Monday, September 02, 2013

The Other Typist Stuck In My Craw (a review)

Do you guys remember when everyone was lovin' up on Gone Girl and I read it and hated it? Well, many bloggers I love and adore have given this one lots of 4- and 5-star ratings in my good ole Goodreads feed, and guess what? I hated it. #duckandcover 

It just didn't work for me. And it SO didn't work for me that there was cursing afterwards and much flailing of hands as I lamented. 

This was the August choice for my in-person book club, and it's a choice I very much supported. And then someone told me it reminded them of The Great Gatsby and Gone Girl if they got together and had a fun but dysfunctional baby. And the Gatsby part sounded really promising and the Gone Girl part really didn't. 

Set in the 1920s, during Prohibition, The Other Typist centers on Rose--a typist (whoda thunk?) in a police station. She's mousy and plain and a great typist. Then Odalie comes to work in the precinct and she's everything Rose is not: glamorous, daring, beautiful, seductive, and not the greatest typist, but she makes up for it in looks and wealth. And the girls become friends and move in together and all boozy hell breaks loose. 

And that all sounds fine and good, but it is made known from the beginning of this book, by our narrator herself, that she is POSSIBLY CRAZY and THERE IS A TWIST COMING. Because she drops these non-hints every chapter or two and OMG, I GET IT ALREADY. 

So there was this "twist" ending that was really a non-twist. And while it seems Suzanne Rindell was really going for SHOCK VALUE and CLEVER AMBIGUITY it just pissed me off. Why? Because as much as I loved the setting and as much as I kind of enjoyed the craziness of these characters, there was very little surprise in the BIG SURPRISE. And I didn't even think the ambiguous, discussable ending was all that well written in comparison to the rest of the book.

You see, when I read Gone Girl I felt like Gillian Flynn was just trying to cram in as much dysfunction and shock value as she could fit. That goal took a toll on the whole experience of the book. While this book wasn't quite on that level, I just felt like Rindell was working so hard to impress that she lost her way. In short: all show and no go. Too much flash. It felt gimmicky, and that, for me, is one of the ultimate disappointments. 

This book could've been satisfying. But it wasn't. I know SO many people have loved it, so you should still try it. If you love it, WIN! If you don't, come back here and bitch with me. 

This is my first book for RIP VIII because I think I can safely say it falls into the mystery/thriller'ish category.

Pub. Date: May 2013
Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam
Format: E-book
ISBN: 9780399161469
Source: Bought it. My debit card cried a little when it was all said and read. 

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