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The Grand Hotel: A Novel Kindle Edition
|Length: 384 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
It felt like I was being led on a tour of the worst Dungeons & Dragons game of all time--everything told, nothing shown. After the fourth or fifth Hotel Guest describing the "horrors" of their past life, I just said 'no thanks' and went on about my day, and you know what? I'm totally okay with that. Thank Yog-Sothoth I only paid a dollar.
What is here is solid old fashioned storytelling. The horror found here is classic, the kind that is more cerebral than slash them up. If you want to read a book where your brain is not engaged but your emotions are, I would probably suggest a different one. You might not understand this because it isn't what you expect of horror. If, however, you enjoy having your brain engaged* and you like strange things, check out this book. The Grand Hotel is where guest enter but...???. I don't want to give away anything as this is another book where I think it is best that you go in with little expectation. The knowledge of entering a story that you should pay attention to, where the creep factor builds on you as you meet the guests of the hotel and where the ending is a surprise, is all you need to know.
* When I speak of whether or not your brain is engaged, I am not insulting anyone. I read books many ways. Sometimes I want or need to read a book that doesn't require my brain as much as it requires me to suspend my thought process and wing it on emotions. Other times I want or need something that requires my brain to be actively engaged and taking notes. Neither is better than the other, only different. I am merely stating *my* experience with the book.
The chillingly genial manager of the Grand Hotel greets a party of guests from various places and takes them on a tour of this venerable building, where histories and stories from across worlds have found their home. Along the way they visit some of the permanent guests and staff of the Grand Hotel, and each one tells a story featuring some inexplicable and supernatural occurrence.
At the end of each, the manager questions a certain guest about the meaning of the story, and the interpretations are literally a matter of life and death. Or worse.
From things the manager lets slip and from the descriptions, it because clear to the reader that the Grand Hotel sits on a kind of nexus of multiple realities, even as it is home to an incredibly wide range of characters.
Meet the hotel detective, a former Chicago cop who encounters the ghosts of gangsters while on stakeout.
A German doctor falls down an old well and is transported to the medieval past. His skills with modern medicine allow him to help others, but his disdain for the superstitious ways of the era yield horrific results when he discovers that the evil spirits of sickness held back by such charms are not all imaginary.
An Australian chef who had starred on a cooking show tries to boost flagging ratings by breaking into the ghost hunter show genre, but cooking native dishes in a purportedly haunted castle in Scotland attracts horrific attention.
A psychologist’s case notes hint that madness may be contagious, or else the world is a more uncanny place than the rational mind can bear.
A simple English vicar must play detective when he learns one of his parishioners is being haunted and a paranormal ‘expert’ may be running a con job, or the ghosts themselves might have a scheme in mind.
An Italian musician finds her viola has uncanny properties, and attracts uncanny fans.
Pay close attention, because if you don’t get the meaning behind each story, you may not live to hear the next.
Best of all is the sense of unease, never overstated, but that builds and builds. With every chapter the tension mounts and more hapless guests lose their way, vanishing into the labyrinthine halls and stories of the Grand Hotel.
I feel I have to reread it, since I was so eager to find out what happens next that I probably didn’t get all the themes and connections, but all were excellent, chilling little gets, twists on classic ghost stories with a brilliant framing device. This is my first time reading this author, and it’s a shame most of his other work seems to be zombie fiction, which I don’t personally care for, but he is definitely on my list of writers to watch.
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