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The Glass Hotel: A novel by Emily St. John…

The Glass Hotel: A novel (edition 2020)

by Emily St. John Mandel (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7711654,965 (3.82)217
"[A] novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it"--
Title:The Glass Hotel: A novel
Authors:Emily St. John Mandel (Author)
Info:Knopf (2020), 321 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work Information

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

  1. 100
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (JenMDB)
  2. 41
    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar structure. Ms. Mantel mentions the book herself as one she admired
  3. 30
    A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (JenMDB)
  4. 10
    The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (sparemethecensor)
  5. 00
    The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: Like The Glass Hotel, the Deptford Trilogy cleverly weaves together the threads of the story.

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» See also 217 mentions

English (164)  French (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Interesting. The characters were interesting enough to keep the story going. The story wants to talk about different situations or times of one’s life as countries in their own right with cultures and norms. The country of the dead parents, the country of the obscenely rich, the country of criminals, etc. kind of like we are just visitors or temporary visa holders of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
  BookyMaven | Dec 6, 2023 |
Story of financial investment firm caught after decades of fraud (a Ponzi scheme), impact on lives. St. John Mandel uses a style of writing where each character becomes the main one when it is told from their perspective, which takes some getting used to. I enjoyed the references to music and art ("Eakin the Thinker"). When the musician, Paul was on stage with his sister's home movies playing silently in the background I got a strange sensation I had already read this and wondered if the scene had been repeated in another of has stories? A little disappointed this was not a science fiction story, having already read Station Eleven and Sea of Tranquillity, but still well written and well researched story. ( )
  AChild | Oct 8, 2023 |

I fell in love with Emily St .John Mandel’s writing style while reading Station Eleven and was certainly not disappointed with The Glass Hotel!
From a woman going overboard a ship in inclement weather to a cryptic message left on a glass wall in Hotel Caiette and the collapse of a Ponzi scheme headed by Jonathon Alkaitis and how his dishonesty,greed and corruption impacts the lives of everyone associated with him - directly and indirectly - The Glass Hotel uses a non linear narrative that jumps between numerous timelines and introduces us to the different characters of this novel. Each of these characters - some with troubled pasts, some living in complicated realities and each with their own struggles have stories that intersect at some point - some connections significant , some fleeting but the circumstances and consequences of their interactions are what make this novel so intense . A little difficult to get into on account of the disjointed narrative and a bit confusing initially , I found myself going back a few times to get a grip on the storyline but once I got comfortable with the pacing , I could not wait to see how the story unfolded. With its immensely flawed cast of characters and a strong storyline , elements of alternate realities and ghostly apparitions , The Glass Hotel is a bold and complex novel with dark tones and atmospheric settings. This is the kind of novel you either like or don’t like with not much middle ground for the reader. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work ! ( )
  srms.reads | Sep 4, 2023 |
Been up since 6am reading this and it was exceptionally good - I think I may have preferred it to Station Eleven, which I unabashedly loved. It's unbearably beautiful and unbearably sad, dealing as it does with boundaries - the worlds of the rich and the poor and insecure, the living and the dead, reality and dreams, the imprisoned and the free.

I don't want to say too much without spoiling it, but at its heart it's a mystery - what happened to Vincent? The answer to that question is a huge story of crisis, despair, and international billion dollar fraud that criss-crosses back and forth along different timelines and from the perspective of a host of well-drawn characters. The subject matter is something that I would never normally be interested in, as the romance of high finance has always left me cold, but everything is told from a heartbreakingly human perspective - despite the fact that in many ways this is a ghost story.

Can't recommend it enough. ( )
  Helen.Callaghan | Aug 28, 2023 |
The Glass Hotel is an intricately plotted novel loaded with characters, plot lines and time changes that make for a frustrating read. Yes, Emily St. John Mandel has the writing chops to handle this type of novel but are we ready to subject ourselves to another story about a Ponzi scheme? Living and dead characters haunt the book. Trying to make the hotel a character only partially works. So, I can’t recommend it unless you were a big fan of her last book Station Eleven. ( )
  GordonPrescottWiener | Aug 24, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
It’s a beguiling conceit: the global financial crisis as a ghost story. As one of Alkaitis’s employees reflects of a swindled investor: “It wasn’t that she was about to lose everything, it was that she had already lost everything and just didn’t know it yet.” But Mandel’s abiding literary fascination is even more elemental: isn’t every moment – coiled with possibilities – its own ghost story? Isn’t every life a counterlife?... All contemporary novels are now pre-pandemic novels – Covid-19 has scored a line across our culture – but what Mandel captures is the last blissful gasp of complacency, a knowing portrait of the end of unknowing. It’s the world we inhabited mere weeks ago, and it still feels so tantalisingly close; our ache for it still too raw to be described as nostalgia. “Do you find yourself sort of secretly hoping that civilisation collapses ... Just so that something will happen?” a friend asks Vincent. Oh, for the freedom of that kind of reckless yearning.
The Glass Hotel isn't dystopian fiction; rather it's "straight" literary fiction, gorgeous and haunting, about the porous boundaries between past and present, the rich and the poor, and the realms of the living and the dead.... This all-encompassing awareness of the mutability of life grows more pronounced as The Glass Hotel reaches its eerie sea change of an ending. In dramatizing so ingeniously how precarious and changeable everything is, Mandel's novel is topical in a way she couldn't have foreseen when she was writing it.
added by Lemeritus | editNPR, Maureen Corrigan (Mar 30, 2020)
The question of what people keep when they lose everything clearly intrigues Mandel.... By some miracle, although it’s hard to determine what it’s about, The Glass Hotel is never dull. The pleasure, which in the case of The Glass Hotel is abundant, lies in the patterns themselves, not in anything they mean. This novel invites you to inhabit it without striving or urging; it’s a place to be, always fiction’s most welcome effect.
added by Lemeritus | editSlate, Laura Miller (Mar 24, 2020)
Mandel is a consummate, almost profligate world builder. One superbly developed setting gives way to the next, as her attention winds from character to character, resting long enough to explore the peculiar mechanics of each life before slipping over to the next.... The disappointment of leaving one story is immediately quelled by our fascination in the next.....what binds the novel is its focus on the human capacity for self-delusion, particularly with regards to our own innocence. Rare, fortunately, is the moral idiot who can boast, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” The complex, troubled people who inhabit Mandel’s novel are vexed and haunted by their failings, driven to create ever more pleasant reflections of themselves in the glass.
added by Lemeritus | editThe Washington Post, Ron Charles (pay site) (Mar 23, 2020)
This latest novel from the author of the hugely successful Station Eleven forgoes a postapocalyptic vision for something far scarier—the bottomless insecurity of contemporary life.... Highly recommended; with superb writing and an intricately connected plot that ticks along like clockwork, Mandel offers an unnerving critique of the twinned modern plagues of income inequality and cynical opportunism. [
added by Lemeritus | editLibrary Journal, Reba Leiding (pay site) (Feb 1, 2020)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mandel, Emily St. Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, DylanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robben, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weintraub, AbbyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Cassia and Kevin
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Begin at the end: plummeting down the side of the ship in the storm's wild darkness, breath gone with the shock of falling, my camera flying away through the rain --
Painting was something that had grabbed hold of her for a while, decades, but now it had let go and she had no further interest in it, or it had no further interest in her. All things end, she’d told herself, there was always going to be a last painting, but if she wasn’t a painter, what was she? It was a troubling question.
There is exquisite lightness in waking each morning with the knowledge that the worst has already happened. (p. 113-114)
It turned out that never having that conversation with Vincent meant that he was somehow condemned to always have that conversation with Vincent.
We had crossed a line, that much was evident, but it was difficult to say later exactly where that line had been. Or perhaps we'd all had different lines, or crossed the same line at different times. (p. 163)
He didn't insist on a detailed explanation. One of our signature flaws as a species: we will risk almost anything to avoid looking stupid. (p. 206)
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"[A] novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it"--

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Haiku summary
Ile de Vancouver
Elle y est barmaid, séduit
"Madoff", puis la chute

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Emily St. John Mandel is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.82)
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1.5 3
2 40
2.5 19
3 172
3.5 79
4 322
4.5 65
5 157


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