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The Hills

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  557 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Restauranten The Hills i Oslo sentrum er midtpunkt i Matias Faldbakkens nye roman, fylt av servitører og stamgjester, lysekrone og garderobevakt, mesanin, varekjeller, barsjef og huspianist. Det er et kontinentalt interiør med nedtråkket mosaikk i konsentriske ringer på gulvet og vegger fulle av portretter, tegninger, malerier og klistremerker. Han som fører ordet har vært ...more
231 pages
Published September 2017 by Forlaget Oktober
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3.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  557 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 "it's all about eating here, and I'm a facilitator ...more
Umut Reviews
Oct 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just not for me. It was plotless and pointless. The first 10 0pages of the book was observations of a waiter about people I didn't know, and was not introduced by the author.
There's no character development or a clear plot, just ramblings of a waiter.

I skimmed through the last part and the closure is even not satisfactory. So, Was not a good experience.
Mellie Antoinette
“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 ...
Agatha Christie
Babette’s Feast
Cozy Mysteries
Crusty Waiters
Universes in microcosm
People stuck in time

I 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 circumstances, anxiety just might be the most sensi
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literary fiction rated below 3.5 stars is totally my jam. The narrative voice, the minutiae of the waiter’s ceaseless daily routine, and his close observations of the regular diners and the interior details they let slip through cracks in their public personae, are all absorbing.

Some things I didn’t like: I agree with others that the first half works much better than the second half (the unraveling is a bit absurd). Also, huge eyeroll to the catalyst being the arrival of the Child Lady, a beaut
Donna Davis
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody.
Thanks go to Net Galley and Doubleday for the review copy. I am sorry to be so late here; the truth is that I kept setting it aside because I didn’t like it, and then returning to it, thinking that I was missing something. I’ve given up on finding the magic, though there are some nice moments here; I also have a strong hunch that there may be a cultural barrier in play. Those that spend time in Europe, possibly with some Scandinavian background, may enjoy this in a way that I didn’t.

The setting
Simen Gunerius Jørgensen
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Den er skrevet på dansk, fordi jeg har sendt den til forlaget i DK.

Matias Faldbakken: The Hills (2017), 240 sider

”The Hills” er kunstner og forfatter Matias Faldbakkens første roman efter trilogien ”Skandinavisk misantropi.” Romanen blev skrevet under aliasset Abo Rasul for omkring ti år siden. Bøgerne blev hyldet af anmelderne, hvor beskrivelser som ”overdådig” og ”rabulistisk” blev taget i brug.

Jeg-personen i ”The Hills” er en erfaren kelner som i 13 år har arbejdet på restauranten, der har gi
Anna Baillie-Karas
An interesting book. Overall too digressive and didn’t get to the heart of the matter, so the story was unclear.

But the narrator, a highly-sensitive aesthete who seems to unravel, is well realised & some of the vignettes are truly comic - slices of restaurant life, acutely observed. The customers are pompous &/or hedonistic, but don’t change; there’s a mysterious woman who drinks a quadruple espresso (respect) & unsettles the waiter, but i wasn’t sure why.

A fun read but not wholly
I realize this book is translated from the Norwegian, and I need to take into account all the issues translations bring with them, but I probably need to preface this review with the disclaimer that this may be the least enjoyable book I’ve read this year (you’re off the hook Hubert Selby and Tevi Troy, but still looking at you Han Kang as the lifetime champion). “The Waiter” is verbose, navel gazing, pretentious, and utterly, utterly without a reason for its existence.
Ok, a bit harsh perhaps
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Det eneste jeg har å utsette på denne, er at den var for kort.
Topp tre 2017.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 what they choose to eat as they are in where they are
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you!

I am not sure exactly how to rate this book. I notice that English language reviews are low; reviews in other languages are much higher. Translation issues? I don't think so. Cultural issues? Perhaps. This book is basically about a few ordinary days in the life of a waiter at an old, traditional European high class restaurant. Nothing much happens, orders are placed, food is served, wine is drunk. The waiter catches his hand in a drawer. Bu
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
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 moment that I felt never really happened, but once I wa
Actual rating: 2.50
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like there was something I was missing -- it felt like reading the poem my last duchess, but minus the a-ha moment. So, points added for the intrigue, but subtracted for over subtlety. Otherwise well written, and poignant at parts, and most importantly, UNEXPECTED!
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
Matthias Faldbakken’s novel, The Waiter, drew me instantly with its comparison to Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow. Sadly, the former does not hold a candle to its supposed cousin.

One of the things I loved most about Towles’s Gentleman is that the novel offered readers a portrait of confinement amid luxury and a constantly shifting political and social landscape within the hotel over the course of several decades. Rather than offer readers just one major character to latch onto, though, Towle
Siri Solheim-Kristiansen
We follow a waiter at a high-end restaurant in Oslo for a few days, and we see the world through his eyes and thoughts. We meet the guests and the colleagues, and I find it interesting to see how my impression of the various characters, including the main one, changes as more information is given - or as days go by. And day by day, the routines change due to new guests, their impulses, and the creation of new relations within the restaurant. It's "chaos" for the staff.

I enjoyed the book. It's e
Gabby Grant
Oct 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most dull, uninteresting books I’ve ever read. I bought it for two reasons: I liked the cover, and it made reference to A Gentleman in Moscow on the inside flap. I figured “Hey, it references my favorite book! Maybe it’s just as good?” and Lord, was I let down.
I understand that it was translated into English, but there was still soooo so so much wrong with it.

There was no plot, the main character was highly unlikable, and, again, THERE WAS NO PLOT. I didn’t know what I was
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
When it comes to Matias Faldbakken's The Waiter, I feel as though a lot was lost in translation for me, personally. I really wanted to love this, but something fell short. The premise is simple but could be compelling; set entirely in a long-standing European restaurant with a history all of it's own I was mostly drawn in by the narrator, an aging waiter who is very set in his ways and neurotic in his own way. When just taken for the value of his running commentary, I wasn't entirely disappointe ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in one of the GoodReads contests. Not the kind of book I usually read. The book is well made and the font size and type are easy to read. The book is not really my type but is well written. Didn’t really can for the ending.
2.5 I checked this out because of the comparison to the dinner and gentleman in Moscow, two loved books, one for shock value, the other for love of language, this was not in either realm, thus a huge disappointment... for stand alone with zero hype, just middle of the road for me...
Mikka Gottstein
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“The Hills” ist ein (fiktives) Restaurant in Oslo, dessen Geschichte zurückreicht bis in die Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts und das sich dennoch durch eine gewisse Zeitlosigkeit auszeichnet. Die Kellner tragen maßgeschneiderte Uniformen und werden zu würdevollem Betragen angehalten, ein Florist beliefert das Restaurant regelmäßig mit dezenten Arrangements, auf einem Mezzanin spielt ein Pianist Abend für Abend sein klassisches Repertoire.

Hier wird Tradition noch großgeschriebe
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I am missing here, but while a wonderfully descriptive seemingly has no point. It is as though Seinfeld was made into a book.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In De Hills staat de tijd stil. Je krijgt de indruk in de jaren twintig te vertoeven. Het personage van het Vrouwmeisje zorgt echter voor een integratie van de hedendaagsheid en doet de dwangmatige en traditionele butler wankelen. Hij laat de tradities meer en meer voor wat ze zijn en zoekt toevlucht op zijn smartphone en clipjes van Eminem. De Hills is erg grappig, met name de specifieke omschrijvingen van de gasten. Mysterieus, komisch en warm.
Muriël Van Der Wal
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bali-2018, uitgeleend
Historisch besef in huidige tijdgeest. Serieuze grappigheid. In welk literair boek kom je nou shellac tegen. #zo2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 with the principal character. I just didn't like hi
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.
Thomas Løge
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
En kort, grei og underholdende bok. Jeg liker hvordan hele handlingen foregår innenfor restauranten The Hills fire vegger og den blir fortalt ut ifra kelnerens perspektiv.
A story of an old and established restaurant in Oslo is turned upside down with the addition of a woman into the ranks. Told by the waiter, a long-term and rather set in his ways employee, he’s the epitome of someone who does not deal well with change, and carries many (or most) of the traits that one who is frightened by all he cannot or does not wish to accept into his closed off little worlds: he reacts badly. And it is his reactions that become the focal point for satire, derision and even a ...more
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Matias Faldbakken (born 1973 in Hobro, Denmark) is a Norwegian artist and writer. Faldbakken studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen and the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. He is the son of the author Knut Faldbakken and brother of film director Stefan Faldbakken. [wikipedia]

His first three books were published under the pseudonym Abo Rasul.
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