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Hotel de Dream

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  689 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
'Hotel de Dream' is a historical novel from one of New York's most prolific authors. It is constructed around the imagined authorship of a novel by Stephen Crane.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 30th 2007 by Bloomsbury (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What’s taken me so long to read Edmund White? What’s that line in Rilke’s Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus? “You must change your life.” That’s how I feel. Such a divine writer is so rare, he recalibrates one’s soul. There’s a fascinating freshness on every page. Great narrative thrust, force, propulsion— call it what you will, it carries me breathlessly along. Stephen Crane is dying from TB. He and his wife Cora, a former brothel keeper, are in Sussex, England, as his last days play out ...more
The story of Hotel de Dream: A New York Novel is one of two pairs of lovers, Stephen Crane and his wife Cora and the young prostitute Elliott and his lover Theodore the Banker, who are products of Stephen Crane's literary imagination. In this novel Crane is writing a companion piece to his earlier novel, Maggie, Girl of the Streets, and it is this novel, The Painted Boy, that occupies Crane as he slowly succumbs to the ravages of tuberculosis. What is fascinating is the seamless way that White i ...more
May 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gay-historical
It’s a book of two halves, really. The first half, with Stephen Crane–who spends the entire book dying–is as slow as a meandering river. Suddenly, the “book within a book” which he’s writing hots up and the pace increases–it’s just that the two don’t really gel with each other. If you had told me two different people had written the book I would have believed you.

It begins with lengthy descriptions of Stephen Crane dying of tuberculosis and living in Engand in preparation for travel to the Black
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Painted Boy: Resurrection from the Deathbed of Stephen Crane

Edmund White, gratefully, is a prolific writer, a gifted man of letters who has become one of America's more important authors. While much of Edmund White's oeuvre is about gay life, he does not confine his talent to the one topic: he is a brilliant biographer, a fine man of research, and a poet with prose. HOTEL DE DREAM: A New York Novel is his latest foray into fictional biography and for this reader the book succeeds on every le
Ann Herendeen
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-recently
You don't have to be a writer to love this book--but if you are a writer, you'll be entranced by what White does in Hotel de Dream, and horrified by the appropriate but depressing ending.

White imagines the last months of late-19th-century writer Stephen Crane (The Red Badge of Courage) as he's dying, at age 28, of tuberculosis. Crane needs money to leave to his companion, Cora, a former prostitute whom he can't marry--because she's still legally married to her husband. He works doggedly at finis
I haven’t read anything by Stephen Crane – tried, but it was one of his less known novels and it didn’t suck me in, maybe I’ll return to it – but he seems a decent human being. I liked him in this book, and his wife Cora too. The writing was good when it dealt with the Cranes, worse when doing the Elliott part.

The book itself was something of a problem. It was too short. I expected more of, well, everything: Cora, the publishing milieu, James, Conrad et al on one side, and more of Elliott on the
Christy B
Hotel de Dream is a fictional novel about real life author Stephen Crane. Told during his last days, Crane starts dictating a story he's always wanted to tell: The Painted Boy. Based on an actual painted boy he met a few years earlier, it's the story of a boy and a married man who's obsessed with him.

The story is told from Crane's point-of-view as he lay dying, sometimes reflecting back to the time when he knew the boy; it is also told from the point-of-view of Crane's 'sort of' wife Cora. And
Gary Lee
Out in paperback: 10/14/2008!

After the near-atrocity that was 2007's Chaos collection, White returns with a fantastic novel: a novel that shows he might be through with trying to prove his (quickly waining) relevance to gay fiction, and instead embracing his age and his status of a (albeit, unknown) literary icon.
Hotel de Dream runs with the myth that Stephen Crane -- The Red Badge of Courage -- once wrote a short story based on an (non-sexual) experience he had had with a teenage male prostitut
Sian Lile-Pastore
Feb 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, lgbtqi
This is our reading group book and reading group is tomorrow so I'm totally living on the edge.
If this hadn't been something I had to read I would probably have given up on it - it just didn't grab me and I wasn't crazy about the style of writing, but.. but, by the end I found parts of it really interesting. The thing I enjoyed the most was the double narrative - Stephen Crane is dying and writing a book - so half of the novel is about that, and then the other half of it is the story that Crane
Bob Redmond
Nov 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Two stories at once: Stephen Crane's dying days, and the story that Stephen Crane dictated from his deathbed. Both are as the author imagined, a big "what if" exercise. I think White would've done better to write the second novel (about a boy prostitute in late 19th-century New York) and then write an essay about the first (Stephen Crane being dragged from England to Germany as he died of TB). The end result is gorgeous writing, intriguing stories, but joined oddly. He called it "Hotel de Dream" ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
I always love Edmund White's ideas for novels, but the novels themselve almost always disappoint me. The novel within the novel just made for two thin stories. Teen prostitutes and transexuals aren't enough to make a story interesting, at least not anymore. Turn of the century details about New York or famous literary figures have been done much better in "The Alienist" or "The Master."
Marius Ghencea
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
Molto molto bello nella seconda parte del libro. Consiglio.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Edmund White is rightfully considered one of our finest living English-language writers, though his output is not as prolific as others in his cadre. Nevertheless, he has carved an indelible mark for himself in portraying both gay life and history in his works, his prose always luminous and his insights into the foibles of the human condition often profound.

In his deceptively slim novel, "Hotel de Dream", he re-imagines the final days of American literary phenomenon Stephen Crane, who is wasting
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why, but I have never much connected with Edmund White's writing. It wasn't for lack of trying. I have started more than a few of his books but soon lost interest. I managed to get through "A Boy's Own Story", which had its moments, but perhaps I just found it a little too much like my own discomfiting, sexually confused boyhood. I discovered Mr. White's memoir "The Last Symphony" and it was like being at a very long dinner party in which everyone was trying to impress one another w ...more
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit upfront, Edmund White isn't always my favorite gay author. But this novel is quite a gorgeous little thing. Ostensibly the American writer Stephen Crane at one point wrote (or spoke of writing) a book about male prostitution in turn-of-the-century New York City. White creates a fictional world in which Crane, dying of tuberculosis, dictates this piece of fiction to his "wife" hoping it will provide her with some income after his death. White has clearly done his homework, and the sect ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was ok

This was well written, and literary, but I don't think I liked it really.
It is based on the life (well death actually) of a American writer called Stephen Crane - an actual person, although I've never heard of him. He died in 1899, and knew Henry James & Josef Conrad.

The novel tells how he dictates his final novel to his wife, while he is dying of tuberculosis. It's a novel within a novel. The one he dictates would have been very controversial at the end of the 19th century - a story abo
David Freeland
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it just me, or does Edmund White keep getting better and better? This fascinating novel about the putative creation of Stephen Crane's "lost" novel about a boy prostitute is marvelously plotted and gripping throughout. There is also a novel-within-the-novel that is every bit as good as the "outside" narrative. At this point, White seems to have stripped away everything unnecessary; every sentence carries meaning. First-rate on every level.
I thought the book was quite well written and the plot was interesting. The idea that a person can be so fascinated and consumed by another human being and a situation is interesting and I felt that White created a tangible world. The book within the book was more a reflection of the author within the book's views and stance which was a smart way of expressing something that was considered taboo.
Louis Profeta
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Old, damp Sussex Castle, Stephan Crane, on his death bed from TB at age 26. He the author of The Red Badge of Courage has retreated to England with wife Cora, to avoid gossip about her past as a proprietress of a Florida bordello, the Hotel de Dream.

Very well written by Edmund White, previously wrote a study of Proust.
Maughn Gregory
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lgbt
Two heart-breaking stories in one: the final months of the life of iconic American author Stephen Crane, and the novel he is trying to finish before he dies, about a New York banker, family man who falls in love with a boy prostitute. White is a beautiful, daring, inventive writer, wonderful to read.
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book really impressed me. The historical elements combined with the fictional narrative seamlessly. I enjoyed both the New York story and the London story equally.
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! THis book keeps you at edge of your seat. It takes place in New York in the 1930's. Can't get better than that.
Patrick Ryan
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Who but Edmund White could bring Stephen Crane to life--even as Crane is dying? A wonderful novel about art, desire, and New York.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
So....Stephen Crane is dying (he write red badge of courage) and he's having his common law wife write down his last story, about gay life in NYC circa 1900. Maybe I would have cared if having Henry James and Joseph Conrad as walk on characters was interesting to me, but mostly the whole thing fell flat. The older married mans actions make no sense, and the wife, Cora, keeps cheerleading what is, as far as I can tell, a crappy melodramatic story.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Elliott... so i got this book for 3euros and it's suprisingly really good
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
In Hotel de Dream, Edmund White presents a fellow writer, a fellow-countryman called Stephen Crane. Stephen is well connected, but ill-equipped. We are in turn of the century England. That’s old-England, by the way, and we are tuning into the twentieth, not twenty-first century. Henry James drops by occasionally. Conrad sometimes stumbles hereabouts and Arnold Bennett throws in an occasional sentence. But Stephen’s social life is hardly hectic. He is ill, tubercular, and in need of treatment. He ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read widely in the "ganymede butt-boy buggaree" genre and am predisposed to a fondness for it. This, however, has to be one of the more slight entries in the annals of historical underage sodomy fiction. Which isn't to say I'm a size queen; the book felt over long at its low-200 pages, leaving this reader to sigh as he waited for it to finish up so at least sleep could come.

We eavesdrop on a dying Stephen Crane imagining a autumn-bear/spring-twink romance with his last few synapse firings,
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Edmund White is one of the most self-obsessed writers I have ever read. Not that this is a criticism of him as a writer but his fictional heroes are basically Edmund White transposed into different fictional situations. Along with three separate memoirs (!) and his novels 'A Boy's Own Story', 'The Married Man', 'Chaos' his collection of short stories, he never really strays away from his central theme: Edmund White.

So it was with real interest that I approached 'Hotel de Dream', a historical nov
Julie Failla Earhart
Aug 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
I picked up Hotel de Dream because I’d read that it was a great read and that it was a forerunner to the popular woman-behind-the-man novels that are so popular right now (think The Paris Wife by Paula McClain or The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin). Plus it had an extra bonus of having a novel-within-a-novel (Margaret Atwood’s The Assassins). I just love those types of books.

Hotel de Dream’s featured couple is Stephen and Cora Crane. Stephen is twenty-eight years-old and is dying of tubercul
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