Friday, February 6, 2015

Lost Book Club - "Hotel" by Arthur Hailey

I like the concept of this book. It's follows the daily goings on of an old world, independent hotel in New Orleans called the St Gregory. The story follows the lives of some of the employees and the guests of the hotel over a short period of time, maybe about a week? It's a grand old hotel but it's in financial straits and it looks like it's going to be bought and completely gutted by a more modern hotel chain. Some of the staff does it's very best to keep the hotels dignity intact and keep it in the somewhat modern age. Others on the staff are pretty terrible, stealing and running side business through the hotel, mostly illegal and nefarious ones. Not limited to supplying prostitutes to minors, not good.

So here's the problem with this book, and it's not a small one. It's not aged well. Like there's a man who goes around and checks the guest's credit with their banks to see if they actually can pay for their stay when they checkout. And they do the thing where they keep keys in the mail slot things behind the desk, which is a huge security risk which comes out in the book. Also the word "negro" is used a lot, even in association with a young man who is basically the butler to the owner of the hotel who is also in law school. Also, there is nothing really remarkable in the way that he writes. Like, there isn't a single line where I was like "oh that's clever" or "that's a really good sentence" or anything of that nature.

Though there are a few things that are still relatable. There's an attempted rape of a girl from a prominent family and the hotel has to figure out what will happen to the hotel if that leaks to the press. There are senior members of the administration who are coasting in their jobs and refuse to make changes ("things have always been this way") even if the outdated policies are doing serious damage to the hotel. Work trouble is something everyone from every decade can relate to!

Also, just in case you're curious this isn't a real hotel.

So, interesting concept, not great/very dated execution, it gets 2 out of 5 stars from me.


What does this have to do with LOST?: I really have no idea.

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