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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156006332, Paperback)It calls itself a novel, but Finbar's Hotel is really more a collection of related short stories by novelists. Irish writer Dermot Bolger came up with the idea to invite six of his literary colleagues to collaborate on a tale about a decrepit Dublin Hotel on the eve of its demolition. In its prime, Finbar's was a glorious place; now, however, it's the haunt of prostitutes and thieves. A new owner plans to pull it down, but before he does, the seven authors (Bolger, Anne Enright, Joseph O'Connor, Roddy Doyle, Jennifer Johnston, Hugo Hamilton, and Colm Tóibín) imagine for it one last night. In "Benny Does Dublin" we meet Ben Winters, a fortysomething husband and father on the lam from his loving family for a single night. "He'd never been in a hotel room before. He wanted to see what staying in one was like. He was curious. All of these were right, honest answers. But why alone? Why so close to home?" "White Lies" introduces Rose and Ivy, two sisters united by love, divided by a painful secret. In "The Test" Maureen Connolly comes to Finbar's to hide from a broken heart and ends up mending it instead.
The serial novel has been tried before; what provides Finbar's Hotel with its twist is that none of the stories are signed. Bolger leaves it up to his readers to guess who's who. Those familiar with the work of these Irish novelists will enjoy the puzzle; others will still have these seven stories of love, despair, and redemption to relish. --Alix Wilber
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 29 Jan 2013 12:26:03 -0500)
Seven Irish authors write about Finbar's Hotel, a rundown establishment in Dublin. In one room, an art thief worries about being caught, in another a woman is trying to convince a visiting sister to make peace with their mother, in a third a man plots revenge.
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