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Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  511 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Something is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence.

The quirky tenants—a hilarious mix of misfits and rabble-rousers from days gone by—rely on Alexis all the more whe
Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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Apr 15, 2011 Ellie rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Written by 36 different authors, it is not, as you may be thinking, a collection of short stories but a surprisingly coherent novel written live on stage!

Yes you read that right. Hotel Angeline: A Novel In 36 Voices is the product of The Novel: Live! Each writer wrote a chapter in two hours and the whole novel was completed in just six days! Now I'll forgive you for thinking, that's great entertainment but surely the book is a bit hit and miss? No, no, no. It turned out a wonderful story about a
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Unfortunately, my favorite part of this potentially fascinating novel was the forward and introduction. A fascinating mix of performance art and literary experiment, this novel was born out of a brainstorm to raise awareness about Seattle's literary scene. A basic outline was created and the authors given free reign to interpret and move the story along as they saw fit. Totally neat and super exciting.

From the start, I didn't connect with the story or characters. Alexis is an interesting enough
Alexis Villery
Jul 01, 2011 Alexis Villery rated it did not like it
Whether you like this book or not might just depend on why you are reading it. If you are curious about a novel written by 36 different authors in 6 days this is for you. It is quite an amazing feat and in many aspects quite impressive. The writing, as expected, is quite impressive. I was most impressed with the fact that the characters were the same throughout the work. I didn't feel as if I was reading 36 versions of each character. Alexis (isn't that such a wonderful name), the main character ...more
I found this randomly in the library, and truth be told I wasn't expecting to like it very much but how could I resist seeing how in the world 36 different people write one novel?

I actually enjoyed this way more than I thought I was going to. Some chapters are better than others, of course. Some chapters seamlessly fade into each other while some jar you with the remembrance that "Oh yes, this is not the same author."

One reason I was drawn to this book was the word "hotel" in the title. (And tha
Apr 14, 2011 Dixie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices is unique in that it is one complete novel written by 36 distinct authors. Each chapter represents the work of one author. The novel was originally written in front of a live audience during an event was called The Novel: Live!. You can read more about the original concept here. Given the parameters of the original event, the outcome is pretty incredible.

Hotel Angeline centers around fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin, who lives in a former mortuary turned hot
Ken J.
May 17, 2011 Ken J. rated it liked it
The idea behind Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices, brainchild of Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge of Seattle7Writers, is as fascinating as the book promises to be: a cadre of 36 well-known writers gathering in Seattle in October of 2010 to write a complete novel in six days. Before a live audience. Each writer completing one chapter in two hours.

How cool is that?

As an experiment in literary creation, the book accomplishes three very ambitious goals: first, the rendering of a (mostly) cohesiv
Julie G
Sep 10, 2012 Julie G rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Intrigued by the story of its creation, I chose to read and review Hotel Angeline because of the subtitle. A Novel in 36 Voices says it all.

Jenny Shortridge and Garth Stein were asked to help brainstorm ideas for the literary week of ArtsCrush, the Seattle month-long arts festival. The cofounders of non-profit Seattle7Writers wracked their brains until Stein had a ... novel ... idea: A writing marathon.

Over six days in October 2010, twelve hours a day, thirty-six writers took a turn. For 2 hours
May 04, 2011 Cleffairy rated it it was amazing
Full review at: Over A Cuppa Tea

When I requested this book for review in Netgalley, I am not quite sure what to expect, considering that it’s one story written by 36 authors live. Yes… it’s just one story…not a collection of story. I was rather skeptic a with the end result even before I began reading.

I wondered if it will even have coherence, but much to my surprised, it’s not only decipherable, but the story is amazingly well written and I’m pleased to say it’s one of the best novel I’ve ever
May 14, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book would appeal to someone who reads Y A books. It was quirky but also depressing. Sort of an Oprah type book for teens.
Jun 17, 2017 Mer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting concept. The story was okay.
Karen morsecode
May 07, 2011 Karen morsecode rated it liked it
I think that it's pretty safe to say that there's never been a novel like Hotel Angeline before. It was written by 36 authors (each writing for two hours) over the course of six days in October 2010. The Novel: Live! made novel-writing a performance art.

The plot, which was outlined before The Novel: Live! event is centered around 14-year-old Alexis Austin and the eccentric-full mortuary-turned-residential hotel run by her mother.

My favorite line was written by Jarret Middleton. He has Alexis say
David Edmonds
Oct 24, 2011 David Edmonds rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Alexis Austin is taking care of the tenants of the Hotel Angeline in her mother's absence, an absence that Alexis doesn't want anybody to figure out just quite yet. The tenants of the Hotel are a great big mixed eclectic bag of eccentrics who rely maybe a little too heavily on Alexis (and before her, her mother) but who make up the only family that Alexis has ever known. Alexis is too young to have all this responsibility (she's only a teenager, after all), but to her, the alternative is grim to ...more
Apr 25, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-books
For six days last October, 36 writers took turns writing a novel, live on stage, during an event organized by the Seattle7Writers called "The Novel: Live!" ~ you can see the list of authors on The Novel: Live! website. Each author had a two hour time slot during which they were to write the next chapter in an evolving novel. Author Jennie Shortridge wrote the first chapter, and Susan Wiggs wrapped it up six days later. In between, authors came and went, adding their layers to the story. At the e ...more
I am what Nancy Pearl, in the brilliant introduction to Hotel Angelique, calls a Loca-reader. I've always enjoyed reading books written by author who live in or novels set in my hometown. So when given the opportunity to read Hotel Angelique, a novel set in Seattle with 36 chapters, each written by a different Seattle author, I jumped on it.

Hotel Angelique, it must be noted, is much more than just a collaborative effort by Seattle's best and brightest authors. The novel was conceived as performa
Devlin Scott
Thirty-six of the most interesting writers in the Pacific Northwest came together for a week-long marathon of writing live on stage. The result? Hotel Angeline, a truly inventive novel that surprises at every turn of the page.

Something is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence.

The quirky te
Jun 26, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this novel a five for concept and a three for story--hence the four rating. The concept of the novel is pure genius. As part of The Novel: Live! project, this novel was written in six days, with 36 authors writing for two hours each, for 12 hours a day. Did I mention that each author wrote on stage with an audience and the project was being recorded and beamed out on the Web? There was also a chat room function and the project was used to raise money for a variety of causes. Before ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Torimac rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-writer-reads
Alot of people have commented on the wild absurdities of the characters and situations our heroine faces in this novel. I could forgive the absurdities, and consider them in a humorous light for two big reasons:
1. The conditions of the writing meant that the writers couldn't invest alot of time in researching and exploring the characters emotional development, and had to rely on instinct more than shared emotional experience. Going for (sardonic?) humor had to be a more reliable route than tryin
Alexis Villery
Jul 09, 2011 Alexis Villery rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Whether you like this book or not might just depend on why you are reading it. If you are curious about a novel written by 36 different authors in 6 days this is for you. It is quite an amazing feat and in many aspects quite impressive. The writing, as expected, is quite impressive. I was most impressed with the fact that the characters were the same throughout the work. I didn't feel as if I was reading 36 versions of each character. Alexis (isn't that such a wonderful name), the main character ...more
Andrea Blythe
Aug 30, 2011 Andrea Blythe rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
My initial interest in this book came about through my love of Karen Finneyfrock's poetry, but it grew once I learned that this book was created as a part of The Novel: Live. The project was an attempt to have 36 writers take part in a week-long writing marathon live on stage, in which the story would be passed from writer to writer and result in a complete novel. Hotel Angeline is the result of those efforts.

Due to the nature of its creation, there are some holes in the plot here and there and
Similar to the Placebo effect, upon knowing this book is an experiment, you approach it in a different manner than if you had no idea each chapter was written by a different author. As a literary experiment, I thought it was successful. The tone, for the most part, as well as the characters, remained consistent throughout. There were certain chapters I thought were written “better” than others (some were more didactic where others were quite lovely in their prose). Overall though, I found the st ...more
Tom Elliott
Dec 30, 2013 Tom Elliott rated it really liked it
Before discussing the book, it's important to mention what "A Novel in 36 Voices" means.

As part of a literature week in Seattle in 2010, 36 authors decided to collaborate on a book. Each author wrote a chapter in a few hours before passing the story off. One week later, we had Hotel Angeline, a hectic and (predictably) occasionally disjointed story about a young girl coming of age in Seattle.

The characters in Hotel Angeline as piecemeal works of emotion and experience. Each author contributes s
Joe Young
Jun 18, 2011 Joe Young rated it really liked it
An entertaining story about a young girl (fifteen) whose mother dies leaving her to care for an aging hotel and an equally old set of long term quirky hotel residents. Of course she is much too young for this responsibility but, has inherited a misunderstood sense of loyalty to both the old hotel and the eccentric residents. I was impressed that thirty six authors could put together this entire book in six days working from a coordinating center in Seattle. It was a work of charity for raising a ...more
Jun 25, 2011 cecilia rated it liked it
Shelves: gray-covers
Death can arrive abruptly and unexpectedly, and it could not come at an inopportune time for Alexis and the family-owned Hotel Angeline. Left to her own devices, how is a 14-year-old supposed to take care of herself and figure out how to prevent anyone from selling the hotel? The answer lies in the hands of 36 authors who tackle the challenge of writing about the same characters and story but still putting their own unique twists and turns.

Hotel Angeline reminds me that I still need to read Nake
Beth Jusino
Nov 13, 2011 Beth Jusino rated it liked it
Thirty-six writers -- mystery writers, romance writers, essayists, young adult and historical fiction writers -- got together for one week in 2010 and wrote, in front of a live audience, a single story. Each one took two hours to write one chapter, adding their voice and their ideas to move the story forward. So if the storyline itself is disjointed in places, and there are plot holes big enough to ride Alexis' stolen pedicab through, and the main characters repeat themselves (when they aren't s ...more
Aug 21, 2014 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, seattle
I stumbled across this while trying to read all of Garth Stein's work. It turns out that he only wrote 1 chapter of this book. This novel came about as part of a project by the Seattle7 Writers Group. They recruited 36 local Seattle authors to collaborate on one novel, each crafting a specific chapter, and all of it done live, on the spot, in one week.

It's a clever idea, and showcases lots of local talent, but I didn't fall in love with the story. Alexis, the 14-year-old main character, is left
Jun 03, 2014 Shelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very unique in the way this was written, so in that I gave it an extra star. I definitely enjoyed some authors more than others, although it is impressive that the voice changes weren't too distracting. I didn't really connect with the characters. I was distracted by the forceful nature of Seattle landmark name drops. It didn't flow naturally. Neither, did the idea of Alex exploring her sexual identity. It came off as annoying more than interesting or mysterious as it seems they try to play it. ...more
e-book novel by 36 authors. Setting is a very old hotel, a residence hotel in Seattle which itself was built on a significant historical site. The 14 year old heroine is the daughter of the owner, a single mother who also grew up in the hotel. Each author contributed a chapter to the book. Some strong issues here when the youngster finds herself essentially on her own with the hotel tenants, upkeep, poverty and lots of debt. The basic plot and setting are really good as well as the ending. The b ...more
Jun 12, 2011 Rachael rated it really liked it
This book is a bot of a novelty item, and I bought on a recommendation from a friend, and also, because I really like a couple of the authors involved. The novel is a sort of performance-art project written live by 36 different authors and then published with proceeds going to help writers in the Seattle area.

Honestly, the things that I think would turn most people off the novel really led me to like it more than I thought I would. The different voices and only a little bit jarring, I think it
Miranda Boyer
Sep 25, 2012 Miranda Boyer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I went to this Library fundraiser where the key note speaker was Garth Stein author of The Art Of Racing in the Rain. He was talking about how him and 35 other local Washington authors were doing this fundraiser for literacy, and they were doing a write-a-thon. Each of them would write for so many hours and complete one chapter. This is the result of that! It is a mystery. The one thing that I loved most was that you could feel throughout the book, that no one really knew how this would end. Eac ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
36 authors flowing through a common plot..each spending two hours to construct their piece so that it ties into the common theme as well as tagging on to the author before them...This novel created a haunting theme under a "coming of age" theme. Though disjointed in parts, this novel was fun to read. However, I became more interested in how each author was going to upstage or twist the previous authors' work rather than really focusing on the protagonist or plot. It read like a party-game played ...more
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About Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices 1 14 Apr 18, 2011 08:45AM  
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Garth Stein is the author of four novels: the New York Times bestselling gothic/historical/coming-of-age/ghost story, "A Sudden Light"; the internationally bestselling "The Art of Racing in the Rain"; the PNBA Book Award winner, "How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets"; and the magically realistic "Raven Stole the Moon." He is also the author of the stage play "Brother Jones." He has a dog, he' ...more
More about Garth Stein...

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“It isn’t fair, but maybe that’s the whole point. Fairness has no part in real life, and she took that lesson away from the Hotel Angeline with her.” 4 likes
“You have seven writers in your basement?”

Donald nods, signing, “They like it here. There’s a poet, a couple of novelists, an opera librettist, an essay writer . . . . They don’t usually make much trouble.”
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