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Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner

Hotel Du Lac (original 1984; edition 1995)

by Anita Brookner

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1,969633,446 (3.6)274
Title:Hotel Du Lac
Authors:Anita Brookner
Info:Vintage (1995), Edition: 1st Vintage Contemporaries Ed, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Read but unowned

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Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (1984)



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English (59)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All (62)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
Anonymous female author arrives at country hotel, peruses grey landscape, ignores novel-in-progress, and instead writes breezy, boring letter to David, her former lover
whose family they betrayed, as well as the fiance she deserted. It would have been welcome to have Geoffrey Long come alive with spirit.

Mild mystery evolves about why she has banished herself from her home and friends.

This is undercut by her near-total self absorption ("melancholy of exile") and her relating of the hair styles, fashion, shopping
and concerns of rich and privileged women.

The most exciting main character is the weather on the lake and mountain during the a new season.

The meek, depressed author never changes into a person with enough character to be guided by her own feelings and
not always by other's expectations.

Worse still, the ending hinges on a plot twist which makes the strongest human character, Mr. Neville, a ridiculous liar.

One great resounding quote: "Naturally reclusive, she found it unsurprising that people left her to her fate." ( )
  m.belljackson | Feb 7, 2017 |
An ordinary woman hiding from an ordinary life , tainted slightly by an affair with a married man, is exiled to an ordinary hotel on Lake Geneval at the "end of the season" and with the help of the last of the summer visitors, attempts to change her life. ( )
  TheWasp | Feb 5, 2017 |
It's written well, but it's terribly dull. The story is barely a story, nothing happens. I'm glad it was short as I could power through. I had high hopes given it won the Booker, but nope. ( )
  MrLloydSpandex | Mar 30, 2016 |
I am giving this book three stars because I found it easy to read and I loved Brookner's writing style The story was mediocre. Brookner assumes her readers are intelligent and uses the language to its fullest flourish. I adore reading books that drive me to the dictionary!

I felt quite like I knew these characters, as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Edith Hope. As an author, she is a very astute observer of people, and the hotel gives her a small but interesting menagerie. Interestingly, she is keen on looking at others with a critical eye while dismissing her own indulgences until late in the story, where her self-reflection takes her to a crossroads.

It is worth the read, in that the less-than-200 pages will cost you only a few days. Brookner's writing style is a delight and this winner of the 1984 Man Booker prize will hold its own on your TBR list. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Edith Hope is a woman of a “certain age,” who has been shipped off to the quiet, secluded Hotel du Lac to wait for some sort of scandal, in which she played a central role, to die down. She is morose, and rather lost – without any real purpose, except to wait for the hubbub to blow over. Despite her name, Edith really has no hope; she is bored and boring. She wants to be left alone, but she’s lonely. The other guests are similarly hiding or waiting for something to happen, and so the days pass. Most ironic, this grey little mouse of a woman writes romance novels for a living, but is unable to identify any real love in her own life.

One of my favorite passages comes when Edith is speaking with her editor (or publisher). She says that her readers love the fable of the tortoise and the hare, where the steady, practical tortoise wins every time. However, in truth, says Edith, it is the hare who wins; but the hares of this world are too busy with the spoils of their conquests to bother reading, so the books are aimed at the tortoise market.

I had to remind myself that the book was published in 1984, but even then, I doubted that the great scandal from which Edith is hiding was all that bad. Back in the mid 1980s, I had a friend who did the same thing (though not quite so late in the game), and there were no lasting repercussions. Maybe it’s the difference between Americans and British.

I thought some of the portrayals of the other guests, seen through Edith’s eyes, were spot on, but the shortness of the work really didn’t leave room for further exploration, and on the whole I felt the book suffered because of that. So while I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t recommend that you put it at the top of your reading list.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brookner, Anitaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Massey, AnnaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolff, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Rosamund Lehmann
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From the window all that could be seen was a receding area of grey.
A mild and scholarly man who looked like a country doctor, he disliked the more sociable aspects of his calling, but had nevertheless booked a table in a cathedral-like restaurant, where the patrons cowered in worship before the marvels to be set in front of them, and had gamely tackled the intricately coiled fillet of fish which had seemed to be the simplest item on the menu.
There here and now, the quotidian, as beginning to acquire substance. The dimension of terror that this realization brought with it - as if knowing the place too well might give her presence there some reality, some validity - was quickly palliated by the extraordinary accumulation of facts
And as most of Mrs. Pusey's sentences began with the words 'Of course', they had a range of tranquil confidence which somehow occluded any attempt to introduce an opinion of her own.
Mrs. Pusey's disposition to flirt, even when there was no one around to flirt with, was, to Edith, somehow disturbing, although it was done with such lack of inhibition that it should have appeared harmless. On those rare occasions when Mrs. Pusey was sitting alone, Edith had observed her in all sorts of attention-catching ploys, creating a small locus of busyness that inevitably invited someone to come to her aid. She would not be still or be quiet until she had captured the attention of whomever she judged to be necessary for her immediate purpose.
The sensation of being entertained by words was one which she encountered all too rarely. People expect writers to entertain them, she reflected.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679759328, Paperback)

Edith Hope (a.k.a. romance author Veronica Wilde) has been banished by her friends to a stately hotel in Switzerland. During her stay she befriends some of the other guests, each of whom has his or her own tale. Edith struggles to come to terms with her career and love--the lack, the benefits, and the meaning thereof.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Recounts the holiday of Edith Hope, meek, unmarried, and thirty-nine, who, on the mend from a disastrous love affair, becomes intimately involved with her fellow guests at the Swiss Hotel du Lac.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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