Extended Audio Sample

Download Sweetbitter: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sweetbitter: A Novel Audiobook, by Stephanie Danler Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephanie Danler Narrator: Alex McKenna Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9780399566295
Regular Price: $22.50 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A lush, raw, thrilling novel of the senses about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant.

“Let’s say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge…” This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the twenty-two-year-old at the heart of this stunning first novel. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, she’s come to New York to look for a life she can’t define, except as a burning drive to become someone, to belong somewhere. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a “backwaiter,” on duty and off. Her appetites—for food, wine, knowledge, and every kind of experience—are awakened. And she’s pulled into the magnetic thrall of two other servers—a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman she latches onto with an orphan’s ardor. These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess’s hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story of discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s rare that a book conveys with such unerring precision what it’s like to be young.”

    Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner Award–winning author

  • Brilliantly written… Sweetbitter is the Kitchen Confidential of our time. Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter and Prune, New York Times Book Review
  • Danler... quickly draws you into the sparkling surfaces and the shadowy underbelly of the city... [Tess's] insatiable hunger for tactile, sensual satisfaction dares you to tag along. The journey is high-minded and dirty, beastly and bountiful. Elle
    “Danler’s ravishing debut is like inhabiting the heady after-midnight hours of a city drunk on its own charms… [her] descriptions of food and drink go beyond mouth-watering, verging on orgasmic… a first novel [that] tantalizes, seduces, satisfies.
  • Danler’s sexy, astute debut is really a love story about the addictive pull of restaurant life… Anyone who’s ever tied on an apron will think, “Finally, someone wrote a book about us.” And nailed it. People (book of the week)
  • An unpretentious, truth-dealing novel… about hunger of every variety. Ms. Danler is a sensitive observer… and gifted commenter on many things. Sweetbitter is going to make a lot of people hungry. Dwight Garner, New York Times
  • … perfectly captures the raw possibility of a young woman’s first year in New York, opening up to a whole new world of wine, food, love and heartbreak. Mackenzie Dawson, New York Post   
  • ...a raw, shucked, pungent, wild love story. Marie Claire 
  • "Sweetbitter…dresses the bones of a classic coming-of-age story with the lusty flesh and blood of a bawdy early twenty-first-century picaresque.”


  • “Danler’s sexy, astute debut is really a love story about the addictive pull of restaurant life…and nailed it.”


  • “Danler’s ravishing debut is like inhabiting the heady after-midnight hours of a city drunk on its own charms.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A raw, shucked, pungent, wild love story.”

    Marie Claire

  • “An unpretentious, truth-dealing novel…about hunger of every variety.”

    New York Times

  • “A total immersion in what it’s like to be young and hungry.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Lush and precise writing about food, drugs, and dives.”

    New York magazine

  • “Food and feeling are natural partners; this… is a feast of both. Like her sexual awakening, Tess’s culinary enlightenment is vivid and exquisite.”


  • “Danler…is unafraid to give us a protagonist whose drive can be monstrous.”


  • “Danler evokes Tess’ voice—intimate, confiding, wonderstruck, depressed—with deft skill. This novel is a treat.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Alex McKenna’s husky voice is the perfect match for this coming-of-age story…McKenna’s performance is infused with a magical mix of youth and naïveté, tempered by a toughness earned after a year in the city…McKenna projects a full range of nuanced emotions, augmenting the intimacy of Tess’ journey to self-discovery and her survival in the often brutal restaurant world. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • A May 2016 LibraryReads Pick
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for May 2016
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A People Pick of the Week
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Time Magazine Pick for the Best Books of 2016 So Far
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
STEPHANIE DANLER is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School.
About the Narrator

Alex McKenna is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a television and film actress best known for her role as Abby Macy in the television series Crossing Jordan.