2 Book Lovers Reviews

The Glass Hotel

By Emily St. John Mandel

I was intrigued by the premise of The Glass Hotel, I’ve heard a lot of great things about Station Eleven and I had an Audible credit burning a hole in my pocket, so I thought what better time than to dive into The Glass Hotel.

The one thing that really stood out for me through The Glass Hotel was the discordant style. This story was a bumpy ride and the Audible narration followed the style to a tee. I’m not saying that the story wasn’t good or didn’t flow. This was deliberate and with specific intent. The Glass Hotel was told from multiple points of view. These characters were immensely different and varied.  This style lent itself to strong demarcations between one character and the other. I was left with the feeling that some of them did not want their story told, yet Mandel pulled their story from them for my benefit.

Listening to this story during the current pandemic highlighted certain things for me.  I really don’t think that it was deliberate, but reality and art are bound to collide from time to time.  ‘’The world of money,’’ how those with tend to forget that those without exist. The massive inequities of the haves and have nots. Mandel angered me with her depiction of this world and the corruption that exists within it. It amazes me how often the masses are treated like fodder just to make the rich, richer.  Off my soapbox, enough said.

Mandel tied her story together with her characters. I loved or loathed them all to varying degrees throughout the story.  Whatever I can say about one of the characters, it really applies to all of them.  They were real, they were flawed, they were human. The Glass Hotel captured the reality of humanity through an encapsulated view of a handful of characters who happened to be at the same place at the same time. Their stories diverged, came back together, and flew apart again.

*4.5 Stars

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