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D. M. Thomas (1935–2023)

Author of The White Hotel

44+ Works 2,985 Members 38 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Writer and translator D. M. Thomas was born in Cornwall, England on January 27, 1935. He graduated with First Class Honours in English from New College, Oxford and became a teacher. In 1979, he became a full-time author and his best-known work is The White Hotel. His works also include memoirs, show more poetry and translations of Pushkin and Anna Akhmatova. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by D. M. Thomas

The White Hotel (1981) 1,666 copies
Ararat (1983) 211 copies
The Flute-Player (1979) 127 copies
Swallow (1984) 109 copies
Pictures at an Exhibition (1993) 103 copies
Birthstone (1980) 90 copies
Sphinx (1986) 73 copies
Eating Pavlova (1994) 71 copies
Flying in to Love (1992) 61 copies
Lying Together (1990) 47 copies
Summit (1987) 39 copies
Memories and Hallucinations (1935) 39 copies

Associated Works

Selected Poems (1985) — Translator, some editions — 574 copies
Ruslan and Lyudmila (1974) — Translator, some editions — 208 copies
British Poetry Since 1945 (1970) — Contributor, some editions — 167 copies
New Worlds: An Anthology (1983) — Contributor — 107 copies
Science Fiction: The Future (1971) — Contributor — 85 copies
Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (1684) — Contributor — 69 copies
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 4 (1969) — Contributor — 65 copies
The New SF (1969) — Contributor — 63 copies
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5 (1969) — Contributor — 56 copies
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 6 (1970) — Contributor — 56 copies
New Worlds 6 (1973) — Contributor — 51 copies
New Worlds 5 (1973) — Contributor — 45 copies
The Umbral Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry (1982) — Contributor — 8 copies
One Hundred Years a Diocese (1977) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge



Sigmund Freud attempts to treat a woman suffering from hallucinations that set explicit sexual acts in the foreground while mass death events are occurring in the background (drowning, fire, falling, buried alive). Getting into this novel is a bit of an uphill climb, since it's front-loaded with the hallucinations part but, on the far side of that, Sigmund goes to work as he tries to rationalize what's been shared, looking for the symbols he can tie into his patient's life and history.

There's a bit of a trick going on here, first hinted at and then increasingly evident (if you know your history, or you've just been reading the LT tags). The rising tension is mostly due to predicting what's coming rather than the plotting, although the hallucination element adds some ominousness. Its climax includes the most gut-wrenching description of this particular scene I've ever read, although I understand Thomas has Anatoly Kuznetsov to thank for its power. The final section ends on a mercifully happier note, the only one available.
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Cecrow | 22 other reviews | Jan 17, 2024 |
Terrific, unusual book, in three minds with at least three stories. The writing is delightful-fabulous.
RickGeissal | 1 other review | Aug 16, 2023 |
This is a tough book. Partly, it is the 'post-modern' style of the narrative, wherein actual events and non-fictional material is interlaced within the writing. Partly, it is the intense sexual fantasy in the (supposed) sessions between the main character and Freud that might put people off, and the knowledge we have of the doom awaiting those who lived between the wars of the 20th century. Or it might have been the iterative views of what is portrayed, each one changing the one before like a psychological Rashamon. How can we trust the narrator? How can we trust the portrayal of Freud, just reaching his ideas about the connection between love and the death wish?

And all along there is love, in various forms, and death, natural and otherwise. Ultimately, we follow the main character all the way from trauma and pain and love to barbarous death, and something more.

An excellent novel for those open to its method and frankness.
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ffortsa | 22 other reviews | May 7, 2023 |
This book. This book... I gave this to a girl who became my wife for 12 years...
At the time I had not read the book, nor knew what the book was about at all.
I did not find out that I won the girl due to the sexual fantasy until half a dozen years later. . .
SamQTrust | 22 other reviews | Nov 22, 2021 |



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Peter Levi S.J. Contributor
Robert Nye Contributor
Michael Mackmin Contributor
Vernon Scannell Contributor
John Most Contributor
Jeremy Robson Contributor
Christopher Logue Contributor
Geoffrey Hill Contributor
Rosemary Tonks Contributor
Brian Higgins Contributor
Patric Dickinson Contributor
Brian Patten Contributor
Alan Brownjohn Contributor
Jack Clemo Contributor
Patricia Beer Contributor
Roger McGough Contributor
Charles Causley Contributor
Paul Roche Contributor
Edwin Morgan Contributor
Jon Stallworthy Contributor
Alan Bold Contributor
Anthony Thwaite Contributor
David Holbrook Contributor
Michael Baldwin Contributor
Nathaniel Tarn Contributor
Ted Hughes Contributor
Alan Spain Cover photograph
Nelson Christmas Cover photograph
Wim Dielemans Translator
Fred Marcellino Cover artist
Peter Till Cover artist
Bascove Cover artist
Tinke Davids Translator
Mark Harrison Cover artist


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½ 3.7

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