The Receptionist

  • by Janet Groth
  • Narrated by Susanna Burney
  • 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Thanks to a successful interview with the painfully shy E.B. White, a beautiful, 19-year-old, blue-eyed blonde from the cornfields of Iowa lands a job as a receptionist at The New Yorker magazine. There she stays two decades, becoming general all-around factotum - watching and registering the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, scandalous affairs, failures, triumphs, and tragedies of the eccentric inhabitants of the 18th floor. Though she dreamed of becoming a writer, she never advanced at the magazine.
This memoir of a particular time and place is as much about why that was so as it is about Groth's fascinating relationships with John Berryman, Joseph Mitchell, Muriel Spark, as well as E.J. Kahn, Calvin Trillin, Renata Adler, Peter DeVries, Charles Addams, and many other New Yorker contributors and bohemian denizens of Greenwich Village in its heyday. Eventually, Groth would have to leave The New Yorker in order to find herself.


What the Critics Say

The New Yorker’s many fans will enjoy Judith West’s warm narration of this behind-the-scenes look at the iconic magazine." (Library Journal)
“A nostalgic, wistful look at life inside one of America’s most storied magazines, and the personal and professional limbo of the woman who answered the phone.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“[Groth] is witty, honest, and self-deprecating, without whining, and quite a good role model.” (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

don't bother

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

this is not ;a well written book it is like a book report . . it is difficult to care about her travails she starts out saying she wanted to be one and stopped could and gives us no reason to pay attention to anything she thinks if one has read aboutt hese people already there appears to be an absence of insight...yup she had fun, well, I don't have 7 hours for htis.

Has The Receptionist turned you off from other books in this genre?

what genre being a receptionist?

How did the narrator detract from the book?


What character would you cut from The Receptionist?

the writer

Any additional comments?

nope, I would like to know how to get another, I find the website uncomfortable

Read full review

- nancy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-02-2013
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books