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The White Hotel Paperback – September 1, 1993
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“To describe this novel as spine-tingling in its indescribable poetic effect would be to trivialize its profoundly tragic theme. Say then that it is heart-stunning.”—The New York Times
“Astonishing . . . elegantly experimental yet quite warm . . . A forthright sensuality mixed with a fine historical feeling for the nightmare moments in modern history, a dreamlike fluidity and quickness.”—John Updike, The New Yorker
“A dazzler that lingers in the mind.”—People
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I read it for a class and don’t know that I would have gotten very far had it not been for that. Wouldn’t recommend to anyone but the melancholy or coldly dispassionate intellectual.
Top international reviews
The novel is really a mix of sexual fantasy, buried memories and psychic power. Lisa's pain (left breast/pelvis) and fear to have children are finally revealed as a telepathic anticipation of the horrors of the Second World War and I admire the way Thomas juggles past, present and future in his narrative. It is a psychological puzzle which finally makes horrific sense.
My only criticism of the novel is its final, perhaps sentimental, conclusion. It did not seem to ring true with what preceded it.