Read Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell Online


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 convincFrom 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.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Three-Martini Lunch
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399574771
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 512 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Three-Martini Lunch Reviews

  • ☮Karen
    2019-04-13 10:18

    4.5 stars, and a big thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House.I was mostly drawn to this book because I loved and adored  Rindell's  "The Other Typist," and also because it takes place in New York, in the 50's, in the publishing world.  Such exciting stuff!  I mean, I was in heaven as I flipped the pages.  Am I the only reader who thinks the absolute dream job, albeit elusive, would be editor for a major (even a minor) publishing company? The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, and the three main ones have secrets.  Sometimes in books about secrets we read on to discover what those secrets are; here we know the secrets but stay transfixed to see what will happen when their secret doings are revealed.  Miles and Eden, a black man and a Jewish woman, are sympathetic characters, while Cliff, the spoiled, rich white guy, ran hot and cold with me until the last 200 pages or so when I finally made up my mind about him.  Cliff, I tried so hard not to stereotype you in my mind, but you sure didn't make it easy, and ultimately...Well, ultimately, their stories collide like a huge train wreck, there are more secrets, surprise secrets you probably won't see coming.  There is the crapfest that rained down on people caused by Joseph McCarthy's  influences, even after he'd been dead for a couple of years. It was a scary time for many.  I could not put the book down, which is about the biggest compliment  I  can give any book.  Fantastic!

  • Jill
    2019-03-26 11:37

    When I first heard about Three-Martini Lunch – a 500-page novel alternately narrated by the bohemian son of a renowned book editor, a feminist wannabe editor, and a talented black writer from Harlem – all sorts of bells started going off.“It’s bound to borrow every cliché from the 1950s or else, fall into the pattern of a 1950s politically correct reality tale,” I thought. Fortunately, I thought wrong. This is a gripping and mesmerizing story that keeps getting better and better and better. By the time I was in the final stretch, I could barely come up for air.I’ve heard comparisons to the AMC series Mad Men, and those comparisons are apt. The first voice we hear is Cliff Nelson’s – the bohemian writer who, to put it politely, has “daddy issues”. His famous father can barely stand him and he is determined to show him up by writing the new Great American Novel. But between writer’s block and a paucity of talent, he feels stymied at every turn. The 1950s voice rings authentic and the touches (including an old typewriter with a black carbon ribbon) ring true. Cliff gradually reveals himself as emotionally and morally weak.Eden Katz is a Jewish female writer with ambition, at a time when either her religion or her gender would be a reason to relegate her to the secretarial pool forever – if she even got that far. She is feisty, though, and burning with a desire to succeed in a man’s world. And Miles Tillman is a young Harlem man who has his own father issues (his dad might have been a war hero or might have been living a lie); in addition, he is trying to gain clarity on issues of gender identification. These issues – in the McCarthy era – make it hard for him to accept his true self.These interwoven narratives, which focus on an era of strict divisions in race, class, sex and gender – builds to a slow boil as we become embroiled in a tale of ambitions and betrayals. There are a few flaws – for example, the voice of Miles’ mother can be cringe-worthy – but all in all, this book is a very worthy follow-up to The Other Typist. Read it and enjoy! 4.5 stars.

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-04-05 07:27

    (4.5) Rindell brings the late 1950s, specifically the bustling, cutthroat New York City publishing world, to life through the connections between three young people who collide over a debated manuscript. The three first-person voices fit together like a dream. It’s an expert evocation of Beat culture and post-war paranoia over communism and homosexuality. Walking into Eden’s office with her, especially, you’ll think you’ve landed on the set of Mad Men.This classy, well-plotted follow-up will win the author even more fans and tide us all over until the film version of The Other Typist – produced by and starring Keira Knightley – appears.(Coming out on May 19th in the UK.)See my full review at The Bookbag.

  • Terri Jacobson
    2019-04-19 11:33

    It's 1958 in Manhattan, and three young people are seeking their fortunes in the world of publishing. Cliff Nelson wants to be a writer, but with a father as a major book editor, he feels disadvantaged--because of a rocky relationship with his father, he doesn't believe his writing will be fairly evaluated. Eden Katz has gotten her dream job in a publishing house. She wants to be an editor--unusual for a woman in the 1950s. Her path will be hard and full of disillusionment and hard lessons. Miles Tillman is a black man who also wants to be a writer. Miles also questions his sexuality, at a time when this was not accepted.Suzanne Rindell weaves a thoughtful story around these characters. She raises issues of the times: sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, and a feeling that homosexuality was deviant and not to be tolerated. The writing is excellent and the story compelling. I was fascinated by these characters, and by the evocation of an era that was really not all that long ago. I was very caught up in the story, and I was surprised at some of the turns it took. An excellent reading experience.

  • Marilyn C.
    2019-04-08 07:11

    The premise of this book, NYC publishing world, Greenwich Village, and Three-Martini lunches seemed like such an exciting combination for a novel. The book is set in the 1950's and deals with the era's social issues, such as anti-Semitism, race, equality for women and sexuality. This story had so much going for it, but started off way too slow. Written in a three character perspective- Cliff, a rich wannabe writer- Eden, an aspiring book editor and Miles, a talented writer from Harlem, this book is almost 500 pages long, and the first half just seemed like it was all character development and nothing much else. The story finally takes off in the middle with some exciting plot lines, and then concludes with all three characters' storylines coming together for a fantastic ending. I enjoyed Suzanne Rindell's writing, but felt that so much more could of been done with the storyline in the beginning of this book. I am giving it 3.5 stars based on how much I enjoyed the second half of this book.

  • Taryn Pierson
    2019-04-16 04:14

    I once caught a student cheating. She had turned in a project that was word-for-word identical to two of her friends’. The other two girls were suitably remorseful, but this girl met me in the hallway with a defiant thrust to her chin. When I called her mother and relayed what had happened, her mother’s casual response was, and I quote, “I cheated in high school, and I turned out fine.”Perhaps this is why plagiarism so deeply offends me: the brazenness of it, and the blasé acceptance with which our culture meets it. Did the student think I wouldn’t notice? That I was so lackadaisical a grader that I wouldn’t realize I was reading the same thing three times? Did her mother really think teaching her daughter she can claim the work of others with impunity was good parenting? Is this the truth we are left with, that you can lie, and cheat, and steal, and still “turn out fine”?That student’s mother wouldn’t like Three-Martini Lunch. I doubt someone who cares so little about academic integrity spends much time reading, and furthermore, a person who can’t grasp the wrongness of stealing something as abstract as words won’t find the book’s central conflict terribly compelling. Rindell sets her sophomore novel in the high-stakes world of 1950s publishing houses, a world her characters are desperate to break into, each in his own way. Some more desperate than others.I don’t want to give too much away here. My reading experience felt like a breathless sprint around continuous blind corners, and I would hate to rob anyone of that. I will say that Rindell’s writing is, for me, the perfect balance of plot momentum and character development. All three characters who take turns narrating became 100% real to me, and somehow Rindell is able to achieve that without ever slowing her pace. I don’t know how the hell she does it. If I did, I’d bottle that secret sauce and sell it to novelists everywhere for $4.99 a pop.With regards to GP Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley for the advance copy. On sale April 5!More book recommendations by me at

  • Taryn
    2019-04-22 10:18

    4.5 Stars. 1958, Greenwich Village: Three young people struggle to make it in the publishing industry while also wrestling with identity issues. Suzanne Rindell deftly juggles a wide range of issues: class, sexuality, racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism. I felt completely immersed in the setting. This book gave me so many emotions and I had a bit of a book hangover after finishing it! "True bravery is rare."James Magnuson says that this book "does for publishing what Mad Men did for advertising." That statement made me want to read this book and I was not disappointed! Three-Martini Lunch definitely appealed to the same part of my heart that is captivated by Mad Men. It has a similar atmosphere and the same deliberate pace. If you find Mad Men slowly-paced, you might find this book slow to start. For me, the time spent setting the scene made the experience more immersive. It felt a bit like time traveling! Rindell excels at giving the reader a sense of time and place. One of my favorite scenes regarding setting is in Chapter 40 when a character travels to San Francisco and describes it in contrast to New York City: "Manhattan is concrete and ambition, steam rising from a manhole in winter, a hot blast from a subway grate in summer. Its inner workings grind away at all hours, purring in the name of commerce."It's a myth that people who live in cities are naturally more open-minded, more accepting and tolerant of difference. The truth is, whatever people are, be it saints or bigots, they simply are these things, and the city--by smashing all those different kinds of people up against one another--just makes it all that much more pronounced. The title refers to the leisurely lunches that were popular with business executives in the 50s and 60s. ("two martinis, a little business, and a third to seal the deal.") It is 500 pages, but it is a quick read. The first half sets the stage. In the second half the plot shifts to full speed, especially the last 150 pages. I was torn between wanting to rush through pages to find out what happened and wanting to put the book down because I was dreading what seemed to be the inevitable conclusion! When Cliff and Miles discuss Miles's writing in Chapter 2, a sense of dread developed that lasted throughout the entire novel. I also felt really unsettled with Eden's relationship with her manipulative "mentor.""We will always find one another, because-like all animals prowling this earth-we cannot bear to believe we are the only ones of our kind." […] "I say this to you: Choose it, boy! Choose it before it chooses you. Because it will. You think there's a way it won't, that somehow there's a way to live your life so you won't ever catch its eye, but it will and you can't. So choose. Choose while you're young and you can believe in someone and can make it last a little while. That little while is the only eternity any of us mortals ever get to have. Don't let fate do the choosing for you; don't wait until you're old and desperate-and wretched, as my father declared, for he wasn't wrong-and you're left to fumble in terrible places and it's only your body . . . yes, only your body trying to prove to the soul that it's not alone, and failing time and time again."The story alternates between three characters who hope to be successful in the publishing industry. The three characters cross paths in Greenwich Village, a place where being an artist comes before everything else. "Everybody felt like they were on the outside looking in all the time when really it was just that the hipster scene tended to turn everything inside out and the whole idea was that we were all outsiders together " • Cliff Nelson has a difficult relationship with his father, a respected and well-known book editor. He is desperate for his father's approval. Cliff is mediocre in every way, but he has big dreams of becoming a writer. Unfortunately, he is more interested in the potential of fame and accolades than writing itself. "I got so caught up in my head writing imaginary drafts of the good reviews I was bound to receive, it made it difficult to write the actual novel." (view spoiler)[There is a great scene that really sums up Cliff, where he is boxing while staring at himself in the mirror and he still comes out on top! (hide spoiler)]• Eden Katz is a Jewish woman from the Midwest who dreams of being an editor one day, which she quickly discovers will be an uphill battle. Eden has to figure out what parts of herself she is willing to give up if she wants to succeed.• Miles Tillman is a talented black writer from Harlem, but racism gives him less opportunity to succeed than someone like Cliff. He wants to live a life that makes his mother and his community proud, but in order to do that he has to deny a part of himself. Miles has to find a way to reconcile the vision of who he is supposed to be with the man he actually is. He ends up going on a quest to California to reconcile the image he has of his father with the man his father actually was, but it also becomes a journey of self-discovery. (I desperately wish the writing that resulted from this trip existed!) "That's the funny thing about doubt." "What do you mean?" "It makes you feel rotten as hell. But if anyone bothered to think about it, it's a symptom of love. It means it matters to you. It's the brain questioning the wisdom of the heart. It doesn't mean the heart doesn't know better all along, it only means the brain doesn't understand how."The book opens with Cliff, but we spend more time with Eden and Miles. Cliff is best in small doses anyway! He is the most aggravating character because he is narcissistic, entitled and is quick to rationalise his actions. He also has the most distinctive voice; it made me think back to Catcher in the Rye. Miles is the heart of the book. The results of Mile's quest become the central conflict between the three young people, in more ways than one."That's the thing about you rich people," Dolores continued. "You think you're too good to ever play second fiddle, and you can go on a hundred years pretending that's not the case! That's called arrogance, and it's like a bad tooth, only you rich folk are too hoity-toity to notice it in the mirror. At least down here when you got it, people take the trouble to knock it out of you."All the characters in this book are struggling with identity: who they are versus who they want to be. Both Eden and Miles speak of becoming invisible in order to survive and the fracturing of self that comes with surviving adulthood. Cliff was the least reflective character and had the least amount of growth, but truthfully there was no reason for him to mature or be introspective. Society doesn't demand it of him. One of the themes is that people are complex, not all good or all bad. Eden and Miles are interesting characters because they aren't saints. They experience adversity, but they also make choices that betray themselves and others with tragic results. While I've been hard on Cliff, once I read his family history it was no wonder that he turned out the way he did. (He still made me angry though!)…I felt a little mournful to think of things this way. It was a little like being at someone's funeral, and in a way I suppose I was mourning a version of myself that would never come to be.This book made me feel so many emotions! I had a 'buzzed' feeling after finishing this book, almost like I had a three-martini lunch! ;D In the acknowledgments, Suzanne Rindell says this book was "born in large part from a desire to put several books in conversation with one another," followed by a list of books: On the Road, Giovanni's Room, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Bell Jar, etc. I love that! This book is beautifully written and expertly plotted. I highly recommend it, especially for those that are interested in the time period.(This last quote is not a spoiler, but it is the last line. I don't want to forget it!)(view spoiler)[Memoirs are a tricky genre. It is a little-known secret: We are never the heroes of our own stories, unless we are lying. If we choose to count ourselves among the brave, we write ourselves as the villains we are, hoping for redemption. (hide spoiler)]I won this uncorrected proof from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-09 06:39

    Two relatively generic things before we launch into my thoughts on this book. 1. Why are there so many books lately that utilize the “three overlapping storylines” device? Are that many being written, or am I somehow just reading all of them? Is anyone else getting a little tired of it? 2. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PUBLISHERS, PLEASE STOP WRITING JACKET COPY THAT GIVES AWAY SO MUCH PLOT. So if you haven’t done so already, don’t read the jacket copy of this book. The description here on Goodreads is fine, but the copy on the actual physical book made it obvious to me from, like, page 15 of a 500-page book where we were headed and that's the woooooorst. I know I sound a little frustrated, but I actually really liked this book. Mostly. I have a few nits to pick, but I think that might be just me being nitpicky. This is a 500-page doorstopper and in general I am skeptical of books that long, but I read this in three days and I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is widely getting described as Mad Men set in the publishing world, and that’s a fairly apt description. If you love the atmosphere of Don Draper’s world, there’s a great chance that you’re going to love this one, too. It’s 1958. Cliff is the son of a publishing mogul who says he wants to be a writer, but who doesn’t actually work at becoming a better writer (“Why should I read other writers?” he flippantly throws out there at one point.) He drops out of Columbia and insists he doesn’t need to get a job because someone’s going to pay him big bucks for the novel he hasn’t yet begun to write. Yeah, he’s kind of insufferable and lacking in self-awareness, though thankfully Rindell seems to be aware of that. Then there’s Eden, a fresh-faced college grad from Indiana who’s come to New York to fulfill her dream of becoming an editor in spite of the rampant sexism (and anti-semitism) of the 50s publishing world. And, finally, there’s Miles a young black man who’s about to graduate from Columbia and who becomes preoccupied with a journey to uncover his late father’s secrets. The three orbit each other through a group of loosely connected friends that gravitate towards the beat scene in the Village. Eventually, their lives intersect in a more concrete way though I really don’t want to give too much away here. Rindell’s done a fantastic job setting the scene. I became completely absorbed in the world she’s created here, and I loved being in that world. I wouldn't want to live in it, but reading about it was great fun. And as tired as I’m growing of the whole three narratives device, Rindell handles it well—for the most part. The three voices are incredibly distinct, as they should be, and they’re equally engaging. But Miles’s story drifts pretty far away from the other two and I did often wonder what the point of all the drifting was. She ultimately does have a point, but I found myself growing skeptical along the way, wondering if maybe Rindell was trying to do too much. And maybe she was, but she does a pretty good job of bringing it all back around full circle. As long as this book is, the one thing that really frustrated me the most is Rindell’s tendency to tell instead of show. The most frustrating example: (view spoiler)[It bothered me SO DAMN MUCH that after Eden spent so much time talking about how she’s not going to get married because she can’t give up on her career, she goes on a date with Cliff and then the very next time we see her THEY’RE MARRIED. In a book this long, Rindell really should have explained that seemingly sudden change of heart a little more. Especially when we have a lengthy paragraph dedicated to the hairstyle of the first girl that Miles slept with.(hide spoiler)] The result is that Eden never really becomes a fully fleshed-out character. I really wanted her to be the complex, layered, Peggy Olson-esque hero of this book, and I was rather disappointed that she didn't really get there. Still, this was a fun, absorbing read. It's a worthy follow-up to The Other Typist, and I can't wait to see what Rindell does next.

  • Blair
    2019-04-02 05:26

    As the end of the year approaches, I'm going through a weird period of reading malaise: it's not that I don't have any enthusiasm for reading – in fact, over the past month I've been tearing through books at alarming speed – but I just don't have any particular focus or theme, or even a reading plan in mind. My attentions, therefore, have turned to a sort of clearout of my to-read list. Which of the year's most-talked-about books have I not had a go at? What have I been meaning to read all year, but not got round to?One answer to the latter question would be Suzanne Rindell's sophomore novel, Three-Martini Lunch. I've had a copy since January, and yet – despite the fact that I really liked the author's debut, The Other Typist, and had been looking forward to her next book – the publication date somehow came and went without me picking it up. Now that I have, I don't know why I put it off for so long.Like The Other Typist, this is a historical novel set in New York City, but Rindell eschews the unreliable narrator and suspense plot of her debut in favour of multiple viewpoints and a meandering story joining the dots between three characters. The year is 1958 – boom time for the boozy style of 'business meeting' the book's title describes. Cliff, the son of a successful publisher, has aspirations of literary greatness, but little actual talent. Eden, newly arrived in New York from the Midwest, dreams of becoming an editor, but finds the odds are stacked against her. Miles, a talented black writer, struggles against racism and also grapples with his own sexuality. Their entwined stories explore the intersections of privilege and prejudice; at times Three-Martini Lunch has the feel of a glamorous romp, but things frequently get rather bleak for its characters. There's a good balance between what you might call 'readability' and emotional engagement.Three-Martini Lunch is just a good old-fashioned enjoyable novel, a long, twisty yarn filled with lots of coincidences and cliffhangers – the kind of book I'm sure still exists in abundance, but I rarely read them these days, and in any case, I'm pretty sure they're rarely as well-written as this. This isn't a pretentious book; it isn't trying to be anything other than an entertaining, absorbing story, and I loved it for that.I received an advance review copy of Three-Martini Lunch from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  • Trish
    2019-04-05 08:40

    Some time ago a couple of Goodreads friends gushed about this novel about the publishing industry in the late fifties, early-sixties and I put it on my list where it promptly became buried under newer material. I must not have read their reviews very carefully, because just the notion of a “publisher’s lunch” featuring martinis stuck. That sounded aspirational.The other day as I scanned the “new” shelves at my public library for a book that has so far eluded me, I saw the thick spine of this book taking up three inches and I thought, “Wow, some nerve.” The thing with big books is that they look so…arrogant or something. The writing has to be some kind of wonderful for anyone to even consider a book of that size, it seems to me.So I did what I often do in cases like this. I went right to the first page of the narrative to see if the writer had the goods to draw me in immediately and keep me reading. The writing was so relaxed and conversational and felt immediately intimate. A bright young thing attending Columbia in New York was having too much fun to attend classes, lost daddy’s funding, celebrated a new-found freedom to waste one’s gifts, threw up in the toilet tank (as opposed to toilet bowl) horrifying new roommates, and generally began living as brave and dissolute a life as possible for a bright poor young thing on their own in NYC.The casual confidence of the voice, combined with the outrageous behavior recalled Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Dud Avocado, and perhaps even a pinch of Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers. I took the book home. When I picked it up the next morning, my eye accidentally caught the cover flap briefly. I saw the words “three young people” “New York City” and then “Cliff Nelson.” I stopped. Cliff? But that’s a man’s name. All of a sudden I realized what I hadn’t before. The first story isn’t about a confident if outlandish young woman in New York, but about a young man. I had assumed, the author being female, the publishing industry being what it is today, well more than fifty percent female, that the story was about three women. I assumed the first character was female. When that was the case, the voice was very fresh and smart. When I realized that wasn’t the case, I felt let down. The writing all of a sudden seemed less fresh and less smart.I am going to have to examine my own biases, I realize that. Chapter Two I read with my knowledge of the character, and it was good. The young man comes from money and is crass, and pushy, and in a hurry to make his mark. He is a writer, not angling for a publishing job. His father is a big-time editor. The young man wants to show his father what he’s got. That smart-alecky voice works even better in Chapter Three…and then in Chapter Four...there she is...Eden, secretary to a publisher, but wants to become an editor. She even looks like Audrey Hepburn, the likeness drawn out in several sentences. I don’t think I have time for this in my schedule of things I must read. Maybe later… Pity. The writing in this book is smooth...

  • Victoria
    2019-04-22 04:18

    ‘We are never the heroes of our own stories, unless we are lying.’The truest words from this book, unfortunately, they were too few and arrived too late for me to rate beyond three stars. At 500 pages, I feel a slight hangover and I don’t remember having that much fun.I was promised a publishing world version of Mad Men, but instead what I found was a story that never fully engaged and often felt clichéd and out of sorts. I realize I’m comparing a television series that can rely on costumes and sets, but I think a writer should have made me conjure the mood more fully with her prose. The atmosphere of the Bohemian life must have been hiding in another book because I just didn’t find it here. She told us about the Greenwich scene, but it was surface-level exposition, I never truly felt it and the setting never came alive for me.Speaking of which, while the writing is good, it was just too verbose which seems an odd way to describe a novel, but it rambled in parts and lacked a certain cohesion. I often felt we covered the same territory never seemingly getting anywhere. And while the characters each had a distinctive, stylized voice, the only one that rang true was the most exasperating character of Cliff as the self-important, self-loathing, wealthy party boy who channels Hemingway's drinking with none of his talent. Eden, the just off-the-bus ingénue seemed just a little too naïve for her ambition and even her Audrey Hepburn-like transformation felt thrown in to ascribe a look rather than a personality. But it was Miles, my favorite character, the only one whose chapters I truly looked forward to reading, the thoughtful poet who was not reflective enough to realize he was gay?And maybe this is my biggest quibble with this book. I understand the times in which this was set and I would have accepted Miles not coming out due to the atmosphere of the culture, but to continually refer to his stirrings toward other men, yet not acknowledge them? And when he does give in to his feelings he seems to stumble into a homosexual affair without any true admission to himself. Of all the gay men that have been in my life, many of whose stories I know almost as well as my own, I don’t ever remember any of them just sort of tripping into that aspect of their lives. Miles’ internal dialogue did not have the ring of truth and I think it would have made for a much more interesting characterization, a more truthful depiction, and a more unique story had the writer given him further depth. I won’t spoil the ending, but his epilogue made me weep out of frustration borne of sadness.I realize this is an emotional response to one character’s journey, but it tarnished the experience for me because his character was the only one I truly cared for and I wanted to know him on a deeper level in order to understand his choices. For a more sober literary review, please see Roger Brunyate's absolutely perfect dissection of this novel. In the meantime, I’ll be over here at the end of the bar, ordering up another martini, extra dry please.

  • Marian
    2019-04-01 06:17

    Now this book is very different from her first novel"The Other Typist"(a psychological thriller)which I liked.This book on the other hand is a historical fiction..very interesting story and enjoyed it very much.

  • Leah
    2019-04-14 05:15

    The hipster scene...It's 1958, and Greenwich Village in New York is the centre of the hipster scene, populated by aspiring poets and writers – some, dilettante rich boys, others more serious in pursuit of their dreams. Here we meet the three characters who take turns to narrate their own stories. Eden is a young woman just arrived from Indiana, determined to make it in the male-dominated world of publishing. Rich boy Cliff's father has cut off his allowance, determined to force his son to earn his pleasures. But Cliff thinks he can write and is pretty sure he just needs a break to make it big, a break he feels his father could easily give him. Miles is black – a Negro, in the terminology of the time. About to graduate from Columbia, he's working part-time as a messenger-boy for one of the publishing houses. Miles also aspires to write, but unlike Cliff he has real talent and the industriousness to work quietly towards his goal. When their lives intersect, casually at first but gradually more intricately, a chain of events is started that will change the course of their lives.Rindell has the gift of creating truthful characters with individual voices, and of putting them into settings that feel totally authentic. The book is ambitious, looking at several different aspects of how life in this outwardly bohemian corner of society reeked of the same kinds of prejudice that were prevalent in the wider world. Her scene-setting is superb – she brings the Village to life in all its seedy vibrancy, a place where dreams arise out of drugs and booze and usually sink under them in the end, but where just occasionally a true talent can emerge. She is brilliant at capturing the speech patterns and slang of the time, never falling into the trap of over-using them. Looking back on it now, I see that New York in the '50s made for a unique scene. If you lived in Manhattan during that time you experienced the uniqueness in the colors and flavors of the city that were more defined and more distinct from one another than they were in other cities or other times. If you ask me, I think it was the war that had made things this way. All the energy of the war effort was now poured into the manufacture of neon signs, shiny chrome bumpers, bright plastic things, and that meant all of a sudden there was a violent shade of Formica to match every desire. All of it was for sale and people had lots of dough to spend and to top it off the atom bomb was constantly hovering in the back of all our minds, its bright white flash and the shadow of its mushroom cloud casting a kind of imaginary yet urgent light over everything that surrounded us.In my review of her previous book, The Other Typist, I remarked that the book was seriously over-long for its content. I felt this may have been because she was trying to give a fullness and depth to her setting, but said that, in my opinion, she had achieved this perhaps more quickly than she realised, leaving all the rest feeling like repetitious filler. I fear I have to make the same criticism of this one, but with less generosity – here it feels self-indulgent, as if she has fallen in love with her characters and her depiction of the Village, and wants to spend more time with them than is necessary. As a result, after a great start, the first half of the book tends to drag with very little forward momentum and no clear narrative drive. For too long, I had no glimmer of where we were heading.However, from about the halfway point, the various strands begin to come together and the story she tells is more than worth waiting for. This is a hero-less book – each of the characters is flawed, each selfish in pursuit of his or her aims, each weak at points. But they are created so carefully that it's easy to see why they are as they are and hard not to empathise with each of them, though perhaps not equally. While the voices of all three characters are excellent, Cliff's is truly outstanding. He narrates his sections in a conversational tone, picking up the rather jazzy language and inflections of youth culture of the time and sustaining it wonderfully throughout. He is perhaps the most complex of the three, selfish and narcissistic, often seeming unaware of his flaws, then just occasionally using a kind of self-deprecating humour that leaves the reader wondering if he understands himself better than he pretends. Rindell handles this with great skill, so that there's an ambiguity on occasion as to whether he believes his own self-justifications, and it's unclear whether he knows how much he is revealing to the reader between the lines.While Cliff's problems are mostly brought on by his own weakness of character, blaming everything on the father he thinks doesn't do enough for him, both Eden and Miles have to contend with issues forced on them by the society they live in. Eden has to overcome both sexism and anti-semitism in the workplace, while Miles has the double complication of being both black and gay, at a time when homosexuality was still considered a crime. Rindell manages the delicate task of handling all of these liberal concerns without the book ever feeling preachy – she keeps all of the characters living in their own time and doesn't project modern sensibilities onto them. She leaves that up to the reader and it works much better as a result. And all of these issues feed into a fascinating and credible plot, rather than being the sole focus of the book. While I struggled a bit with the first half of the book, I raced through the second half. Rindell is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and skilled new writers I've come across in recent years, coming up with original stories and great characters, and writing them with an easy assurance many a more experienced author must watch with envy. The Other Typist was a crossover between crime and literary fiction, but this one falls much more clearly into the latter category, which I feel suits her style better and is where her future should lie. I look forward with great anticipation to seeing how she develops. 4½ stars for me, despite the slow beginning – rounded up.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Allison and

  • Roger Brunyate
    2019-04-10 04:39

    Righteous AngerThis is a book that made me angry towards the end, but it was appropriate anger. What starts as a rather light-hearted novel about young writers and artists in Greenwich Village in the late fifties eventually turns dark. Slowly, you are reminded that this was not merely a locus of beatnik sensibilities and creative freedom, but also a period of intolerance and prejudice, racial, sexual, and sexist. As your hopes of a storybook ending fade, you have to acknowledge the truth in it, the fidelity to period and consistency of character. Suzanne Rindell does not take the easy way out.She certainly has chops. In her previous novel, The Other Typist, which captured an earlier period with equal skill, she achieved the particular feat of writing through the eyes of a naive secretary who understands only a fraction of the world in which she finds herself—until you begin to wonder if she understands a lot more than she would have you think. Something of the same is found in one of the three narrators of this book, Eden Katz, a young liberal arts graduate from Indiana who comes to New York hoping to make it in the world of publishing. Hers is a lovely, fresh character, and it is fascinating to make the journey from seeing her being manipulated, and then deceived, to finally learning how to stand up for herself by a bit of deception of her own.I admit that it gave me pause to hear that the book would feature a number of struggling writers among its characters; young writers writing about the difficulties of writing seldom makes for interesting reading. But the first of these characters you meet, a Columbia dropout named Cliff, has at least got an infectious voice, as though Rindell had a direct pipeline to the late JD Salinger. You soon realize that he is all dreams and no substance, but the third narrator, Miles Tillman, a writer who actually completed his Columbia degree, is the genuine article. One of the things that Rindell does well—and it is far from easy—is to convince us that Miles has talent, without ever needing to quote his work. Miles is African American, living in Harlem with his mother, kid brother, and an abusive stepfather. He is accepted in the Village, but has his own battles to fight elsewhere. If he soon becomes the most interesting character of the three, it is because of all the narrators, he has the most to discover about himself and his family.One difference between this and Rindell's previous novel is that it is half as long again. The Byzantine plotting of a 350-page book is harder to sustain at 500 pages, especially when the structure seems to be that of three separate stories. Indeed, when Miles goes out to San Francisco in the middle of the book, the stories of Cliff and Eden have a hard time competing. But Miles returns and the last part of the novel entwines all three stories in a way that plays havoc with the emotions -- though only if you can accept at least one major implausibility..At the very end, Rindell jumps forward 22 years to show all three characters in an epilogue. I thought of Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, another dark comedy that turns almost to tragedy, and needs the passage of a generation to redeem itself. Rindell's mere 17 pages are really too few to settle everything fully, and I could still feel my anger simmering. But she comes up with a gorgeous final sentence that persuaded me to round my 3.5 stars up rather than down.

  • Julie
    2019-04-22 03:34

    If you are expecting another The Other Typist, then you will be disappointed but if you want a good read about publishing in the late 50s and the beatnik movement in the Village, with flawed but great characters, this is for you. Ms. Rindell tackles some tough subject matters during the course of the novel and does it extremely well. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and these characters will stay with me for a long time.

  • Linda
    2019-04-02 07:23

    Having been entranced by Suzanne Rindell's first novel The Other Typist, I was delighted to win a First Read's ARC copy of her second book. And though Three-Martini Lunch is a very different book from the first, Ms Rindell does not disappoint. Late 1950s New York and San Francisco provide the setting for a look at the book publishing industry. Told mainly through the eyes of three protagonists, it is a tale of secrets kept, choices made and the repercussions that reverberate for years to come. Cliff Nelson is the feckless son of a successful book editor who conducts business through three martini lunches. Cliff abruptly quits Columbia just short of graduation to write the great American novel. Eden Katz is a naive mid-western girl who comes to New York dreaming of becoming a book editor. Miles Tillman is a talented scholarship student from Harlem who has the writing ability and a story which a publishing house would covet. How these three and their lives connect is interwoven with the culture and history of the late 1950s to make for a captivating tale. Beatnik Greenwich Village, jazzy Harlem and hedonistic San Francisco spice up the story of the well-fleshed-out characters, main and secondary. As one might expect from Ms Rindell if you have read her first novel, some surprises do occur. The ending is a open-ended in a different manner than The Other Typist, but altogether believable and tantalizing to ponder. Ms Rindell has again captivated my interest leaving me anxious for her next book (apparently in progress). Thanks to First Reads for the opportunity to be entertained anew by this amazing author.

  • Pat
    2019-04-17 04:21

    Somehow I made it through all 500 pages, so it wasn't terrible, and definitely picked up the pace towards the end. But I felt clobbered over the head with the none-too-novel idea that yes, the fifties were terrible for women, gay people, black people and everyone else who didn't conform. And then the fact that every character had to also be hiding a huge secret related to their marginalized position made the whole thing a little too convenient. "The Fifties: Not as Fun as Advertised" would be an apt alternate title.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-28 11:11

    Audio was brilliant - 3 different narrators for the 3 main characters. Proper review to come later.

  • Steph
    2019-04-08 04:13

    More like 3.5 stars really. For me, this was a book that got better as it progressed, leading up to an ending that walloped me and made my heart clench in sadness. I suppose this is better than the alternative where a book starts off strong only to fizzle out, but my rating indicates that as much as I came to enjoy the book and quickly turn its pages, I found the pacing uneven and the first 150-200 pages were rather meandering and plodding. Yes they introduce us to the characters and set the scene, but I felt there was too much preamble before the real story kicks into high gear and, in a way, it takes too long for the characters' lives to meaningfully intersect. The book is over 500 pages, but really, with some judicious editing (ironic, given that the book revolves around the publishing industry and one of the main characters dreams of nothing so much as becoming an editor!) it could have been shorter. Maybe Rindell dithered around early on as much as she did simply because she wanted to wallow in the time period, but I felt the characters were really what were interesting—not the setting in and of itself—so I would have preferred for her to have cut to the chase just a little bit sooner.Of the three stories that are told, I found myself much more interested in Eden & Miles's tales, and initially had to force myself through the Cliff sections. Although I did gradually become more interested in him, I actually felt that his story (& how it intersected with Miles) was really heavily foreshadowed and nothing about it wound up surprising me overly much. While I wouldn't say Cliff didn't have his own crosses to bear, as compared to Eden & Miles, it felt most of his obstacles were of his own making. I suppose, in his own way, Cliff is representative of a certain slice of society at the time and so he added layers to the story in that sense, but I did feel that Eden & Miles were really the heart of the story and their own tales were much more compelling.Overall, I liked the prose (Rindell has a good ear for the rhythms and vernacular of the time) and for all the hijinks that occur later on, there is a sober, melancholy air to the last third of the book that resonated with me. It's a caper revolving around the literary world and the up & coming generation of beatniks & hipsters in the late 1950s, to be sure, but it was more than just a romp too. Rindell examines issues of sexuality, race, gender, and class in such a way that the stakes for all the characters feel real and the motivation behind their bad choices is understood. Entertaining, yet thoughtful!

  • Cynthia Corral
    2019-04-03 06:11

    Fantastic book, guaranteed one of the best of 2016.Edited and expanded, because I stayed up all night to finish and review it.We follow three young New Yorkers in the late 1950s, along with their groups of friends, and see how their paths diverge and cross and connect again.Eden, the ambitious girl from the midwest, whose Achilles heel is her heritage as well as her gender.Cliff, the privileged white man who is 60% plans and dreams and 40% excuses with nothing left for talent or ambition.Miles, the intelligent young man with two minority strikes against him.I was engaged with this book from page one. The three narrators are strikingly individual with singularly interesting stories. We follow Cliff and Eden in New York as they both attempt to move through different paths of the publishing world, then we follow Miles cross country as he searches for his father's story and his own history. Their lives flow so far apart from each other I wasn't sure how they would ever be reconnected, but reconnect they do, with disastrous results. 500 pages of the New York publishing world and cross-country soul-searching. Gut punch after gut punch throughout the final 100 pages, with one last, unexpected punch at the very end. Unlikable characters who are given everything but can achieve nothing. Heroic characters who have the entire world of the 1950s against them. So much has changed since that time, entirely too much has remained the same.I finished all 500 pages in two days because I just couldn't step away from it.I received an advance copy from Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.

  • Debbie
    2019-04-03 05:18

    I was so excited to see Suzanne Rindell's second book being offered on Net Galley for review. I LOVED her first book! So I put in a request and literally jumped for joy when I got approved. It's been sitting on my TBR pile for a while since it doesn't come out until April and I was so glad to see that I could move it up the list. What a GREAT read! I'm sitting here finished with the book looking around and no one, no one, knows what a great story I have just finished. It touched all of my emotions. There were so many characters I loved, so many I felt sorry for and so many that I just wanted to beat the crap out of. The characters just seemed so lifelike that I could imagine sitting in Greenwich Village at the bars and just having a good time. I certainly felt for Eden, a women trying to be a career person in the late 1950's, why that's unheard of. Poor Miles so wronged. And then there were the villains. How can people be so low??As you can tell, I really did get into this book and am now sorry that it's done. Sometimes I hate that I read so fast and this is one of them. What a beautiful, sad, heartbreaking and full of ups and downs this book has been. This will definitely be on my list for the best of 2016.Huge, huge thanks to Putnam and Sons for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Johanna
    2019-04-20 08:33

    Wow! I loved this book. Set in 1950s it follows the story of three fabulous characters who are trying to make a success in the publishing industry whilst struggling with issues of race, gender, sexuality and betrayal. I absolutely loved following these characters even when at times you might not like them. Rindell has written this story in such a beautiful way it meant that I spent a week lost in the hipster era of NY's village in the late 50s with conflicted characters that I won't forget very quickly. I enjoyed this so much I intentionally read it slower than normal because I didn't want it to end. Don't assume from the title of this book that this is a light fluffy read, it is anything but, in a good way! I highly recommend

  • Lynn G.
    2019-04-23 08:28

    Three Martini lunch was almost 5* for me. The well told story in three voices was very insightful about the late 1950s and early 1960s in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and New York's publishing world. The main characters were well defined and distinct. I was immediately pulled into each of their lives and cared about what happened to them, even when I hoped something awful would happen to one character in particular. The author created fine tension and put enough twists and turns in the plot so that I didn't want to have to put the book down, I wanted to find out what happened next.

  • Ashley Bergman Carlin
    2019-04-21 03:19

    Not a great book. The characters were unbelievable to the point of eye rolling and that's basically all it takes for me to lose interest in a novel. Characterization is important to me-- I want to believe in the people I'm reading about.

  • Alyson
    2019-04-10 07:39

    I could use a few more 3 martini lunches. Both the book and the boozy meal. I was actually surprised I liked this book as much as I did. Until about 2/3 of the way through I was floating between 3 and 4 stars. But it really snuck up on me how great this novel truly is. The book braids together 3 linear narratives. The author does this in such a way that no one scene is repeated, but instead the new point of view takes up where the last one left off. The tone and style differs with each point of view, but remains completely consistent for each character. It is almost like a different author wrote each (or, apparently, just a really fantastic author was able to completely transform her writing depending on which character's head she was inside). I have very different (and strong) feelings for each of the characters, which may say more about me than it does about them. So in an attempt at mimicking the author's talent at tackling one character at a time:CliffWell dont'cha know that Cliff is the best, most pure, unpublished author there is in the Village? Hasn't got an original idea inside his big stupid head, but his ability to justify his rotten actions is really the true talent. And talent should not be ignored or suppressed. It is really only fair that he can use people, ideas, others' money, and do with them what he please. Really! He will make better use of them. And shouldn't things be used to their fullest potential? It's not the idea (or the money, or the time, or the person), but instead it's what you do with all those things that really counts; that is what really tells the world (Daddy) who is best and most deserving of accolades. If you think I'm being too harsh, read the book. My dislike of Cliff had me thinking early on that I was not going to like the book. I was totally wrong about one of those things. His p.o.v., while painful (at times) and narcissistic (always) was essential to the overall beauty of the story--but more in the "you can't have light without dark" way than the "I enjoy reading about your mistakes and whining" way. Is Cliff evil? Well, maybe. I don't know. It depends on your definition. But he's definitely weak, entitled, racist, homophobic, sexist, and spoiled. Which (unfortunately) is actually exactly what you would expect from an upper middle class white guy in the 1950s. EdenAll the hoping and dreaming in the world cannot make them a reality. Hard work. That's all it takes. And naivety and luck both turned all the way up to 11. Work hard, trust everyone, and in the process justify a whole bunch of lies while holding yourself well out of reach of your own judgment. That is just how the world is, and how our lone heroine survives and hopes to thrive being Jewish and a woman in the 1950s NYC publishing industry. All right, this time I might be a little over-harsh. Eden is not a bad person. She is a good person. Really. She just lacks the confidence (and the environment) to truly do the right thing very often. She does the half-right thing frequently enough, but rarely makes it past that 50% line. Which (unfortunately) makes sense. Woman+1950s+Job ≠ easy. I'm probably a little easier on Eden because I related to her more (woman in a man's world, and all that jazz). Her struggles feel more legitimate than Cliff's because most of Eden's problems are rooted in the external: the patriarchy, the anti-semitism (which, side note, she is either overly sensitive about, OR the author actually fails here and just does not provide enough examples to sufficiently justify Eden's sensitivity over her background), the manipulative people around her. Her choices in response to these external factors is often lacking, but these are still originating from conditions that are beyond her control. Eden’s real, predominant flaw (as a human, not a character) is her unwillingness to actually tackle these issues straight on. A flaw many of us share, and one which she overcomes by the end. MilesIt’s all about expectations. No one seems to expect much from Miles, not his family, not his friends, not his lovers. He is a black Columbia-educated aspiring writer from Harlem in 1958, but he knows that Columbia diploma does not mean the same thing for him as it does for his classmates. His evolution is the most beautiful, the most complicated, and the most shattered in the book. Cliff's constant jealousy of Miles (though Cliff would never identify it as jealousy) is juxtaposed with Miles' constant internal turmoil that he generally too afraid to acknowledge. Brilliantly, the author reminds us that our personalities and decisions (good and bad) can be ever so slightly (and catastrophically) altered by those who surround us. This was definitely the hardest part of the review to write. With a complicated family and a complicated future, Miles carries everything with him (some legitimate, some not). He is a man with baggage, and as the novel progresses the reader discovers just how heavy that baggage is. And how much he adds to it throughout the course of the story. He is hands down my favorite character in the book, and I quickly looked forward to his chapters (as much or more as I dreaded each of Cliff's). He does some terrible things. But I never felt he was a terrible person. Ultimately it feels like it is his story that is being told (even though I’m sure Cliff would like to think that it is his). It is Miles’ world that we are exploring and it is his successes and failures (external and internal ones) that we are being shown in order to judge. EpilogueTrying to avoid spoilers here, so it comes down to this: The characters feel alive, their stories feel important, their ultimate destinations (in the epilogue) feel realistic. This isn't a happy book, it isn't a sad book. It's a book that brings the characters, their individuality, and the overarching story of the novel alive in a seamless, creative, and thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful way. I received this book from the Goodreads Giveaways program.

  • Kimberly
    2019-04-24 04:28

    Thank you to my Goodreads Friends for providing such wonderful reviews for this book - it is because of those reviews that I added this to my "TBR" list.The 3 first-person narratives in the book make it so authentic, plausible, and very readable especially due to the varied backgrounds of the narrators. These narratives also allow for 3 very strong plots with several interwoven subplots that are tightly concluded in the epilogue. The settings of San Francisco and New York's Harlem and The Village are beautifully depicted in the late 1950's with their gender, race, sexual, and social class tensions. The publishing world of New York is the theme that ties everything together.

  • Laurel-Rain
    2019-03-24 04:29

    They were all young and so full of hope, back in 1958. Students, writers, young radicals, and party seekers…they had the future before them, and they were eager to reach out for it. They hung out in Greenwich Village, but their partying took them all over the city.The core group included Cliff Nelson, whose father was Chief Editor at a large publishing house. Cliff, however, had dropped out of Columbia and despite his life of entitlement and privilege, found himself rudderless when his father cut him off financially. Nevertheless, his background gave him a confidence and brashness that stayed with him for a while…but then his inability to launch his writing career had him scrambling to find another way. Flawed and unable to view his own qualities honestly, Cliff was an interesting character, but unlikeable in many ways.Eden Katz had come to New York from Indiana, and with her eye on an eventual job as an editor for a publishing house, she brought with her two letters of introduction. How she uses the second letter forms a part of her story after she realizes that sometimes you can trust the wrong people. Miles Tillman, a young black man and recent graduate of Columbia supports himself as a bicycle messenger while seeking more permanent work. A journey to San Francisco in search of his father’s mysterious journal from his war years leads Miles to unexpected connections. While he struggles to make sense of his life, he finds himself pondering a lifestyle that could cement his role as an outsider.Hangers-on like Rusty Morrisdale, full of himself and his job working for a literary agent, found a peripheral role in the group, but his behavior was obnoxious. Others put up with him, believing he had something to offer. Then there was good looking Bobby who drew many to him, just because of his beauty and his charisma. These extraneous characters reveal themselves occasionally, but really add little to the story, except as cautionary reminders of what to avoid. Or as foils for the primary characters.Can the characters reach their dreams? What will they have to do to make that happen? Will the past rear its ugly head and bring them down? What would be the eventual links between them that would last beyond those early years, and how would the events of their youth inform their lives? Then, as a final twist, the author fast-forwards to the 1980s to reveal some of the consequences in the characters’ lives.Three-Martini Lunch was alternately narrated by Cliff, Eden, and Miles. Their antics, their dreams, and what they would do to achieve them resonates for those who have lived during those times. The author vividly paints the scenes, depicting the era with authenticity, bringing a nostalgic glimmer to those moments from the past. The typewriter as an instrument felt like a poignant reminder of what once was, for those who now enjoy the technology of computers and social networking, while the party scenes vividly show the reader what real life connections look like. 5 stars.

  • Kristi | Hidden Staircase |
    2019-03-26 10:20

    Here’s what drew me to this book. To be honest – it was the title. I had to read the book description. 1958. Greenwich Village, New York. The world of publishing. Of course, I immediately thought, this sounds a lot like the TV show Mad Men. I was sold.Now I will tell you, for me this book was a lot like Mad Men, but not in the way you might think. When I first saw the ads for this brand new original TV series coming to AMC, I thought, this show looks great. A fun, light-hearted show set in the mad world of 1960’s advertising. And sometimes it was. But after watching the first few episodes, I found it was also a very serious show, with tough topics and situations thrown into this crazy world of advertising.Three Martini Lunch was the same way. I was expecting more of a light-hearted journey of these three young people and how they made it (or didn’t) in the world of publishing in the late 1950’s. I got that and much more. Three Martini Lunch follows three people – Cliff, Eden, and Miles. The narrative perspective switches back and forth between these three throughout the story.In the end, I feel like Three Martini Lunch is a book about the decisions we make in life to make our place in this world, and the consequences they have. Minor decisions become life-changing events. One man’s triumphs can become another man’s heartaches. Three Martini Lunch follows these three characters and how this one moment in time molded the outcome of the rest of their lives.Great writing, great characters, great story. Don’t miss this book.To see my full review, please visit Hidden Staircase.Thanks to First to Read for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Mary Lins
    2019-04-23 04:17

    Suzanne Rindell's, "Three-Martini Lunch", will appeal to fans of the TV series "Mad Men" and readers who love behind-the-scenes looks at the publishing industry (I am fans of both).Set in late 1950s New York City, "Three-Martini Lunch" is told by three, alternating first person narrators; Cliff Nelson is a Columbia drop-out, a beatnik wannabe whose father is a prominent NYC publisher. He loves his Bohemian life in Greenwich Village and forays into Harlem. He wants to be a famous writer. Cliff is also a bit of a jerk. Eden Katz is from the Midwest and she is ambitious to become an editor - she is NOT interested in "putting a ring on it". And Miles Tillman is a Harlem-born black man who just might posses the writing talent that Cliff aspires to. And Miles is hiding himself from himself.Rindell begins with the epigraph by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one." Amen, brother, that should be the English Major's Curse (I can say that because I are one). The novel is populated with posers of the time...not so different than the posers of OUR time, which is oddly comforting. The blatant sexism, racism, homophobia and antisemitism is shocking to our modern sensibilities, but nevertheless spot-on for the time and place. Rindell does a great job of using 1950s vernacular and slang in the characters' speech patterns to great affect, and because of that realism I could imagine this novel being made into a film!I thoroughly enjoyed "Three-Martini Lunch", as the plot deepened and developed, so did the nuanced characters of the three narrators. Suspense mounts and I found myself racing to find out what was going to happen to Cliff, Eden, and Miles and what their ultimate fates held in store for them.

  • Dianna
    2019-04-05 11:15

    3.5 stars - A Good Reads giveaway! Thank you!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!)