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Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell
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Three-Martini Lunch (2016)

by Suzanne Rindell

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This book starts very slow, and seems a dim rehash of much better books, until you're just about to give up — and then it turns into an engaging, and ultimately, deeply satisfying novel. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
Terrific audio with three voices for the three main characters!!! I, too, loved her first book and now this second one---she really developed the characters so you felt that you knew them inside and out but with surprises! ( )
  nyiper | Feb 2, 2017 |
This second novel by Rindell takes a more straightforward approach to storytelling. We have three narrators each using the first person; a tough task for any writer to make each voice distinctive, but Rindell pulls it off. From the start the three know each other and the relationships get closer and more dangerous as the book progresses.

Things start with Cliff Nelson narrating. Cliff is a laughingly delusional poseur. He thinks because he wants to be a writer he must be brilliant and his brilliance will be recognized at any moment. This is despite not writing a single thing. He drinks and talks and insists that this behavior will give him inspiration because experience is everything and you have to write what you know. Hemingway looms large in his ideas about writing. Cliff personifies the privileged white male who thinks the world owes him something.

Next is Eden Katz a nice Jewish girl from the midwest who comes to New York clutching a couple of letters of introduction from a teacher back home. She lands at a middling publisher and thinks she’s made a friend, but finds out soon enough that she can’t trust anyone. She does other people’s scut work hoping for her big break into editorial. Overall she symbolizes women’s struggle to be recognized as capable, smart and worthy of careers. She doesn’t bash you over the head with it, but that’s basically her role.

Then we meet Miles Tillman who is about to graduate from Columbia, but doesn’t know what comes next other than a quest to find his dead father’s lost war journal. Unlike Cliff, Miles writes a lot, but has no delusions that he will make it at all, what with being a Negro and all (the accepted term in the novel’s time of the late 1950s). After a few incidents I wondered if Miles was doomed to be everyone’s victim. Underdog through and through and you can’t help but root for him.

So our cast is set on some rough courses and there are some rude awakenings, bad decisions and a lot of sex and late nights. Some things are predictable others are not. At first I thought Rusty would be the villain of the piece, but he’s a facilitator only. Cliff is the real baddie and the very little sympathy I had for him at the outset rapidly ran dry. Eden pays her price for her career willingly enough, but still pays. Miles pays the most though, but not in ways that you would expect and I liked the little ruffle of originality in his story.

Some reviews complain that the characters don’t grow or change much and I disagree. They do, but only to solidify into what they already are. The timeframe of the novel isn’t very long and so I didn’t expect a big arc given that limitation. It wouldn’t be realistic and that’s mostly how this novel feels. There aren’t any big dramatic events, nothing hyperbolic or romantic. Well done. ( )
1 vote Bookmarque | Jan 6, 2017 |
The beginning to this story was a little slow but once I really got into the thick of the story I could hardly put it down. I loved the development of the characters and I enjoyed getting to read about New York in the 50s, as well as the publishing industry in the 50s. I am eager to read Rindell's first book now. ( )
  mwatson4281 | Aug 4, 2016 |
3.5 stars -
This novel started so slow - agonizing slow - and I despised the first of the three protagonists, Cliff! A spoiled son of a rich publishing family but he is the only one who thinks he's the best writer ever! (which didn't change even to the very last page!) So I was thinking I would quit. After all, there are 498 pages!
But I kept going. I am glad I did as I really liked Miles, the black Harvard grad, for his quiet and unassuming nature. And I loved Eden, a naive Midwestern gal from Ohio who had huge dreams on becoming an editor. Of course this was the 1950's and woman's point of view was next to nothing at that time. But I loved her tenacity and drive! The story toggles between the 3 of them, each chapter their own voice. They have all met each other and interact throughout.
The story ends in the 80's and nicely wrapped up whether you agree with the ending or not. (Go Eden!) A Good Reads giveaway. ( )
  Dannadee | Jun 20, 2016 |
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Greenwich Village in '58 was a madman's paradise.
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We are never the heroes of our own stories, unless we are lying.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399165487, Hardcover)

From the author of the “thrilling” (The Christian Science Monitor) novel The Other Typist comes an evocative, multilayered story of ambition, success, and secrecy in 1950s New York.
 
In 1958, Greenwich Village buzzes with beatniks, jazz clubs, and new ideas—the ideal spot for three ambitious young people to meet. Cliff Nelson, the son of a successful book editor, is convinced he’s the next Kerouac, if only his father would notice. Eden Katz dreams of being an editor but is shocked when she encounters roadblocks to that ambition. And Miles Tillman, a talented black writer from Harlem, seeks to learn the truth about his father’s past, finding love in the process. Though different from one another, all three share a common goal: to succeed in the competitive and uncompromising world of book publishing. As they reach for what they want, they come to understand what they must sacrifice, conceal, and betray to achieve their goals, learning they must live with the consequences of their choices. In Three-Martini Lunch, Suzanne Rindell has written both a page-turning morality tale and a captivating look at a stylish, demanding era—and a world steeped in tradition that’s poised for great upheaval.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 27 Oct 2015 01:09:41 -0400)

"From the author of the "thrilling" (The Christian Science Monitor) novel The Other Typist comes an evocative, multilayered story of ambition, success, and secrecy in 1950s New York. In 1958, Greenwich Village buzzes with beatniks, jazz clubs, and new ideas--the ideal spot for three ambitious young people to meet. Cliff Nelson, the son of a successful book editor, is convinced he's the next Kerouac, if only his father would notice. Eden Katz dreams of being an editor but is shocked when she encounters roadblocks to that ambition. And Miles Tillman, a talented black writer from Harlem, seeks to learn the truth about his father's past, finding love in the process. Though different from one another, all three share a common goal: to succeed in the competitive and uncompromising world of book publishing. As they reach for what they want, they come to understand what they must sacrifice, conceal, and betray to achieve their goals, learning they must live with the consequences of their choices. In Three-Martini Lunch, Suzanne Rindell has written both a page-turning morality tale and a captivating look at a stylish, demanding era--and a world steeped in tradition that's poised for great upheaval"--… (more)

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