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Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453258272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453258279
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Working on crafting the story into Hotel Angeline has been a pleasure. There’s something about this project that glows when you hold it in your hands, and I hope the readers feel that glow, too.” —Garth Stein
“This may well be the craziest—but best—thing I've ever been part of. The camaraderie of the authors, the excitement of the audience (live and online), even the long hours it took to bring it all together, were joyous and moving. Words flowing from an author’s mind through fingers to keyboard to projection screen? Absolutely incredible.” —Jennie Shortridge
Hotel Angeline is a unique writing project, and it’s a testament to what a group of focused, talented, and determined writers can produce when inspired to do something good for the world.” —Susan Wiggs
“Working on Hotel Angeline was hands down the best two-hour, multi-authored, improvised, live-broadcast, literary advocacy writing experience I had all of last year! I loved it!” —Sean Beaudoin

Book Description

Thirty-six of the most interesting writers in the Pacific Northwest came together for a week-long marathon of writing live on stage. The result? Hotel Angeline, a truly inventive novel that surprises at every turn of the page.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
Unfortunately, it does, sometimes a bit jarringly.
Each author did an exceptionally wonderful job of pulling together 36 puzzle pieces and creating a lovely story.
Jessica McKelden Cave
If you are reading this for a relaxing read by the pool, you might just be disappointed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Book-Loving Mom of Two on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
For six days last October, 36 writers took turns writing a novel, live on stage, during an event organized by the Seattle7Writers called "The Novel: Live!" ~ you can see the list of authors on The Novel: Live! website. Each author had a two hour time slot during which they were to write the next chapter in an evolving novel. Author Jennie Shortridge wrote the first chapter, and Susan Wiggs wrapped it up six days later. In between, authors came and went, adding their layers to the story. At the end of the event, they had a complete novel: Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices.

I had heard about this event back when it took place in October, so when I saw Hotel Angeline available for review on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I'm so glad I did. While some reviewers have said it seemed rather seamless, I would say the change in author was pretty obvious at the beginning of each chapter. But that was okay. Because that's what made this such a cool book to read! It's a great way to get a taste of 36 different authors' styles, and to see how they built on the details that were written by other authors.

As far as the story itself goes, I wasn't as crazy about it, but it was engaging and kept me turning the page. The story is about a teenage girl named Alexis who finds herself with complete responsibility for a residential hotel in Seattle after her mother becomes ill. The characters who live there are outrageous and fun. The situations they get into throughout the novel are suspenseful but quite unrealistic in many cases. However, the storyline does flow well from beginning to end, characters grow and change, mysteries are revealed, and everything is wrapped up well in the end ~ which is quite amazing with all the hands in the pot on this one!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By KJH&CLS on May 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The idea behind Hotel Angeline, brainchild of Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge of Seattle7Writers, is as fascinating as the book promises to be: a cadre of 36 well-known writers gathering in Seattle in October of 2010 to write a complete novel in six days. Before a live audience. Each writer completing one chapter in two hours.

How cool is that?

As an experiment in literary creation, the book accomplishes three very ambitious goals: first, the rendering of a (mostly) cohesive story and, second, proving that the act of creative writing doesn't always have to be a solitary process carried out in private. The 60,000-word genre-spanning novel is remarkable for its uniqueness and for its display of (raw) talent. The final goal was to raise funds for literary organizations and, indeed, ten thousand dollars was collected to promote literacy.

The story follows fourteen year old Alexis, who inherits the thankless job of running a residential hotel in Seattle when her mother falls ill. It's an interesting premise and one ripe with potential. One can imagine the storyline veering unexpectedly into any number of tracts. Unfortunately, it does, sometimes a bit jarringly. I'm not sure if the over-the-top feeling is a result of some unconscious need by the authors to infuse everything they think about the story and its characters into their one chapter (something normally spread out over the course of the entire book, or at least with greater restraint), but it felt a bit excessive at times. It was almost like watching the character(s) reinvent and reintroduce themselves over and over again, with the result feeling somewhat...schizophrenic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BlueDoll on May 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some other reviewers, both on Amazon and elsewhere, have had some critical comments about the plot. Reading Hotel Angeline, I am struck not so much by the plot but by the process. This book is the product of a live, on-stage, writing event. Imagine you are on a camping trip not with your scout troop but with some of the best authors writing in the Northwest today. Then imagine one of them starts the story...and off it goes.

Hotel Angeline is fascinating because of how it was written. It is raw creativity and instant plot formulation. It really brings to the forefront of the reading experience exactly what it means to read a book written by someone else. The oddities of the plot make that even more clear--by focusing on the process rather than the product more about the concept of writing and sharing stories comes through.

I recommend this book to anyone who is thoughtful about reading, literacy, and the creative process. As Garth Stein says in the foreword to Hotel Angeline:

"So I hope that you will take our novel as a provocation on multiple levels. First, as a story, of course. But also, as a provocation to think about what makes a community a great place to live. Conversation and dialogue are central to our society. Give and take, listening, speaking, thinking, hearing, adapting, understanding, evolving. The act of writing a book--which necessitates that that book be read to be valid--is the epitome of conversation, and so stands at the center of our communities." (Stein, 2011)
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