The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken

The Waiter

In the tradition of modern classics The Dinner and A Gentleman in Moscow comes The Waiter, in which the finely tuned balance of a grand European restaurant (that has seen better days) is irrevocably upset by an unexpected guest.In a centuries-old European restaurant called The Hills, a middle-aged waiter takes pride in the unchangeable aspects of his job: the well-worn uniform, the ragged but solid tablecloths, and the regular diners. Some are th...

Details The Waiter

TitleThe Waiter
Release DateOct 9th, 2018
PublisherGallery/Scout Press
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction

Reviews The Waiter

  • Fran
    The Hills Restaurant in Oslo,Norway dates back to the mid 1800's. Steeped in tradition, diners experience Old World ambiance despite the restaurant's run down condition. The staff of waiters, bar managers, maitre d's and in-house pianists follow the old Ben Franklin quote, "A place for everything, everything in its place". We spend time in this finely-tuned, well ordered eatery as seen through the eyes and actions of the waiter. The waiter feels ...
  • Mellie Antoinete
    “The atmosphere is a strange mix of refreshing and unpleasant.”I should probably start by saying this book just wasn’t my thing. But it might be yours if you’re into ... Bittersweet Agatha Christie Babette’s Feast Cozy Mysteries Crusty Waiters Universes in microcosm People stuck in timeI received an #earc of this novel from #netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
  • Iryna (Book and Sword)
    1.5/5 stars (rounded down) What the hell did I just read?? It is a shame when such a pretty cover hides such a useless book. My reaction when I was finished with the book? "What in the world did I just read??"Like living in a snow globe, The Waiter is a captivating study in miniature. Everything is just so, and that’s exactly how the waiter needs it to be. One can understand why he becomes anxious when things begin to change. In fact, given the...
  • Billie
    Well, that was odd. It's very much not going to be for everyone and I'm not 100% sure it was for me, but I think I liked it.It's the story of a waiter's disintegration when a new element—a carefree, enigmatic young woman—is introduced into his perfectly ordered world. The Waiter works at The Hills, an old white tablecloth restaurant that has become a bit shabby and ever more eccentric over time. He has his regulars, who are as predictable in ...
  • Anna
    I won an advanced copy of The Waiter in a Goodreads giveaway.I was immediately intrigued by the waiter (narrator) in this novel. The story moves pretty quickly and although the action takes place in present day, I would find myself forgetting that since the setting in the restaurant is so 'old world'. You definitely get a sense of the waiter and his every day movements and patrons at the restaurant. I will say I kept waiting for a climactic momen...
  • Tess Pfeifle
    The titular character, our waiter, leads us through his life…which, more or less, exists only within the dining room of The Hills. His clients, his regulars, and the new diners are the center of the universe. As he observes and comments on the windows, the actors, the boozers, and the glamorous we are along with him for the ride.The book, which, until this point, seems like any other day, radically changes course when Mr Graham, the most demand...
  • Marcy Butler
    I was happy to get an advance copy of this, as the premise was strangely simple but had the potential to be a quiet intimate read. It was beautifully translated - I say this not because I have experience with translation but because I never paused and re-read something because the sentence didn't flow right or seemed uniquely simple. I've been thinking about why I didn't like the book more and I think it's because there was a lack of connection w...
  • Denice Barker
    The Waiter by Matias FaldbakkenWhen you’ve become middle aged and set in your ways and you work in a restaurant that has seen people come and go for centuries, you take pride in that. You take pride in maintaining the discretionary traditions, in being invisible unless needed. There is no “Hello my name is____ and I’ll be your server today” at The Hills. The people who frequent the place and you take pride in anticipating needs and desire...
  • Lisa Leone-campbell
    The Waiter by Matias Balbbakken is a story, perhaps even a tale of the lives of workers and customers at an upscale century old restaurant in Oslo, Norway called The Hills. The narrator of the story is the waiter who glides us through the ups and downs of the very dignified daily regulars all the while giving us information about himself and all the characters.The staff of The Hills are known to the reader only as their occupation; Bar Manager, M...
  • Ericka Seidemann
    I really didn’t know what star rating to give this. I enjoyed reading it, and there were some astute observations, some of which made me smile or chuckle, but as far as actual plot goes, there really wasn’t one. This book has been inaccurately likened to A Gentleman in Moscow, but it reminded me more of Nicholson Baker than Amor Towles. The Waiter shows us a slice of life in the shabby yet historic restaurant, The Hills. The regulars come in ...
  • Ashley Hite
    I received a free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I was so excited to read this book since it was being touted as the next "A Gentleman in Moscow" and this does have a slightly similar concept in which the whole world of the novel is centered around the waiter who has worked at The Hills restaurant for years. He knows the intricate details of this shabby but white table clothed restaurant from the enticing foods, to ...
  • Annie
    The Hills, a very old restaurant in Oslo, Norway, is an institution. The walls are covered in art from and portraits of old guests. Layers of food smells and smoke are baked into the walls. The staff wear traditional uniforms and scurry around with crumbers. The ones who’ve been there a long time, like our narrator, have a second sense for when they should appear table side to take an order or present a bill. In The Waiter, by Matias Faldbakken...
  • Ashley
    I received this as an ARC from line: The Hills, the restaurant, dates from a time when pigs were pigs and swine were swine, the Maitre d’ likes to say, in other words from the mid-1800s.Summary: At the restaurant, the Hills, we meet the waiter. He has worked here for years and every day is the same. There is a routine. However, one day a young woman comes in and throws everything out of control.Highlights: The descriptions w...
  • Sue Boahn
    I loved the book. I love all of the descriptions of people, the restaurant, the clothes, the food, etc. I really loved the story and how one woman could disrupt the normal flow of the restaurant, causing the waiter to make unusual mistakes, say things out of character, and do things he would never have done. It was quite comical at times. I could relate to the waiter liking consistency and not wanting things to change. The ending was a little str...
  • Lisa
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. The premise of the story intrigued me - an old established restaurant, steeped in tradition, gets turned on its head by certain events. The translation was well done, but I still seemed to miss something in the telling of the story. That or the author missed the mark - at least with this reader. Sometimes the effort to be unique overreaches and it felt that way in this book. I did enjoy rea...
  • Kalen
    I honestly don't know what to make of that. I think I liked it? If you like your fiction plot-driven, stay away. If you like your fiction somewhat amusing and slightly uncomfortable-making, this one might be for you. I suspect a lot of fans of A Gentleman in Moscow are going to be confused. This is also being compared to The Dinner, which I don't understand at all beyond both being set in a restaurant. More than anything, it reminded me of a less...
  • Fran
    I suspect readers will either cautiously like this book or really dislike it. I admit, this was not at all what I expected. The food descriptions were tantalizing. While there were elements of humor and keen observations on human behavior, they were couched in snobbery and disdain. The narrator’s behavior became borderline psychotic, rather than “neurotic” and mainly questions raised were left unanswered. With that said, I still found the p...
  • Beth Walsh
    Well, this was a strange book. It was well written & had some surprisingly humorous passages. But absolutely nothing happened. There was no plot at all. Just a minutely detailed description of about 3 or 4 days in a neurotic waiter’s life. I read to the end because I figured there had to be a reason the book was written....but no, it just ended.
  • Liedewij Schuurmans
    Leest gemakkelijk. Bij de start dacht ik: wat een creatief woordgebruik en creatieve zinsbouw. Interessant hoe 'simpele' dingen groots omschreven kunnen worden. Maar na verder lezen werd het hierdoor voor mij wat langdradig.
  • Lukas Holmes
    Hmmm. Lots of promotion pounding us over the head with 'it's the next Gentlemen in Moscow!' but it's really just if you followed around one of the less interesting characters from the second half of that book, in modern times, and he was mostly unlikable.
  • Charlene
    Review to Come
  • Barb
    This is beautifully written. You can almost feel yourself in the restaurant. Everything is just exactly right. Everyday like clockwork, the routine rules. Until it doesn't. A quick read.
  • Shannon
    Funny at times and the neuroticism of the titular waiter was done well, but I felt nothing was resolved and the ending was lacklustre.
  • Aimee
    Goodreads giveaway
  • Teresa Stenlund
    The Waiter was quirky and pretty fun, but in the end I thought to myself, 'What the heck did I just read, and why?' The book depicts the unraveling of the waiter of a pristine restaurant who loves the monotony of the day to day at his work which he lives for. What unravels him? A beautiful woman. I can imagine this being a TV short in Scandinavia, it has that sense of humor. Overall, an OK novel.
  • Cindy
    Welcome to The Hills: a restaurant so traditional it hasn't changed in over 100 years - not the menu, not the furnishings, and not even the uniform worn by our narrator, a waiter. This anchors him and provides a map for behavior without thought, even as it renders him comfortably invisible to the regulars. Well-established routines serve him well until a young woman is seated at one of his tables who upends the structure and routine of The Hills,...