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The Blue Hotel (Dodo Press)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  578 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Stephen Crane (1871-1900) was an American novelist, poet and journalist. He is best known for his novel Red Badge of Courage (1895). The novel introduced for most readers Crane's strikingly original prose, an intensely rendered mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He lived in New York City a bohemian life where he observed the poor in the Bowery slums as researc ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published April 11th 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1898)
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May 16, 2016 Sketchbook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: currently
"Every sin is the result of a collaboration," says Stephen Crane (1871-1900) in this short (38 pages) , but transcendent and unforgettable novella. If you've never read Crane - forgotten today - start here. Coming from a family of Methodist clergy, he rebelled early and became an atheist. He went into the world, saw it and realized too much. Can you ever get rid of the burden of religion?

Starting as a freelance journalist, and seldom with any money, he covered troubles in Mexico and Cuba, expl
Jan 25, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Blue Hotel” 1899) is one of several works recommended to a young writer by Ernest Hemingway. In fact, it is one of only two short stories so recommended, the other being “The Open Boat,” also by Steven Crane (see my review embedded in my review of David Foster Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.”). This was available free online from, which, as the blurb says is “a ‘G’ rated study resource for junior high, high school, college students, teachers and home sc ...more
Hannah Lockhart
Short story, read about it in an interview with Stanley Kubrick about his adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Shining'.

Only about 30 pages long but brilliant.

It's about four men sitting around a table playing poker in a hotel in the middle of a blizzard. One of the men, the Swede, becomes increasingly hysterical and paranoid that the men are out to get him. At one point, he accuses the hotel owner's son, Johnnie, of cheating. The Swede becomes manic, feverish and completely uncontrolable so that
Mike OwlLove
had to read it for literature class... it was boring, both the book and the class.
Mar 27, 2008 Johnny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Put down that copy of "The Red Badge of Courage," and opt for "The Blue Hotel" instead. Crane, one of our greatest American writers, wrote in a time of Dreiser and James, and his style certainly conflicts with their beautiful, multi-clause prose. Crane had an affinity for characters that liked the less-glamorous side of life, almost like Hemingway before Hemingway, and "The Blue Hotel' contains all the elements of masculine sin. But his plot is not what drives his stories, it is writing style. F ...more
David James
Nov 05, 2015 David James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Crane, Stephen. The Blue Hotel

Stephen Crane’s long short story is a much anthologised item, it being typical of his masculine focussed social Darwinism, or survival of the fittest philosophy. Here, a character known simply as The Swede is the focus of the five major players in the story, set in an isolated settlement in The Blue Hotel in Fort Romper, Nebraska. Life is tough in winter in Romper and a man needs all his wits, and probably a handy weapon, simply to survive. The Swede is nervous to t
Feb 24, 2008 Frederick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hemingway said "The Blue Hotel" was the best short story ever written by an American.
It is a beautiful, sad, horrifying story. It's always good to have a collection of Crane's stories. It's even better to have one named after the best one he wrote.
Jeff Yoak
A blah story. My first from Crane.
Nov 26, 2010 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2013 A.M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I saw this on a list of Hemingway’s recommended reads. As a bonus, I found a free e-book version of it at Book depository.
It is a short story; guests shelter in the blue hotel during a snowstorm with the owner and his son. This is a tale of men; women feature only as side points. The perfect shelter is flawed because one of the men, the Swede, is described as: “One might have thought that he had the sense of silly suspicion which comes to guilt. He resembled a badly frightened man.”
It is clear t
Joe Holley
Jan 07, 2015 Joe Holley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the writing and the story. Stephen Crane examines the way we view each other and how our preconceived perceptions of others comes into play when we come together. It also explores the differences in personalities under differing situations and influences and how that comes into play in unfamiliar circumstances. A wonderful story with a powerful message.
Feb 12, 2015 Zany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, considering how long ago it was written. I would never have expected a plot like this until perhaps the 60s. You took the old western shoot-em-up and turned it into some sort of morality tale of symbiosis. I'd stretch it as far as even disguising itself as a cautionary environmentalist warning. (how's that for snobbish vagueness?)Thanks guy!
Feb 19, 2015 Joerg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as I thought but still dense and exciting. In a way the characters don't seem approachable e.g. nothing like the characters in Jocye's Dubliners - they are also not revealed in their action.
Oct 10, 2011 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this three times in the past week for school. The first time I read it, I was bored. I was all, let's hurry up and get to the point already. Well, "The Blue Hotel" doesn't work like that.

The second time I read it, I noticed some of the subtly beautiful descriptions that Crane uses. I saw the blue paint of the Palace Hotel, felt the snowstorm in Fort Romper, and felt like I was losing at High-Five to Johnnie. Crane's writing is so delicate that you don't even realize you're reading.

The thi
Jim Robles
Sep 20, 2014 Jim Robles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did the Swede foresee his fate or did he actually make it happen?

I read a .pdf version that I downloaded from the web. The sixty-ninth book I have finished this year.
Hal Brodsky
Mar 29, 2015 Hal Brodsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle
If Stephen Crane had written an episode of The Twilight Zone, this would be it. Too bad broadcast television did not come about until ~50 years later
Mallika Soni
Jun 30, 2014 Mallika Soni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The end is the strongest point of the story. I liked it. Thanks to Hemingway for suggesting this to young readers and writers.
Josephine Ensign
Mar 13, 2015 Josephine Ensign rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure how to categorize this piece of writing: novella? short story? allegory? Very condensed and powerful.
Jan 04, 2016 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After I read this, the only thought in my head was to read more Stephen Crane.
Carrie Jolly
Jul 25, 2014 Carrie Jolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
quite a good story to read and think about afterward.
Sep 09, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its about collective guilt.
Farida Meriem
Feb 04, 2016 Farida Meriem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the wits in this short story. What amazed me most is that you can guess that the Swede will die, since he is convinced that they are going to kill him, and we as readers cannot stop reading until we find out how?
Aug 06, 2013 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Like most short stories of the time, I found it a little dense with irrelevant information - descriptions about unimportant characters and settings. Some of the behaviors went unexplained and the ending was abrupt and not all too powerful.
Matthew Berkshire
Short, but extremely well done. Motivated by a quick pace that enhances the stories plot it is easy to read this in one sitting. I wanted the characters to have a little more depth, but overall this was a really nice read.
Jun 10, 2010 JoAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, mystery
A great story illustrating culpability for action beyond the immediate consequences. Great story I listened to through Classic Tales Podcast. BJ Harrison is a great reader/actor.
Nov 25, 2013 Nagisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, 1850-1899
I just thought the Swede brought it all on himself, but the Easterner gave it a new light saying "Every sin is the result of a collaboration." His view of the event is interesting.
Mar 03, 2008 Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little short story by a fantastic author with so much depth of allegory that it can be studied for a lifetime.
Feb 21, 2011 Sleepwalker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best short stories I've ever read, maybe even THE best.
Mar 01, 2016 Clara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, it takes some explaining, but the brilliance is there
Kristen-Marie Freeman
Slow getting started and a limp payoff at the end.
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Stephen Crane was an American novelist, poet and journalist, best known for the novel Red Badge of Courage. That work introduced the reading world to Crane's striking prose, a mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He died at age 28 in Badenweiler, Baden, Germany.

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“Every sin is the result of a collaboration” 4 likes
“We picture the world as thick with conquering and elate humanity, but here, with the bugles of the tempest peeling, it was hard to imagine a peopled earth. One viewed the existence of man then as a marvel, and conceded a glamour of wonder to these lice which were caused to cling to a whirling, fire-smitten, ice-locked, disease-stricken, space-lost bulb. The conceit of man was explained by this storm to be the very engine of life. One was a coxcomb not to die in it.” 4 likes
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