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    Posted November 22, 2013

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    Posted July 7, 2013

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    Posted December 7, 2013

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