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Breakfast at the Hotel Déjà Vu
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Breakfast at the Hotel Déjà Vu

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Bobby Clarke arrives at a hotel on the Mediterranean shore. He is a former MP, unseated by the expenses scandal, who is now spending time abroad to recover from a major illness. The other purpose of his stay is to write his memoirs in order to demonstrate that he was unfairly pilloried for 'a minor accounting error', having valiantly served his country for 30 years. He set ...more
Kindle Edition, 100 pages
Published December 8th 2011 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Breakfast at the Hotel Déjà Vu is a novella by award-winning British author, Paul Torday. Former British MP, Bobby Wansbeck has come to a Mediterranean hotel for some rest and recuperation. While he’s doing that, he plans to write his memoir: he wants to share what thirty years as a backbencher, working hard for his constituency, was like. He’s sure people will be interested, even if he was forced to stand down over an expenses scandal (just an accounting error, really!)

But, as wonderful as the
Rachel Hall
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Given my previous enjoyment of some of Paul Torday's quirky prose, Breakfast at the Hotel Déjà vu, consisting of approximately one hundred pages, was something of a disappointing read, largely because the twist in the tale is so poorly disguised. This is the story of former Conservative MP Robert (Bobby) Wansbeck and his lifetime spent in politics as he muses on how he has always felt it predetermined that he would follow in his father's footsteps and meet with disgrace. Facing his final days af ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
He knew that for the last thirty years he had presented himself as an honest man when he had been nothing of the sort. He knew that, if he told nobody else the truth, he had at least to be honest with himself, as far as he was able. He knew that there had been a choice. And he thought that his life could have turned out quite differently, if he had chosen differently. He knew that guilt had been corroding him for years, and that underneath his smooth outer surface there was very little of the or ...more
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
True to his style, this novella is satirical and disconcerting. It also presents a depth that is not immediately apparent.

There is this seemingly simple introspection story of a disgraced MP escaping to a hotel. Then there is a disconcerting (view spoiler) bit that was slightly creepy to read about. The pacing was definitely slow in the middle but Torday's writing flows so smoothly from word to word soldiering through the slowness was not too difficult. (I w
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, kindle, short-story
When writing this review I have changed my rating from one star to two stars, as it wasn't awful. It was readable, it just wasn't me.

I bought this novella from Amazon to try something new and I didn't like it. I found it pretty hard going and didn't really like the writing style.

It wasn't bad, it just wasn't my type of book and I won't read any more from the author.
Manda Graham
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-disc
It's interesting to see what mixed reviews this novella has received. I really enjoyed it. The idea was clever and I thgouth the whole story hung together really well.

If you like Paul Torday's other books I think you'll like this.
David Pain
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
More good stuff from Torday. I love his ability to stir very contemporary subjects and characters into slightly skewed fiction.
Judith Farrell
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Short enjoyable read. MP caught up in an expenses scandal, finds himself at a hotel on The Med to write his memoirs. Alas, all is not what it seems- who are the mysterious lady and young boy
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting novella, addressing the topic of reflecting on life towards the end of it, in a creative way. Bobby Clarke has checked in to a Mediterranian hotel and looks back on his life, intending to write a memoir setting the record straight. He has worked hard for his constituency as an MP, backbencher, the expenses scandal that cost him his job should not be all he is remembered for. But Bobby made a habit of hiding, just as the hotel staff seems to hide when he needs food or drink. Bobby hid ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La memoria, il passato, il ciclo della vita inteso come un cerchio. E' un romanzo strano, emozionante, scritto con leggerezza ma toccante.
d m palmer
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
When this e-novella was advertised as a bargain at only 0.99 cents, I thought it was a great way to get acquainted with Paul Torday's writing. I have no regrets purchasing this story, although I am not entirely sure whether it served its purpose as an introduction to Torday's work.
The concept of the story is more than sound and the narrative well written. From the start, it is clear to the reader that Bobby is an older man, suffering (or recovering?) from an ailment, who has left the mess of his
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this quirky short story, which was unmistakeably Torday in style. It was well-written and a very easy read, but I felt the story could have been spun out into a longer novel, as it ended rather abruptly. The last few chapters were something of a mad gallop to the end, and the outcome was consequently rather predictable - hence I'm only giving this book 3 stars.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting novella told in the first person. It travels around the life of an MP and his downfall and the hotel in which he has booked himself after his illness. Not a total surprise in the ending but it wasn't till about half way through that you got the clue of where the tale was going.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Disappointing effort of what was a very promising subject. Despite the first 4 chapters of the new book being included - surprisingly very readable in comparison - I doubt I'd rush to read any more of Torday's work.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Really disappointing and has now put me off reading more of Torday
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction, kindle
Bought it on a whim as it was £0.99 on Amazon. Not bad, a little sad, good ending.
Alice Day
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good train journey read as just a novella.
Iain Gray
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kobo
Great story from the author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-general
Guessed the end early but a good read all the same.
Ignacio de Castro
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
The story gets a bit repetitive. Nice and surprising ending.
❀ Hana
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: lektur-2013

It's not bad at all. Really.
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Dec 05, 2012
rated it liked it
Nov 14, 2013
rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2017
Andrea Backer
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Nov 19, 2013
David Smith
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Feb 01, 2017
Fiona Hudson
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Feb 26, 2013
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Paul Torday burst on to the literary scene in 2007 with his first novel, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, an immediate international bestseller that has been translated into 28 languages and has been made into a film starring Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Emily Blunt. His subsequent novels, THE IRRESISTIBLE INHERITANCE OF WILBERFORCE, THE GIRL ON THE LANDING, THE HOPELESS LIFE OF CHARLIE SUM ...more