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Lost Girls and Love Hotels

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3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  326 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Margaret is doing everything in her power to forget home. And Tokyo's exotic nightlife -- teeming with intoxicants, pornography, and three-hour love hotels -- enables her to keep her demons at bay. Working as an English specialist at Air-Pro Stewardess Training Institute by day, and losing herself in a sex- and drug-addled oblivion by night, Margaret represses memories of ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by Harper Perennial
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 510)
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Sara Power
Mar 19, 2007 Sara Power rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: wanderers
good for people who liked Lost In Translation....you feel like you know exactly how confused the narrator is in Japan. very cool.
Jamieson
Feb 05, 2009 Jamieson rated it it was amazing
“I sell my time and kill my body…”


Margaret is a woman who lives for the downward spiral. Fleeing from Canada to escape her past, Margaret settles in Tokyo to work for Air-Pro Stewardess Training Institute. There, she immerses herself in drugs and sex to forget her family and repress memories of her brother Frank: The brother who tried to kill her.

Sharing an apartment with her friend Ines, another fellow Canadian, Margaret ingests illegal substances, drinks herself into stupors and tries to ignor
...more
Petra X
I don't like to be negative about books by Goodreads' authors, but I really can't find anything good to say about this book at all other than the cover is really attractive. Ploughing through stories written in dialogue that people would never speak is depressing and pointless. The characters seem uncaring, apathetic, nihilistic as a way of appearing cool but actually just read as dreary. Filed on 'given-up' shelf.
Eveline Chao
Nov 14, 2007 Eveline Chao rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
this book is TERRIBLE from a writerly standpoint and yet i LOVE it.

biggest flaws: the characters are barely sketched out & not developed at ALL, and the big dark background thing that is supposed to be the protagonist's psychological motivation for acting the way she does is totally lame & not fleshed out. actually, beyond not being fleshed out, it's barely even mentioned. so we're basically asked to go with the idea that this thing that only gets a few lines in the book (okay that's an
...more
Myfanwy
Aug 10, 2007 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
Catherine Hanrahan's debut novel Lost Girls and Love Hotels is the story of a stranger in a strange land. The stranger is Margaret, a young woman who teaches English (or English pronounciation) in a stewardess school and the strange land is Japan.

On surface this could be the story of any 20-something searching for identity, salving old wounds with sex and drugs. Dig a little deeper, however, and you see that there is much more than meets the eye. Like most young women who have absent fathers, d
...more
Jason Pym
Pace way too slow, occasionally uses second person (for no clear reason) and hackneyed expressions ("eyes like pissholes in the snow" etc). But... This would have made a great short story, or a great opening to a novel that went somewhere. The missing girl, the Yakuza boyfriend, felt like a story waiting to happen.
Jacqueline
Apr 12, 2009 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lady Ethereal Butterfly
Lost Girls and Love Hotels is about a young woman who flees to Tokyo to escape a troubled childhood in Canada. Soon enough, the young woman, Margaret, becomes riveted by and immersed in the nightlife of Tokyo, which leads to her getting involved with a dangerous gangster.

Lost Girls and Love Hotels is an enthralling novel. It had such a gritty, authentic vibe to it that I wonder how much of the story came from the author’s personal experience on one level or another. I’m impressed that Lost Girls
...more
Paul
Feb 09, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
I was a sucker for "Lost in Tokyo" stories long before Sofia C. & Bill Murray got "Lost in Translation"; and a "Lost in Tokyo" story is exactly what this book is. This book, however, adds a layer of suspense and paranoia by tossing a serial killer tale into the mix of the usual frothy Sex, Neon and Booze soaked ambience that tends to pervade any "Gaijin in the Capital City" story. Perfect reading for the bus or a lazy afternoon involving cake. Or Sour Patch Kids. Anyway, you get the point: A ...more
James
Jan 22, 2015 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Margaret, an English specialist at an air stewardess training centre in Tokyo, is doing everything she can to forget the traumatic events of her past and her home. Repressing memories and feelings in nightly drug-fuelled binges and sex-filled days, she and her friends begins a steady spiral out of control. On meeting a Japanese man, Kazu, and beginning an affair with him, Margaret finds herself increasingly out of balance; she is falling for him but he has a wife - a possessive and angry wife - ...more
Alayna
Jul 04, 2008 Alayna rated it liked it
Recommended to Alayna by: my sister
My younger sister reccomended this to me....or rather told me i had to read it. I really liked it, different, i like how when talking about sex it was mostly descrite, in other words the authour was basically saying in those parts "use you imagination". Reading this i felt like i was transported to Japan tho i've never been there. I can't wait for more by this author.
Anne
Jan 27, 2014 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been so good. The blurb on the cover promised the story of a missing girl setting off a chain of events. But she's barely mentioned twice in the book.

The plot is minimal and it doesn't flow. Sorry, great idea, great promise but sadly doesn't deliver.
Sabine
Oct 19, 2008 Sabine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book very much. For me it was different to the stuff I usually read (mysteries). But I loved to read about the strange life she lived in a for me "alien" country. It is one of the books I will never forget.
Mary Lynn
Jul 08, 2008 Mary Lynn rated it really liked it
"Lost" Canadian girl escapes to Tokyo, teaches English to flight attendant wannabes by day, explores the darker side of the Tokyo "Love Hotel" by night. Good, fast read. Really liked it.
Missmle
Dec 19, 2008 Missmle rated it really liked it
I just loved this book! Catherine was a co-worker of mine and we mostly talked about books and how much we hated where we worked;) Isn't that normal though?
Marie
Jun 09, 2009 Marie rated it liked it
This is my version of a beach read, pure fun.
Amanda
Aug 28, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
It’s a bit hard to believe that Lost Girls And Love Hotels is Catherine Hanrahan’s first novel. A small book full of quick wit, vivid descriptions and emotional longings, the prose in this book is top notch and wastes no time pulling its reader in for the taking.

I started reading this book on a Sunday night and had it finished by that Tuesday, because I couldn’t seem to put the thing down. Needless to say, I really, really enjoyed this book. The prose was exactly what I like in a book – lush, a
...more
Laura
Dec 21, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
Margaret is desperately trying to escape her past. She finds the distractions of Tokyo help her do that, but it’s a big city and she’s only one girl. When she becomes infatuated with a dangerous man, she realizes how easy it would be disappear, whether she wants to or not.

I received this book from a friend about a year ago. I forgot what it was even about before I opened it, and it was sp much more tragic than I originally expected. Margaret has had to watch her brother go crazy. but instead of
...more
Alpha
Oct 14, 2011 Alpha rated it liked it
"From what I know, this is the only novel ever written by Hanrahan and I have to say it is a good novel for what it is. I love how the story is set in Japan and how it is about an American girl getting by living in Japan and adapting to the culture, the style, and changing to the many differences from Western culture. However, what I do like is it is based mostly around the more seedy and dangerous side of the Japanese culture.

In Japan, sex is such a major taboo despite how open they are. Someth
...more
PurplyCookie
Margaret, a 20-something Canadian, has fled to Tokyo to escape her past and now instructs aspiring stewardesses in "cabin-crew and airline interview English." By night, she numbs herself with drink and dangerous sex. Her story, as readers learn in alternating chapters, features an imploding family and a dangerously schizophrenic brother. Though Margaret is less than convincing as a narrator, her surreal Tokyo encounters propel the book: a barkeep who communicates with lines from Beatles songs, s ...more
Nancyc
May 09, 2008 Nancyc rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
When I met Catherine Hanrahan at a book signing, I asked her if her book was Chick Lit. The cover of the book is screaming pink with an anima style drawing of a woman wrapped in sheets, gazing at me with paint-on-velvet eyes. Upon hearing this question, Hanrahan’s eyes registered hurt with a sliver of anger, then turned to defense. I think her companion actually gasped. No, she said. Her book was anything but Chick Lit. She didn’t see why I would have thought such a thing.

Well, she was right. Lo
...more
Ape
Apr 24, 2011 Ape rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
angie
Apr 11, 2010 angie rated it really liked it
Lost Girls is so quirky and funny and dark and mysterious plus (this is shallow!) the cover is very eye-catching!:)

As you may be able to tell from the cover Margaret is not the best role model in the world, but she's been through a lot and is trying to escape her painful past (and less than thrilling job at Air-Pro Stewardess Training Institute) by losing herself in drugs and sex in Tokyo's exotic night life.

Those scenes can be pretty explicit, but the sadness and genuine pain she's in when she'
...more
Maria (Ri)
After finally getting around to reading this one, I finished it in an afternoon. The pace is fast and furious, much as was my experience while visiting Tokyo! It was a surprise and delight to recognize both the sights and sounds of Tokyo and Toronto, where I lived for several years, and Bali where I studied for a semester abroad in university. I feel like Margaret is my alter ego. If I had a miserable and tragic childhood, perhaps I would end up in a similar fate. Reading this novel was both com ...more
Alyson
Jan 26, 2016 Alyson rated it really liked it
I thought this was really well done. It was reminiscent of my younger, self destructive years. Longer review to follow, but I think anyone who can relate to the emotional state of the narrator will enjoy this... at least I did. I bet that some will not recognize the particular emotional defects and be horrified by the book.
Valerie
Feb 06, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Seriously love this book. I only wish Catherine Hanrahan had written other novels, written in the same locations or otherwise.
Sandra
Jan 12, 2009 Sandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Margaret is a young American woman who is living and working in Japan so she can try and forget about her life back home where here brother is a schizophrenic and her mum has found some kind of comfort in the same sex.
After work Margaret goes out and parties hard by drinking,doing drugs and spending time in the Love Hotel by doing this she represses her memories of a painful life.
Margaret does find a love interest who is some kind of mysterious gangster. I find him a bit lame and don't think muc
...more
Max Bolongaita
Dec 10, 2014 Max Bolongaita rated it liked it
Then ending was a little rushed but I liked the despondent tone of the book. I could relate to the nihilism.
John Jingleheimer-schmitt
Apr 30, 2016 John Jingleheimer-schmitt rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt like I could relate to the central character and the style of writing made me feel as if she could be a friend of mine.
Harold
Oct 14, 2014 Harold rated it it was ok
Silly.
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“Fear and excitement are chemically the same. Sadness is a hair away from melancholy. Melancholy is almost pleasure, brushing against happiness. It’s all the fucking same.” 5 likes
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