The Hotel Eden: Stories and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Hotel Eden: Stories Hardcover – May, 1997

17 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$36.00 $2.98

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A wrestler gets an erection and the crowd turns viciously against him. A young, beautiful prostitute thinks better of her latest client, a baseball player who has already killed 11 spectators with his foul shots, than she does of married men "playing the dark game that some men did, putting themselves closer and closer to the edge of their lives, until something went over." A warrior justifies a major tactical mistake (not leaving enough time for the cauldron of oil to heat) in a gung-ho bureaucratic report: "The problems of the day were not attributable to inappropriate deportment. My staff was good. It was when the Visigoths had approached close enough that we could see their cruel eyes and we could read the savage and misspelled tattoos that I realized our error."

Hotel Eden offers two hilarious stories, the boiling oil project and a complex variation on a suburban myth. A young couple necking in an isolated spot hears scratching on one side of the car, speeds off, and discovers the local psychopath's prosthetic hook on the door handle. In Ron Carlson's telling, the item belongs to an innocent mental-asylum watchman. And Mr. Howard Lugdrum is more than a little upset that everyone's sympathy is going to the kids! "I was lucky I was wearing my simple hook and the straps broke; if I'd been wearing my regular armature, those two little criminals would have dragged me to death." This is a seriously funny collection, but it is also serious. In several pieces, notably the title story, "Oxygen," and "Nightcap," the characters are led astray and into disappointment or unwanted knowledge. The college student delivering medical oxygen one summer vacation realizes, "I was young those nights, but I was getting over it." Carlson is also a poet of precarious lives, humiliation, and loss.

From Library Journal

In News of the World (Norton, 1987), Carlson wryly observed the public's fascination with the weirdness of tabloid journalism by giving us a straightforward accounts of Bigfoot, our most popular urban legend. The strongest stories in his uneven new collection have this same sort of quirky sensibility. In "The Chromium Hook," we find out the real story behind that deranged mental hospital escapee who has terrorized generations of teenage couples, and "What We Wanted to Do" is a hilarious account of medieval warfare gone haywire, told in a way that could pass as a modern-day, excuse-ridden statement to the press. "The Hotel Eden" and "Oxygen" are truly engrossing and pack an emotional wallop, but most of the other stories here have a somewhat generic feel and fail to transcend the conventional, man-has-difficulty-relating-to-women plotline. For larger fiction collections.?Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Idaho Lib., Moscow
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393040682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393040685
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Voice of Chunk on May 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A story should either make you laugh or cry. Ron Carlson's stories do both. I don't know how else to describe his stories other than comparison -- he's as poignant as Andre Dubus, as funny as Lee K. Abbott and John Dufresne, as insightful as Charles Baxter and Lynne Barrett, and has an eye for detail like William Trevor or Alice Munro. Though he's not a minimalist, Carlson doesn't waste a word to sentimentality or a scene to gratuitous fluff. His stories are chiseled out of granite. A great collection.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Ron Carlson's latest collection of short stories addresses the question: What it is to be human? His stories are extraordinary, at the same time, keeping that ever so important human element that makes them accessible & enjoyable to all readers. Each story was a joy to read -making me want to continue to the next. Difficult book to put down. To be read & reread & reread. His stories are a great teacher of life. Each unique story resonates with emotion, adventure, and insight into the human experience. You won't be disappointed!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you were to tell me there is a story more perfect than "Keith," I'd say you were wrong.
Twelve solid short stories make up this collection, and although some are superior to others, they're all worth reading. I'll break it down story by story, on scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
The Hotel Eden - 3. Saw the ending from the get-go, and the ride isn't all that amazing.
Keith - 5+!
The Prisoner of Bluestone - 4. Solid story.
Zanduce at Second - 4. Strange story, but it works.
The House Goes Up - 3. Didn't do much for me.
What We Wanted to Do - 5. Carlson does George Saunders and it's very good, very funny.
The Chromium Hook - 5. The gradual discovery of interconnection (a sense of community) between the characters is done fabulously. Also very funny.
A Note on the Type - 4. Another strange story that works. Carlson's good at taking extraordinary situations and making them believable.
Nightcap - 5. Maybe I'm just a sucker for baseball.
Dr. Slime - 3. Didn't do much for me. The story is about a baker, but it doesn't feel right. It reads like a writer writing in the voice of a baker; I was never able to completely believe the voice.
Down the Green River - 2. Did little for me.
Oxygen - 5. Probably the best story after Keith. Powerful stuff; the retrospective voice works well.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ChickLitGurrl on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found myself very entertained by Carlson's collection of stories, Hotel Eden. A lot of people insisted that I check out his work, and I'm so glad I did. What I found in Hotel Eden was a collection of stories with characters from every walk of life. They were so different, yet so real that I found it hard to believe they lived only on the page and in my mind.
Any reader of Hotel Eden will appreciate Carlson's tight and poetic writing that has the ability to snatch you into - at times - bizarre storylines, like the story Zanduce at Second, about a baseball player who has killed 11 spectators with his stinging foul shot and finds an almost blood thirsty thrill in regaining his former playing prowess.
In a collection, I would expect to find a few great stories, but in Hotel Eden, I found 12 wonderful stories filled with intriguing characters, fascinating plotlines and a mixture of humor and reality (a sometime sobering thing).
I would definitely recommend Hotel Eden to those interested in reading great literature that is ENTERTAINING.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
When I first ordered this book and realized it was a book of short stories, I was disappointed ...until I opened up the cover and began to read. I then started a relationship with each character in each story, found them very interesting and wanting to know more about them. Each story hypnotized me. "Oxygen" engulfed me, a totally coming out story so deep it's awesome! "Keith" was interesting, "The Prisoner of Bluestone" also a deep story about family and getting to know each other. "Down the Green River" made me cry and appreciate what I have after being divorced and starting over.
Please, don't hestitate reading this! You won't be disappointed. Great job, Ron Carlson!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BJ on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
an almost perfect collection of short stories...

"The Hotel Eden" was my first reading by Ron Carlson and I found him only due strictly to the fact that I read a rave review for his new book, "The Signal" and wound up getting this one instead.

I love short stories and I have read several in the last few months, this book is right at the top as far as pure originality and stories that put you through the range of emotions. Ron Carlson could probably write about anything and make it so magical and interesting you couldn't put it down.

The book has twelve stories, all of which really, really impressed me. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Mr. Carlson's short stories soon.

this outstanding collection includes:

Keith - a great story about unexpected, unusual friendship
(amazing story that has now been made into a movie)

The Prisoner of Bluestone - a man, a gas station and his ex wife (one of my favorites in the book, hard to describe without giving anything away)

Oxygen - a college student who takes a summer job as an oxygen delivery man, learns alot more about himself and the world

Dr.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?