The Transcriptionist Pdf Summary
This powerful debut follows a woman who sets out to challenge the absurdity of the world around her. Lena, the transcriptionist, sits alone in a room far away from the hum of the newsroom that is the heart of the Record, the New York City newspaper for which she works. For years, she has been the ever-present link for reporters calling in stories from around the world. Turning spoken words to print, Lena is the vein that connects the organs of the paper. She is loyal, she is unquestioning, yet technology is dictating that her days there are numbered. When she reads a shocking piece in the paper about a Jane Doe mauled to death by a lion, she recognizes the woman in the picture. They had met on a bus just a few days before. Obsessed with understanding what caused the woman to deliberately climb into the lion’s den, Lena begins a campaign for truth that will destroy the Record’s complacency and shake the venerable institution to its very foundation. An exquisite novel that asks probing questions about journalism and ethics, about the decline of the newspaper and the failure of language, it is also the story of a woman’s effort to establish her place in an increasingly alien and alienating world.
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The Transcriptionist Review
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange novel
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 4, 2016
Lena is the last transcriptionist remaining at a NYC newspaper. She works alone, with the words of others passing through her ears, and out her fingertips. But she’s coming to believe that she’s being erased, with her thoughts being replaced by the tapes she’s hearing and her ability to converse being replaced by quotes from authors she has studied.
One day, on a bus, she meets a blind court recorder and feels a strong kinship with her. She embarks on a mission to discover this woman and to discover where lost things and people go. That’s the outline of the story, but this book is really about transience and longevity, technology making newspapers obsolete, being lost and found. It’s a strange book, not easy to explain, probably a 3 star read, but I gave it 4 because it’s beautifully written and doesn’t give the reader any easy answers; on the contrary, it makes the reader think and wonder, and leaves him adrift – as are we all.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise of disappearing technology lost in complex life situation.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 14, 2015
The context of learning what a transcriptionist does was interesting. I had trouble following the ‘flashbacks’ and sometimes I was confused if the story was past or current. (That may have been my problem, since I read fast, and might have missed some clues.)
The author told the story in a powerful way, but I found the story very depressing, supposedly the author’s purpose. The demise of the role of transcriptionist parallels Lena’s life. Lena’s obsession with Arlene’s life and death consumed Lena; I am not sure why the author chose that thread. Lena seemed close to suicide at times, and perhaps that is why she pursued Arlene’s story.
I guessed early on who the Kov is, another relic of times gone past, but who takes a meaningless (to others) task to keep himself busy, in contrast to Lena.
In retrospect, I did not enjoy this novel. I probably would not read another book by this author. Perhaps I should appreciate the insight into Lena’s life, but I did not.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great novel, a masterpiece
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 18, 2015
The Transcriptionist is a great novel, as wonderfully great as any novel I have every read. Amy Rowland is a fabulously gifted talent who has written a superb work. The jacket cover on the back calls the novel a “masterpeice” and I agree. There is no need to disclose the story. Just read it. It can be read and interpreted on so many levels. Simply rich, awesome imagination with detail and observation of life and people; and very, very funny too. The book challenges the reader to examine the way they experience the world around them; reveals viewpoints about life and how we live that we may not have imagined for ourselves. The book is entertaining, though far from simplistic entertainment, and yet highly profound. It is tender and compassionate, but far from sentimental. It will take you for a beautiful, artistic ride that runs the full gamut of human emotions, It is universal in its appeal.
3.0 out of 5 stars All Alone on the 17th Floor
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 14, 2014
THE TRANSCRIPTIONIST is one weird novel. I’m still not sure what it was about.
Lena, the main character, works at the RECORD, the biggest and most respected newspaper in New York. I guess THE TIMES wouldn’t give Amy Roland permission to use their name, but “the Grey Lady” is mentioned and that’s THE TIMES. Anyway, Lena is the last of the transcriptionists; she takes calls from reporters who need her to type their interviews for them, and e-mail her finished copy back to them and also return the tape of the transcription. The problem is she’s becoming claustrophobic, working on the 17th floor all by herself, just her and a pigeon on the window outside the room, that she talks to occasionally. She has an admirer of sorts, Russell, one of the reporters who calls her Carol. She doesn’t immediately correct him.
Then she meets Arlene Lebow, a blind woman, on the subway; they make a connection, but the next day she reads about the blind woman being eaten by a lion at the zoo. Apparently she swam the moat to commit suicide. This event really depresses Lena. Then the blind woman’s body disappears and Lena sets out to find her.
Lena also has a buddy named Kov who spends all day piecing together tattered versions of a ancient obituaries. He’s not who he seems to be.
Lena is looking for a way to escape her prison on the 17th floor, and she finds it when she clashes with the paper’s star reporter, a foreign correspondent, who sends her an interview about Iraq, then tries to kill it minutes later. Let it suffice to say that Lena doesn’t kill it. It appears in the paper the next day.
Not everybody can get an obituary printed in THE RECORD, at least one written by a reporter, not the normal obituary writer. And that’s Lena’s final gesture at THE RECORD. Guess who it’s for.
About Amy Rowland Author of The Transcriptionist Pdf Book
Amy Rowland’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn and is a staff editor at The New York Times Book Review. The Transcriptionist pdf book is her first novel, and she does not know why she hasn’t written others by now.
The Transcriptionist pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- ASIN : 1616202548
- Publisher : Algonquin Books (May 13, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781616202545
- ISBN-13 : 978-1616202545
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.88 x 8.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,308,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #20,428 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
- #46,326 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction
- #137,197 in American Literature (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 3.5 out of 5 stars 92 ratings
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