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Sweetbitter: A novel de Stephanie Danler
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Sweetbitter: A novel (edició 2016)

de Stephanie Danler (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8235119,783 (3.15)25
"A lush, thrilling debut--a publishing event already the subject of an article in The New York Times--about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant. "Let's say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge ..." This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the 22-year-old at the heart of this stunning debut. Shot like a bullet from a mundane past, she's come to New York to escape the provincial, to take on her destiny. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a "backwaiter," on and off duty. Her appetites are awakened, for food, wine, knowledge and experience; and she's pulled into the thrall of two other servers--a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman whose connection to both young lovers is murky, sensual, and overpowering. These two will prove to be Tess's hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story about discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment"--… (més)
Membre:Writermala
Títol:Sweetbitter: A novel
Autors:Stephanie Danler (Autor)
Informació:Knopf (2016), 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:*
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Sweetbitter de Stephanie Danler

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» Mira també 25 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 51 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is a sexy book about a young woman who moves to New York City and gets hired at an upscale restaurant, left to navigate its politics, romance, drugs, and alcohol at the ripe age of twenty-two. At times it felt plotless, and the secondary characters ran together, but Danler's sentences are rich with intention. I'm looking forward to her forthcoming memoir, "Stray." ( )
  sjanke | Dec 9, 2020 |
I loved the Union Square Cafe, and love New York, and thought I would love this book, but unfortunately there were just too many drugs and drinks and dysfunctional relationships and not enough about how the restaurant actually works. And while I guess I can't fault a profound lack of self-awareness in a 22 year old, it was still difficult to fathom. I've read that her second book explains more of her back story - dysfunctional family, etc - and, since I did enjoy her writing, I will probably read it. ( )
  bobbieharv | Dec 4, 2020 |
Clever and fresh approach to the "coming of age" in NYC novel. Tess flees her midwestern town for the Big Apple, upon her college graduation with no real plan or skill set other than a stint in a coffee house. She gets a room in the apt. of a friend of a friend in Brooklyn, and by a small miracle, lands a job at a fancy Manhattan restaurant (she is a 51-percenter- meaning she has an unquantifiable quality that her hiring boss sees as potential, despite not having the requisite skills. Here she meets a whole world of people: Howard, the quirky manager who hires her; Sasha, a gay Russian immigrant; Will, the boy-next-door type, Ariel, initially a 'mean girl' who warms to Tess; Simone, a sophisticated head waiter whose knowledge of food and wine is encyclopedic, but also visceral; and Jake, the quintessential bad-boy bartender. They become a surrogate family but also come with the toxicity of family. Of course Tess falls for Jake, but he has some weird connection to Simone from childhood days and Simone is not someone to cross. Tess also has a weird crush on Simone and wants to please her, but also has a hero-worship vibe going. Simone sees Tess's eagerness to learn and exploits that to some extent. What is fascinating is the high-stakes stressful pecking order of service life in an upscale restaurant where the customers are "guests" and the protocol for service is multi-layered and complex. Tess starts as a trial period and must earn her "stripes" (the striped shirt that staff wears) and after much anguish and hard work gets a position as backwaiter (water glass filler, table setter, food deliverer). Tess wants the full NYC experience and gets it: drugs, sex, all night binges, the struggle for a paycheck. Her determination to live a life fully tasted is admirable, if some of her choices and the way she goes about it is not always the smartest. Ultimately she must decide her own worth, not framed by Simone or Jake or Howard. Some great food analogies and explications that add a layer of literary value to the book - it is a well-written tale. It is also a new STARZ series which is pretty well done, though clearly it will milk the book - already presenting 2 seasons - with some artistic license. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
This is not a book I would have chosen on my own, a neighbor lent it to me almost 2 years ago but I was always too embarrassed to return it without reading it - I'm glad I did - it was like re-visiting so much of my younger self and made me realize how happy I am not to be living like that now and grateful to have survived - I wish I could have advised the protagonist that it is okay to sleep with the bartender but to always keep in mind, that they are generally just whores who serve drinks.
4 out 5 stars (minus 1 star for all the pretentious wine talk). ( )
  viviennestrauss | Sep 10, 2020 |
Something of a jaundiced coming-of-age novel. (I thought this before reading the inside cover notes, which also says "coming-of-age".) The protagonist, Tess, is 22 and so is not going through puberty, but she is learning to become an adult nevertheless.

Tess moves to New York City and takes a job in a high-class restaurant. She is bright and literary (probably like the author) and becomes one of what the manager calls the "fifty-one-percenters". I never did really get what this means. Tess has had barista experience but not much food service experience otherwise, so she is a "backwaiter". Some employees stay in this position for a long time, but she is hard-working and determined and is, later in the novel, offered a chance to move up to an actual server.

How she gains knowledge is in large part from her relationship with Simone, an older server who knows the ropes and a lot more. Simone cultivates Tess's tastebuds, training her in wines, oysters, and other delights of the foodie world. Meanwhile, Tess has eyes for Jake, a bartender who is close to Simone but not, apparently, her lover. Simone warns Tess about Jake - he's no good for her. But like so many young people in love, her warnings don't take root.

The story is told with a lot of sass and juice and, unfortunately, a number of "um..." statements (popular among youth these days). There is a fair amount of chatter about wines and oysters, which I tried to ignore (but which some may enjoy).

Not a sweet story, as Tess swings from hard-ass to poor-me, and tries to block any serious views of herself. We learn that she was an orphan but it is never clear exactly what she escaped from when she headed for NYC, and we learn somewhat obtusely about the true relationship between Simone and Jake. I'm a big believer in "show, don't tell", so this is okay with me. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 51 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This debut is a quintessential coming-of-age story set in a remorseless, unusual city. Time and place are superbly established: the setting is the behind-the-scenes milieu of a celebrated restaurant in 2006 Manhattan. Propelled by "unbridled, unfocused desire" but still essentially naive, 22-year-old Tess has fled an empty life in the Midwest and landed a coveted job as a server in a restaurant that strongly resembles the famous Union Square Café. At first crushingly lonely and exhausted by the arduous routine, Tess is mentored by longtime senior server Simone. Despite warnings to avoid falling for bartender Jake, and willfully blind to the strange relationship between Jake and Simone, Tess begins a passionate affair with him. Meanwhile, she becomes an accepted member of a select society of overworked, terminally tense and bone-tired wait staff. Danler writes about food with sensory gusto as Tess learns how to distinguish the fine points of every wine, how to identify an heirloom tomato or oyster, how to shave a truffle. Tess also learns how to get seriously drunk and snort lines of coke. Early on, she defines the foods and condiments that are sweet and those that are bitter—and her relationships with Simone and Jake are ultimately just that: a sweet time of consummate happiness followed by bitter betrayal. Throughout, Danler evokes Tess's voice—intimate, confiding, wonderstruck, depressed—with deft skill.
afegit per kthomp25 | editaPublisher's Weekly
 
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Eros once again limb-loosener whirls me Sweetbitter, impossible to fight off, creature stealing up. - Sappho, translated by Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet.
"Let us now cast a philosophical glance at the pleasure or pain of which taste may be the occasion." - Brillat-Severin, translated by Anne Drayton, The Physiology of Taste.
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For my grandparents Margaret Barton Ferrero and James Vercelli Ferrero.
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You will develop a palate.
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"A lush, thrilling debut--a publishing event already the subject of an article in The New York Times--about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant. "Let's say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge ..." This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the 22-year-old at the heart of this stunning debut. Shot like a bullet from a mundane past, she's come to New York to escape the provincial, to take on her destiny. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a "backwaiter," on and off duty. Her appetites are awakened, for food, wine, knowledge and experience; and she's pulled into the thrall of two other servers--a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman whose connection to both young lovers is murky, sensual, and overpowering. These two will prove to be Tess's hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story about discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment"--

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