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Preview — Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
Hotel Du Lac
In the novel that won her the Booker Prize and established her international reputation, Anita Brookner finds a new vocabulary for framing the eternal question "Why love?" It tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a pseudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of...more
Popular Answered Questions
"my patience with this little comedy is wearing a bit thin"
It's a ghastly vi ...more
Ok, but I am racking my brains: is there ANY book out there about a male spinster? Not a bachelor: that image implies a certain Sherlock Holmsean contentedness with the regularity of life, a smug sense of quiet self satisfaction that all is alright with the world, at precisely the moment when a woman ISN ...more
Anyone who has ever contemplated or experienced the noisy quiet that happens when you are by yourself but surrounded by others who are all there together.
Please read it.
If you're the sort of person who tends to complain that 'nothing happens' in a book, I would avoid this one. This is an introspective, reflective novel; it's all about the inner journey, not the physical one.
Our protagonist, Edith, is an author, specialising in romances (quite low-brow romances is ...more
I am quite bemused that this won the Booker in 1984. It's such a simple, ...more
Nice but mostly forgettable.
And that's all I'm left with when I think of Brookner's Booker Prize winning Hotel Du Lac. It wa ...more
"I have managed," writes the old devil [Richard Cobb, chairman of the judges, to his friend, fellow historian Hugh Trevor-Roper], "to keep Martin Amis and Angela Carter and something something de Terán off the shortlist and manoeuvred so that BALLARD did not get the prize to the FURY of the media, the critics and Ladbrokes. So I have done a little NEGATIVE good."
Hotel du Lac seems like a book from the 1920s-50 ...more
Edith Hope is a romance writer who writes under another name -- she's accomplished, but to be honest, she writes about feelings and eve ...more
Maybe Cobb was a historian? Maybe he thought that ther ...more
Small but super-concentrated.
For something so short, it asks big questions about ideals and compromises. It's a pretty profound meditation too on what it is to be a women (like I'd know) and full of strong portraits of different ways of doing that. We've got a spectrum here, from the ‘kept ...more
"An ape, a lion, a fox and an ass,
Do show forth man's life as it were in a glass.
For apeish they are till twenty-and-one,
And after than lions till forty be gone.
Then wicked as foxes till three-score-and-ten,
And after that asses, and so no more men."
I can think of no comparable rhyme for women. Traditionally, a woman's life is divided into three stages: the maiden, the wife, and the crone. Yet compare these three stages to the ...more
Hotel du Lac is "a stolid and dignified building, used to welcoming the prudent, the well-to-do, the retired, the self-effacing, the respected patrons of an earlier era of ...more
How to explain that the language was perfect, the scenes, the characters, the feeling, the longing, the pychology, all of it has pierced through almost three decades since it was written?
How to explain that this particular author is considered among the most boring and plotless ever to have walked the earth, how can she be so misunders ...more
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'You are a romantic, Edith,' repeated Mr Neville, with a smile.
'It is you who are wrong,' she replied. 'I have been listening to that particular accusation for most of my life. I am not a romantic. I am a domestic animal. I do not sigh and yearn for extravagant displays of passion, for the grand affair, the world well lost for love. I know all that, and know that it leaves you lonely. No, what I crave is the simplicity of routine. An evening walk, arm in arm, in fine weather. A game of cards. Time for idle talk. Preparing a meal together.”