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 there daily, like Graham “Le Gris”—also known as The Pig—and his dignified group of aesthetes; the slightly more free-spirited drinking company around Tom Sellers; and the closest one can get to personal friends of the waiter, Edgar and his young daughter, Anna.

In this universe unto itself, there is scarcely any contact between the tables...until a beautiful and well-groomed young woman walks through the door and upsets the delicate balance of the restaurant and all it has come to represent.

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 sensible response...

With the sophistication of The Remains of the Day and the eccentricity of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Waiter marks the North American debut of an exciting new voice in literary fiction.
  • Gallery/Scout Press | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501197529 | 
  • October 2018
List Price $32.99 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Waiter includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

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 worn but solid tablecloths, and the regular diners. Some are there daily, like Graham “Le Gris”—also known as The Pig—and his dignified group of aesthetes; the slightly more free-spirited drinking company around Tom Sellers; and the closest one can get to personal friends of the waiter, Edgar and his young daughter, Anna.

In this universe unto itself, there is scarcely any contact between the tables . . . until a beautiful and well-groomed young woman walks through the door and upsets the delicate balance of the restaurant and all it has come to represent.

Like being in a snow globe, The Waiter is a captivating study in see more

About the Author

Matias Faldbakken
Photograph by Ivar Kvaal

Matias Faldbakken

Matias Faldbakken is a world-renowned contemporary artist and writer who shows with the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York and has been hailed as one of the freshest new voices to emerge in Norwegian literature during the past decade. The Waiter is his first novel in nine years and the very first he has written under his own name.

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