Tulagi Hotel
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Tulagi Hotel

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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World War II has given Jack McGuire the chance to escape the confines of the Midwest and the family farm. An ace U.S. Marine fighter pilot, he risks his life each day with his squadron in the South Pacific theatre. For him, there's calm and camaraderie up there in the cockpit. But when the war ends, Jack struggles to find his place in civilia...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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I don’t really know what to say about this book. It is profoundly insightful and surprising, with lyricism that pops up unexpectedly, and scenes of boyish adventure. I gained a look into World War II in a way I never have before, even though my father fought in WWII and was a pilot who flew over China. The characters are so well drawn, I grew quite attached: to Jack and Don and Kay, Martin, Bunny, Doc and Bill, among others.

I noticed comments about the formal dialogue in other reviews. For me, t...more
Oct 08, 2012 Heikki added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-own-books
This book is now available again, and you can get it on Amazon as Kindle for now, soon also in paperback.

I wrote this book, so I will not add stars, but I have reviews on Amazon and all are four or five stars. New ones would be very much appreciated, and I will send out review copies for a limited time - contact me for one.
Simon Forward
In the interests of transparency, I have to declare that I know the author of this book, from the old days of authonomy. Ordinarily this might brace you for a glowing review, but I have to be honest, that's not going to be forthcoming here.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book by any stretch of the imagination and it has much of the quality that first impressed me when reading the opening sample chapters on the authonomy site. But among the problems preventing this full 'extended cut' novel fr...more
Stephen Gallup
I'll start with the bad news and get that out of the way. In this first novel set in the South Pacific during and just after WWII, there are some passages in which the prose could have been streamlined. The dialog does not always sound entirely natural. And there are a few minor narrative hiccups, e.g., points at which I felt something had been skipped, with the result that this reader felt he had stumbled over something. The most noticeable example of the latter is the lack of a transition betw...more
I first discovered Tulagi Hotel a couple of years ago when I was on the Authonomy.com website, and I befriended the author - Heikki Hietala - in the process of reading the original draft there. I remember that manuscript with fondness, and reading the revised/re-edited version was a pleasure even on the second time around.

However, having become accustomed to a more modern style of writing - the "hook 'em quick and keep 'em turning pages!" school of thought - Tulagi Hotel may take some mental rea...more
Martin Cooper
This is an oddly old fashioned book. If it were a film, it would be in Technicolor, or even black and white, with James Stewart in the lead role.

It’s none the worse for that – in fact the pitch of the story is perfect for the subject: the experiences of a group of American fliers in the Far East during the Second World War. The narrative loops back to visit the hero’s mid-western childhood and zooms forward to describe his return to the Solomon Islands in the late 1940s, but its heart is in the...more
Stefan Sahlander
I have never been interested in aircraft spotting and neither do I usually read books or watch movies about war history. So when I first started to read this book I feared it would not be for me. But I was wrong. Even though there are many parts about World War II aircraft and how to fly them, this book includes lots of other fascinating stories pre-WW2, during WW2 and post-WW2 about human relationships and even some philosophical ideas how to best live your life. Jack also has his very unique w...more
Jul 15, 2010 Malcolm rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I first encountered this book on HarperCollins' website, Authonomy. At that time it was 'raw' but as it dealt with military aviation I had to dip into it; I was not disappointed. Heikki Hietala's sense of time and ability to create authentic action wefted with an intriguing and enjoyable 'love story' makes for a compelling read. Now refined and recently published by Diiarts, it is a rewarding read for anyone interested in WWII, The Pacific Islands, military aviation, quirky hotels and quirky pil...more
I recently came across this little beauty and was immediately drawn back into the forties and the Pacific Theater. Yeah. Day of Infamy, Run Silent, Run Deep. And I thought, ummm, do I really want to be back fighting the Japanese and all that torture stuff? Eeeeuuu. No. I want to keep to my daisy-filled hillsides policy of head-in-the-sand reading.

But then it said 'romance, adventure'. OK, maybe I would give it a peek. Am I glad I did. And here's why.

It's about two guys, both with an obsession fo...more
Kathryn Svendsen
Jack McGuire has returned from World War II but instead of returning to the US, he has settled in the Solomon Islands and set up a hotel where he is trying to adjust to post-war life. The wife of his best friend and former wingman, Don Wheeler, who was shot down on one of their missions shows up and sets Jack reminiscing about his past.

Tulagi Hotel was a thoroughly enjoyable treat to the South Seas. You could almost feel the sunshine and smell the salty ocean breeze. The novel moved back and for...more
It's one of those books that will stay on my shelf and be re-read. I love the characters, the tenderness of love amongst the scenes of war and death. What's more, I want to stay at Tulagi Hotel itself and bask in the sunshine on the beach. If only it existed in real life! This is a love story yet it doesn't lack drama and a philosophical view of life. A unique story.
Hietala's Tulagi Hotel was an immensely positive surprise to me. Tulagi Hotel reminds me of Hollywood films and Top Gun and would probably work on the silver screen too. The story is not so special in itself but Hietala writes well and the character's became familiar during the read. Great leisure read.
This novel is evidently the result of diligent work and research, and well worth reading for the descriptions of air warfare in the Pacific. For purely stylistic reasons, I liked the short stories in Filtered Light better: they seemed to echo a kind of English tradition of understated ghost stories. When I began reading this novel, I had an impression that the dialogue was a little bit too correct and polite to be real, although it did not bother me later (and I cannot swear that this perception...more
I found Tulagi Hotel to be a slightly difficult book to categorize. It combines a love story, a war memoir, and the story of one Jack McGuire in a way that can only be described as captivating without raising one above the other. Heikki Hietala, the author, shows he is clearly well acquainted with the WW2 era as well as the years that followed it, as the details of the peacefully progressing story prove.

Tulagi Hotel is written in fluent English – something you should not take for granted these d...more
The reasons why I gave 4 stars to this book (I wanted to give 3 and a half, but that's not possible :p)are very simple. First of all I think this story is very well written! Heikki Hietala painted a scenery in this book that you can imagine perfectly. A place you'd certainly visit if you had the chance to. Secondly I love the fact that this is a story with several "genres" woven into it. I believe this book can be appreciated by lots of readers, even though they normally don't read the same kind...more
Tulagi Hotel is a book with something for readers of many different tastes. For those interested in military and aviation history, there is plenty, with tales of fighter planes in dogfights over the South Pacific. It is a coming of age story, which could prompt thoughts of how family expectations and desires can get in the way of living life on your own terms. It has romance, injecting all the emotions involved in that rollercoaster ride. Most important of all, it is a good story.

Although the au...more
Betty Bell
My husband had this among his many World War II books. It's a very personal story not all battles and torture. The main character is well drawn with depth. The plot, his search for "home" after the war is interesting. Of course there are buddy stories and they add to the story.
I liked this book much more than my husband did.
Holly Grant
Tulagi Hotel is a beautifully written book with compelling characters. When I began the story, I felt as if I had stepped into a classic, epic, post-WWII film. We follow the main character, shy Jack McGuire, from his childhood in rural Nebraska, through school and the war to Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, where he runs a hotel and loses his heart to the widow of a war buddy. The author shows the hand of a master storyteller as he takes us back and forth in time and paints a realistic picture of...more
I was really interested in the story, but the writing is so... not good, I just couldn't make myself stick with it. It's not bad, but it's very amateurish. A lot of dialogue about things the characters already know-- the "My sister Lisa, who as you know is..." syndrome, and dialogue about things the reader doesn't really care about. Description of unimportant things, and no description of important things (scene setting, for instance). A lot of "telling" and not much "showing." I found my finger...more
Susan Cecere
My dad flew in WWII so it was an interesting read for me. I thought the characters were well developed.
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Suomi Finland: Tulagi Hotel suomeksi elokuussa 2014 1 53 Dec 13, 2013 01:34AM  
Does anyone have a question on the book? 1 4 Aug 18, 2011 12:45AM  
NEWS FLASH 13.9.2013:

I have signed a contract with a Finnish publisher, and Tulagi Hotel will be published by them in Finnish. I will give more details after the publisher has issued a formal press release.


Heikki Hietala is a Senior Lecturer at HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences. He holds an M.A. in English Philology from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and has worked in IT and lo...more
More about Heikki Hietala...
Filtered Light and Other Stories Filtered Light & Other Stories, Vol. I Words to Music Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair In These Hands: Stories from Rammenas

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