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Hotels of North America

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,473 ratings  ·  302 reviews
From the acclaimed Rick Moody, a darkly comic portrait of a man who comes to life in the most unexpected of ways: through his online reviews.

Reginald Edward Morse is one of the top reviewers on, where his many reviews reveal more than just details of hotels around the globe--they tell his life story.

The puzzle of Reginald's life comes together through r
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.22  · 
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Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews
Whenever one communicates, no matter the means or subject, one reveals a bit of himself. I am acutely aware of this and often tend to keep my thoughts, lightly dancing in the safety of my cranium, to myself. The reason of this could be that this is simply an innate characteristic, or a consequence of some buried childhood traumas. Whatever the case, the result is that I like to keep myself close to my chest, as it were. Maybe that is why people around me sigh in exasperation when, after asking a ...more
The cheap hotel where I started reading this novella had a high rating on TripAdvisor, which was why I'd taken a chance on a non-refundable booking a few days earlier. But the morning after I paid, I looked more closely - including at its recent reviews, which were appalling. I became increasingly apprehensive. Would it be so intolerable I'd have to run away back home? Was my money gone on a pig-in-a-poke, or like the victim of a bank run before savings guarantees existed?

On arrival, I left my
Olivia "So many books--so little time.""
Most unique novel consisting of reviews of hotels and motels posted by the protagonist on an online review site. In the reviews he tells much more about himself and his loneliness than he tells about the hotels and motels. This book is amazing.
Larry H
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
As a society, we're kind of obsessed with giving our opinions about everything—restaurants, movies, businesses, products, etc. (No, the irony is not lost on me that I'm making this comment in a book review I'm writing.)

While many of these reviews you find on sites like Yelp or Amazon (or Goodreads) can be useful, have you ever stopped to wonder what possesses people to share stream-of-consciousness ramblings that have very little relevancy to what is being reviewed? And while we're at it, have
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read2016
I picked this up at the public library on a whim but my hesitations at the beginning (I read the first 50 pages waiting for some work on my car) continued through the end. I wasn't as intrigued with the hotel reviewer as I think as I was supposed to be, so my interest in the story would wax and wane as quickly as his hotel opinions. Definitely one you can pick up, read a few pages of, and leave on a stack for a while before returning to. There is just not a lot of momentum to be had in the first ...more
Wayne Gladstone
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a highly original, funny, and moving book that breaks the conventions of traditional story-telling. Although the novel is a series of hotel reviews from an online critic, it's really a mystery: who is this reviewer? Can you divine a man from his online opinions? Well, fortunately for the reader, when the online critic cares more for talking about himself than the hotels he's purportedly reviewing, you can. But, because this narrator does not excel in self-awareness, his true nature is s ...more
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, audiobook
Overall, the book worked for me, but I'd be very hesitant in recommending it to my friends. Starts out in the vein of a cranky hotel reviewer, but that aspect fades until the latter part of the book is pretty much all about his personal life, which is basically a dysfunctional mess (by implication). I suppose that if I had to describe the story in a single word that'd be "quirky"; however, there's also an aspect of Murakami-like surrealism at times - a collection of dark vignettes, if you will. ...more

Many readers insist that online reviewing is shallow, that reviewers are vindictive, that their prose is bad, that they want for human feeling, that their physical isolation...suggests that the worst possible instincts are liable to come to the surface in this online reviewing process. 149

This may very well be true of some online reviews. Of course, the reviews he is writing are ostensibly regarding hotels, but the quote above is flexible. Here on GR I have read enough of those picky, meanspirit
Jason Pettus
May 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hipster, contemporary
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

So before anything else, I should mention that I've never read the two big early books that first made Rick Moody famous, 1992's Garden State and 1994's The Ice Storm, so have no basis for comparing his newer books to this one; but that said, I've been hugely disappointed by the handful of his books I've r
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a sly and subversive novel. Ostensibly the collated writings of online hotel reviewer Reginald Edward Morse (geddit!?), author Rick Moody warns on the copyright page that ‘Persons and places in the book are either fictional or are used fictionally’.

Continuing the dizzying meta-fictional elusiveness, Moody – as a character in his own novel – remarks in an Afterword to Morse’s officially sanctioned collection that ‘this is not a book about hotels but a collection of writings about what it mea
Lynn K.
Oct 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
*Disclaimer* I received this ARC from a GR giveaway

I was really excited about winning this book. It seemed like it was a quirky, weirdly formatted novel, and I'm a sucker for that. I made it to page 44 and realized that I just wasn't enjoying reading it. I was bored.

The main characters are bourgeois grifters, and I think that maybe this is supposed to be a social commentary, but if it is it doesn't come across clearly.

I skipped ahead to the afterword hoping that it would lend some insight and m
online motel reviewer tells of his sordid and sad life through his travels/reviews . has timeline for reader to keep track of his situations/partners or lack of, in given times and places. a 'classic' of 'modern' usa ennui, virtual communications, pomo literature. l loved this, some readers could very well loath it. ...more
Definitely dove into Hotels of North America for a challenge and it just happened to be my next travel book as well. Now that there's a reviewer for basically anything.. because I mean we write book reviews on this website. So people who review hotels and motels seems realistic to me.

Instead of just getting reviews, we get so much more from this book. It was interesting to see what Morse was going through whether it was writing reviews or his personal life. He went from an investment baker to be
Kasa Cotugno
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rick Moody is an author who continues to surprise me. Most of my reading of his works took place before recording here, but I remember well his deconstruction of 70's suburban America in The Ice Storm as well as several of his short stories. I must admit struggling with his science fiction, but Hotels of North America is in a class by itself. There is really nothing else like it. Reginald E. Morse is a motivational speaker who spends a lot of time on the road due to the nature of his work. But h ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Moody satirizes online reviewing culture (hey everybody!) with pitch-perfect aplomb here while also creating a masterful work of layered metafiction. If it could've been novella length instead of its 199 pages, apparently making it more "novel" than "novella", it might've been perfect. But perhaps the imperfections are what make the book palatable, real, understandable and conceivable as opposed to obviously fictional. These are not just reviews of a hotel but scenes from a life, shared at arm's ...more
Katy St. Clair
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
A masturbatory book about a masturbatory guy who writes masturbatory "reviews." There were a few funny moments but I can't see this book being published if it was his first. He's skating on the name Rick Moody. ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
The conceit of the novel is that of an author who reviews of a wide range of hotels for an online site, an intriguing concept. If you can wade through the author’s preoccupation with masturbation, semen and bed bugs there are some choice bits.
Robert Stewart
Jan 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
My brow must have furrowed in concern when, upon referring to the “Also By Rick Moody” page inside of his ninth and latest work of fiction, I discovered I have read all but one of them. I imagine the only thing stopping me from reading 2010’s The Four Fingers of Death, is that aside from a couple of short stories in The Ring of Brightest Angles Around Heaven (1995) and Demonology (2002), and the three novellas in Right Livelihoods (2007), I’ve never considered myself a big fan of his work. I eve ...more
John Vanderslice
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
It hurts me not to rave about any Rick Moody title, since I've long thought and frequently said that he's the most naturally talented American wordsmith of my generation. Incredibly gifted with language, never at a loss for inventive story ideas, genius-level book smarts, and yet with this ear close to the ground. His books are always interesting and often astonishing. But Hotels of North American really fell flat for me. On the surface the premise of the novel sounds nifty, an interesting form ...more
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
A Superb Fictional Look at the Present Courtesy of an Obscure Writer and his Online Hotel Reviews

In the short span of two months, three notable works of fiction have been published this year that delve richly into metafiction, starting with Catherynne Valente's "Radiance", followed by David Mitchell's "Slade House", and now, Rick Moody's "Hotels of North America". All three are notable for their surprisingly original takes on the novel, not least because of their reliance on metafiction, but Moo
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've liked other Moody's better, but I've also been intrigued by other Moody's less. I've certainly been less torn by other Moody's. The concept is definitely interesting, though perhaps a little gimicky. The main interest for me is in the form (which I've already said can be a bit gimicky), the narrator's thought pattern (which can get a bit exhausting to read sometimes), and in the story between the lines (which I'm not sure is quite enough). I'm just not sure how to come down on this one fina ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this quirky book, with it's lovely writing and sly humor. It appears to be a compilation of seemingly random hotel reviews from a "top online reviewer", Reginald Morse. In review after review, a little more of him is revealed until the hotel reviews are secondary to his musings on his life. This book is not for everyone, but I appreciated the unique concept, wry observations and wonderful prose. ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Heard the author Rick Moody interviewed on Fresh Air and immediately ordered this book. The book uses a travel blog as a vehicle for telling the protagonists economic and personal rises and falls. Lesson learned: pithy satirical observations told over radio are entertaining but exhausting when compiled for an entire book.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
When you enter the negative universe of Rick Moody's "Hotels of North America," remember you are walking the same path Jonathan Swift took with "Gulliver's Travels," and J.P. Donleavy's "The Ginger Man." That way, when you read the hilarious scatalogical adventures of Reginald Edward Morse you won't stop at the political incorrectness. The "hero" of this novel, the unreliable narrator, disburthens himself of his adventures in hotels across the USA, throwing in a few in Europe for good measure. T ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fic
Have you ever read a book and just known that the author has to be a jerk in real life? I couldn't help but feel like Rick Moody must be everything I hate about the mildly successful male authors I've had the displeasure of knowing.

You can tell he thinks his writing is terribly clever, which I suppose I should have expected going it to this when the premise is that the book is written entirely in hotel reviews. I love the breadth of words available to us in the English vocabulary, but resent Mo
Adam Dalva
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I tend to be reluctant to review books by people I know, but I can't resist reviewing a book of reviews housed on an imagined website of reviews (that I have a review of a hotel on:

But it is an easy task to review this book because I loved it. The premise that we assemble details of the life of R.E. Morse through his hotel reviews has some pleasant shades of Pale Fire, and the facts of his character are smartly doled out. But what carries this is the o
Melinda Worfolk
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2015-2019
I started this book last year and put it down for some reason. It was good, so I wasn't sure why I never picked it back up again. On reflection, I think it's because there's not a lot of narrative tension--this is really just a series of vignettes. It's quite clever and very meta--the conceit is that the book is the collected internet reviews of a man named Reginald E. Morse (the name is important later). He stays in hotels (many rather insalubrious) and writes reviews of them that often delve f ...more
Sean Kinch
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Readers will detect similarities with George Saunders (and Ben Marcus, Sam Lipsyte, Nabokov), but the ranting style here is Moody's own. His penchant for the diatribe, the catalogue, the litany goes back to the first pages of THE ICE STORM. Here he unleashes page-plus iterations on lessons in masculinity, the meaning of home, what one cherishes in a young child, and more.

Not sure how to categorize this sad, funny, brilliant novel except to say that, like all great literature, it enriches the rea
lark benobi
I can't believe this is the same author who wrote The Ice Storm and also the completely different-from-either-of-these On Celestial Music: And Other Adventures in Listening. These are all magnificent reads in their own way, all very daring. ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Especially eery/incredible when reading while also traveling through hotels of North America. I was sitting on my bedspread when Morse explored the horrors of hotel bedspreads, making me strip my mine off and sleep in a bathrobe. The part about the child was beyond.
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Rick Moody (born Hiram Frederick Moody, III on October 18, 1961, New York City), is an American novelist and short story writer best known for The Ice Storm (1994), a chronicle of the dissolution of two suburban Connecticut families over Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, which brought widespread acclaim, and became a bestseller; it was later made into a feature film.

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