Brad's Reviews > Hotel du Lac

Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
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's review
Jul 25, 10

bookshelves: booker-prize, better-as-a-movie
Read in July, 2005, read count: 1

I ate dinner at an historical park once, and when I think of that meal I always remember being pleased with the place setting and the table linens. The table cloth was crisp and white, the silverware was highly polished, but I can't remember the feel of the fabric or the design of the forks and spoons and knife. What little I remember accumulates into nice. It was all nice.

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 was nice. I remember a likable woman moving amongst mostly likable folk in Geneva. I enjoyed the niceness of the experience, and then it was forgotten.

Hotel Du Lac was nice. I'll never read it again, though, because nice doesn't keep me coming back.

Something that has won a prestigious literary award should leave us with more than a feeling of niceness. But that's all Hotel Du Lac has to offer.

Nice. Just nice. Only nice.

But then maybe it wasn't nice at all. Maybe it was the antithesis of nice. But if it was, and if there was an element of the not nice that I missed...well, Brookner didn't do a very good job then did she? I shouldn't be remembering nice all these years later, should I? I think not. Now isn't that nice?
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