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The Other Typist
by Suzanne Rindell

Published: 2013-05-07
Hardcover : 368 pages
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2 clubs reading this now
9 members have read this book

"Take a dollop of Alfred Hitchcock, a dollop of Patricia Highsmith, throw in some Great Gatsby flourishes, and the result is Rindell’s debut, a pitch-black comedy about a police stenographer accused of murder in 1920s Manhattan.... A deliciously addictive, cinematically influenced ...

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Introduction

"Take a dollop of Alfred Hitchcock, a dollop of Patricia Highsmith, throw in some Great Gatsby flourishes, and the result is Rindell’s debut, a pitch-black comedy about a police stenographer accused of murder in 1920s Manhattan.... A deliciously addictive, cinematically influenced page-turner, both comic and provocative." ?Kirkus Reviews, starred review

For fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Great Gatsby comes one of the most memorable unreliable narrators in years.

 
Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.

This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies. Yet prudish Rose is stuck in the fading light of yesteryear, searching for the nurturing companionship that eluded her childhood. When glamorous Odalie, a new girl, joins the typing pool, despite her best intentions Rose falls under Odalie’s spell. As the two women navigate between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night and their work at the station by day, Rose is drawn fully into Odalie’s high-stakes world. And soon her fascination with Odalie turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.


Editorial Review

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Excerpt

1
They said the typewriter would unsex us. One look at the device itself and you might understand how they— the self-appointed keepers of female virtue and morality, that is—might have reached such a conclusion. Your average typewriter, be it Underwood, Royal, Remington, or Corona, is a stern thing, full of gravity, its boxy angles coming straight to the point, with no trace of curvaceous tomfoolery or feminine whimsy. Add to that the sheer violence of its iron arms, thwacking away at the page with unforgiving force. Unforgiving. Yes; forgiving is not the typewriter’s duty. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How reliable a narrator is Rose?
by FTessa (see profile) 06/04/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "We couldn't decide!"by Kwizgiver (see profile) 02/08/14

We couldn't decide how the book ended! It was one of our livelier discussions because we talked about characters, motives, points of view, setting, atmosphere, writing, and everything in between.

 
  "The Other Typist"by erowen (see profile) 11/26/13

The narrative just went on and on with nothing too exciting. Then the ending was abrupt, and I just didn't get how that could happen. I'm sure she could have gotten out of that mess but there was no... (read more)

 
  "Great Discussion after the book."by jtdefranco (see profile) 11/14/13

 
  "The Other Typist"by Shirley2012 (see profile) 10/25/13

Engaging. The story contains much intrigue with clues throughout. The author does a beautiful job of bringing everything together.

 
  "The Other Typist"by cpapuga (see profile) 10/01/13

I am not quite finished yet, but I love this book. I can't wait to see what happens!

 
  "Fantastic"by Silver's Reviews (see profile) 09/03/13

The narration of the book was superb, the entire book was amazing, and the ending was incredible.

The characters came alive, and I could see every scene vividly. Ms. Rindell brought to

... (read more)

 
  "Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave ..."by FTessa (see profile) 06/04/13

Rose Baker is a quiet and efficient typist in a police precinct in 1923 New York City. Having been raised in an orphanage she understands how to blend into the woodwork, proving her worth b... (read more)

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