• $11.99

Publisher Description


Soon to be a series on Starz

"Brilliantly written. . . . Outstanding."—The New York Times Book Review

Newly arrived in New York City, twenty-two-year-old Tess lands a job working front of house at a celebrated downtown restaurant. What follows is her education: in champagne and cocaine, love and lust, dive bars and fine dining rooms, as she learns to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing life she has chosen. The story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the glitzy, grimy backdrop of New York’s most elite restaurants, in Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and high-adrenaline world of the food industry and evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, and the fragility and brutality of being young and adrift.

May 24
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

choate76 ,

Wildly overrated

A few months ago another book called City on Fire -- also written by a novice author w huge cash advance -- debuted to much fanfare. It, like this Sweetbitter book, was a slow, lumbering mess. The only positive reviews come from the PR machines of the publishers as they try to recoup their fees. It's just plain silly.

The problem w this book: underdeveloped characters and a plodding plot that tries to move along by juxtaposing interesting food next to self-centered characters. The protagonist is an utter bore. From the moment the book starts you know who she'll "hook up with." Just ridiculously simplistic. This ain't no Catcher in the Rye for milennials.Steer clear. The hype is not validated by this drivel.

SusanAnn13 ,

Bitter Sweet

I heard a radio interview with Stephanie Danler, who is a charming and funny person, in which she shared her experience as a backwaiter at Union Square, NYC. So I bought her novel, read it, and thought - who cares? Her main character Tess arrives from the midwest, bumbles her way into a restaurant job, and her story unfolds. But I’ve heard this one before. She falls in love with the bad boy, and guess what? He’s a damaged, elusive human. It’s tiresome. There are some gorgeous poems which end chapters that I found compelling and a character or two that I found fun - like Sascha. Overall, not worth your time or $$. Borrow a friend’s.

Amy Abboud ,

Totally Bland

So disappointing. Food and wine are two of the best things in life that enhance real relationships and this book took those things as a centerpiece around which to put shallow one dimensional slacker characters. The author never fleshed out any character enough to to give them any real personality or point of view and therefore there is no empathy or buy in from the reader. It was never clear why anyone behaved the way they did other than they had nothing else going on. Really good premise not well executed.

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