Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices
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Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  280 ratings  ·  69 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Open Road E-riginal (first published January 1st 2011)
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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...more
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...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...more
Alexis Villery
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
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 hote...more
Ken J.
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...more
Julie G
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...more
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...more
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
Tom Elliott
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...more
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...more
David Edmonds
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
Joe Young
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
Alexis Villery
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 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...more
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...more
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
Andrea Blythe
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...more
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...more
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
Karen morsecode
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...more
Beth Jusino
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
Considering that 36 Seattle-Based authors of different genres wrote this, it was surprisingly cohesive. I love the whole concept of the book and wish I had known about the project at its birth so I could have witnessed some of the writing in person, on stage. What a NOVEL idea! I think this would be a great project to do in a classroom with a group of students to see if they could carry a storyline with a group of peers. It must have been an interesting process. I liked, but didn't love the stor...more
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...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
Disjointed - the threads of the book started, went nowhere and then got muddled up. Some tripped the next author up.
Pity. There was so much promise here and it was all wasted. I wonder if Peter Clines' 14 would not have been a better fit for a story of this kind (a sentient building, i.e.)
Recommended by a book club member. Any interesting concept as it was written over a week by 36 authors each taking a chapter under their wings.

Not the most compelling story but all the loose ends were tied up nicely by the time the novel was done.
In reality, I'd give it a 3.5 instead of a 3.

It's an interesting premise, written live by 36 authors over 72 hours during one week. For the most part, the transitions were surprisingly smooth and unobtrusive and although the voice changed, the flow worked. for the most part. the chapter where it became a graphic novel was really jarring for me, and one of the later chapters kind of broke the fourth wall, but not entirely, referencing the story being told in so many choices in the plot. there wer...more
In late 2010, 36 well-known Seattle authors came together to write a novel as part of a local arts festival. A book designed by committee? Nope. The overall book plot was planned by Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge, along with the goals for each chapter. Each author was then assigned a chapter and met with an editor to ensure everyone was on the same track. And then each author wrote their assigned chapter on a public stage in Seattle during their 2-hour time period. Knowing all of this, I was...more
The 36 chapters did flow together better than one would expect of a book with 36 authors. There were really only about three chapters that I felt didn't flow well -- off the top of my head I don't even recall which. It's worth a read for the interesting concept (gimmick, actually), but I did find some of the character's actions a little unbelievable. I got a little annoyed with some of the things Alexis did later in the book. I just wanted to yell "Girl, why do you even care?!" at the book.

I mig...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels, featuring her character Inspector Lynley, have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

She was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to the S...more
More about Elizabeth George...
A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1) Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3) This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley, #16) Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2) Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley, #15)

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“She reflects on the girl she had been in this place, and the things she had to do in order to survive. For a long time, she’d had to live her child- hood backward, forced to step up and take charge of things that were thrust into her hands.” 3 likes
“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.” 3 likes
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