Martine's Reviews > Hotel Babylon

Hotel Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones
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Jan 06, 08

bookshelves: books-i-translated, journalism-in-book-form, british, modern-fiction, guilty-pleasures
Read in January, 2005

A kind of Kitchen Confidential of the hotel industry, Hotel Babylon describes 24 hours in the life of a receptionist on a double shift at a five-star hotel in London -- 24 hours during which he gets to deal with Saudi sheikhs, Texan oil millionaires, dying customers and call girls who don't want to leave their plush surroundings, and also finds time to gossip about Naomi Campbell, Cher, Kate Moss, Pamela Anderson and Michael Jackson (among others). While all the stories in the book are purportedly true, and many of them are quite entertaining in themselves, there are a few too many stories crammed into the space of 24 hours here for the book to be either believable or really readable. I myself got fairly fed up with it after a while, wanting a real, straightforward narrative rather than a series of loosely joined episodes. That said, if you don't mind the episodic structure, this is an interesting, reasonably well written look behind the scenes of the luxury hotel industry -- an enjoyable holiday read for those who like celebrity culture and five-star excapism.
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