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Hotel of the Saints Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 5, 2001


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 5, 2001
$3.55 $1.41

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0684843102
  • ASIN: B0007XAWX0
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,427,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who revels in the slow, gentle pace and cumulative power of Ursula Hegi's writing (Stones from the River) will delight in the 11 stories in Hotel of the Saints. In the title piece, a young Jesuit brother helps his aunt redecorate her hotel in a kitschy, irreverent celebration of the saints (the toilet seat in St. Sebastien's room is replaced with an old wooden one that pinches the user). In "Moonwalkers," a young man stands by his father's hospital bedside after his heart transplant, inwardly reviewing their troubled relationship while his father drifts into memorylike reverie of the 27-year-old woman whose donated heart beats inside him. "Lower Crossing" is about putting to sleep an elderly family dog--a friend, essentially, whose life is in the narrator's hands. Some of these stories seem underdeveloped, but all have an emotional force that eddies out from their often minor premises. These are lovely short works from one of America's best novelists. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hegi (Stones from the River) is a literary photographer of the heart. Her first collection of short stories in a decade crosses the globe and the landscape of humans mired in their relationships to each other, themselves, and, in a wrenching tale almost too painful to read, to their dying pets. In the heartbreaking "The End of All Sadness," the narrator "spins" her abusive husband's savage behavior toward her and her daughter. In "Oregon," a son is tormented even as his difficult father's obsession with the young donor of his new heart fuels his recovery. Elsewhere, a Coeur d'Alene mother loses out in her campaign against her daughter's blind boyfriend, and a terminally ill German woman choreographs her death in Mexico on her own terms. Hegi's voice in these and the other seven stories is strong, varied, and beautiful. Readers of Hegi's highly regarded novels won't be disappointed, and one hopes another ten years won't slip by before she publishes another collection. Highly recommended.
- Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor District Lib., MI
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Often they end too soon, or the endings feel like they're forcing an epiphany.
S. Smith-Peter
It is a wonderful collection and I feel I have allowed myself to be introduced to another author who I anticipate will inhabit my bookshelf for years to come.
matthew wilson
Many of today's best short story writers can write up a storm. their prose is lyrical and surprising, their settings intriguing and characters quirky.
Leonard Waks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By matthew wilson on November 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
One morning a little over a month ago, with too much loose change in my pocket and a desire to read something new, I spotted this brightly coloured book in the book shelf of the UN. I picked it up, had never heard of the author, but the title was evocative and as i said, the cover was lovely. And what a lovely book it turned out to be. The author has a beautiful calm and engaging style of prose and captures the reader in the extraordinariness of the ordinariness of which these stories are founded. From stories dealing with domestic abuse, to suicide, to the end of love- this collection creates a palette of characters whose names escape you as you turn the page but whose vision which you have concocted in your head-haunts you and stays with you. For me one of the best stories was suprisingly 'A woman's perfume' which is as much a coming of age story for a young girl, than it is the lost dreams of adulthood.
The final story 'Lowers crossing' is heartfelt and compassionate, 'Stolen chocolates' is for me about beauty and acceptance and the two stories 'the doves' and 'for their own survival' have similar themes of freedom. It is a wonderful collection and I feel I have allowed myself to be introduced to another author who I anticipate will inhabit my bookshelf for years to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
I agree with a previous reviewer that the stories in this collection are not quite on the same level as Hegi's wonderful novels Stones in the River and The Vision of Emma Blau. But as a German woman living in the US, just like the author, I felt a pang of nostalgia reading some of the stories. The 12 year old narrator of A Woman's Perfume tells us she likes to read Gisel and Ursel books, a rather cheesy series for girls - goodness, so did I, and now I am reminded of this embarrassing fact! I had forgotten all about those books! I really appreciate these little tidbits in the stories, it makes them so familiar... Ursula Hegi's writing seems more "German" to me than that of some contemporary "real" Germans, i.e. Germans who have not emigrated to the U.S. Maybe it's just because the German names and references stand out more in an English text, I don't know. Anyway, it's an interesting effect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
The stories in Hotel of the Saints are heart-warming and at times, charming. "A Woman's Perfume" stands out particularly, as a complex and well-developed story. However, I couldn't help but feel that the book was dominantly quirky without possessing the true boldness of originality. This is a good book to read over the summer, in the spirit of visiting a favorite aunt and being sent off with lovely baked goods, but nothing too deep happens here. So, somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon Linden VINE VOICE on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hegi's Book "Hotel Of The Saints" cried out to be read from the shelf of an airport bookstore. Almost radiating its fine contents the book immediately invokes a feeling of question just from the title. But once inside, the reader finds an unexpectedly fine rendition in many hues.
The book is a collection of short stories, most of which have been previously published in other journals. However, the particular selection of stories holds together in great harmony as a compilation. Hegi has a talent for character development that rivals the greatest of short story writers. In her stories in this book, all between about 5 and 22 pages, Hegi shows an ability that is truly impressive with respect to her proficiency in conveying the character of her story so sensitively and completely.
Hegi makes no secret of her German origin or its particular effect on the characters in the book, many of whom are German. She has a pleasant style of using German words, but then immediately translating so no loss of meaning or understanding is felt by the reader. Except in her occasional use of German profanity or a very close cognate, Hegi always provides the user with the German word's translation and does not use the effect too much that it becomes irritating, only as much as she needs, in order to add the flavor she is trying to convey.
As one of the outstanding authors writing in America today this work is a fine example of what can be done with precision and imagination. This book is recommended to all lovers of fine and personal short stories.
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By Leonard Waks on September 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
Many of today's best short story writers can write up a storm. their prose is lyrical and surprising, their settings intriguing and characters quirky. Many of them spent a lot of time in Iowa. Hegi's is a talent of a different order. She has many of the virtues of the Iowa grads, but her stories have greater complexity and thematic depth. Other reviewers have mentioned 'A Woman's Perfume,' which is the best of the stories in the collection. This story works on so many levels. It reminds me of the best stories of Isak Dinesen. On one level it is a coming of age story, with an older woman helping the young girl to become a woman after the girl's mother has left. On another level it is about this woman's coming to grips with her idealistic, and in some ways juvenile husband, and at one fell swoop swapping off the young girl for herself in her marriage and laying claim to the girl's more masculine father.Throughout the entire story there is a background story about the Shah of Iran and his disposing with his wives because they cannot bear him a son. Stated by the young girl as a child's sing song, that child's story echoes throughout the action in this story.
The title story, Hotel of the Saints, is also a story about the liberation of a woman from the aura of her husband. In this case the young lead character, a student in a Catholic seminary, is assigned to watch after his aged and hyper-religious aunt after her husband dies. The character is accompanied by a friend who has just entered the priesthood. The lead character himself has doubts about his faith and vocation, but cannot make a decisive step either in or out of the Priesthood.
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