The Glass Hotel: A novel (Hardcover)
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"Give me a place with no people in it, because I will never fully trust another person again."
Any time there is an Emily St John Mandel book available I will read it sight unseen. In many ways I think this benefits THE GLASS HOTEL, which is one of the weirder pieces of realistic fiction I have read. The titular hotel sits on the tip of Vancouver Island, at the intersection of luxury and wilderness. In many ways this is a representation of the events of the book, which weave together the disappearance of a woman at sea and the collapse of a Ponzi scheme. As characters navigate the loss of wealth, life, and status, we learn a lot about what motivates individuals and how "money is its own country."
I spent a large chunk of this book trying to keep track of where I was and how people were connected, but it all came together in a tapestry that is both very broad and localized. I loved the experience.
Content warnings for loss of a parent, drug use, dementia, and discussions of suicide.— Faith
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From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events-a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.
Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby's glass wall: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients' accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan's wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.
In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.
About the Author
EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL's four previous novels include Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award and has been translated into thirty-two languages. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
"Long-anticipated... At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical... In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure. A strange, subtle, and haunting novel. —Kirkus Reviews, starred
"Another tale of wanderers whose fates are interconnected... nail-biting tension... Mandel weaves an intricate spider web of a story... A gorgeously rendered tragedy."—Booklist, starred
"Mandel’s wonderful novel (after Station Eleven) follows a brother and sister as they navigate heartache, loneliness, wealth, corruption, drugs, ghosts, and guilt... This ingenious, enthralling novel probes the tenuous yet unbreakable bonds between people and the lasting effects of momentary carelessness."—Publishers Weekly, starred