Neil's Reviews > Hotel du Lac

Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
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it was ok
bookshelves: 2016

A woman arrives at a hotel and is gradually introduced to the other guests. She makes the rounds talking to each of them, gets the low down on some from others, hears a bit about their background. For the first half of this book, I thought I was reading a Miss Marple mystery. I was waiting for a scream and a dead body. I did get the scream at one point, which, for me, was the highlight of the book because it seemed like the author knew the impression she was creating and then joked about it with the reader.

But, in fact, the rest of the book left me rather cold. I found it rather pretentious: there are a lot of words used in this book that aren’t necessarily completely obscure, but they aren’t what normal people would say and, to me, they sit uncomfortably in the book. I won’t list them here, but the use of “crepitate” did annoy me. At one point, Edith felt the hairs on the back of her neck begin to crepitate”. Now, I understand “crepitate” to mean crackling and popping noises (in my advancing age, one of my knees crepitates when I walk down stairs). If the hairs on the back of my neck crepitated, I think I would see a doctor. Or join a circus. Plus, crepitate seems to refer to a noise, not something felt. Anyway, that’s just a personal thing: there were just a few too many pretentious words and phrases.

I’m sure there are subtleties in this book that have passed me by. The trouble is, I don’t really care because I didn’t find it interesting enough to want to care or to invest any effort in it. I didn’t engage with any of the characters and, to be honest, I was glad when I could say goodbye to all of them.

Not my kind of book.
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Reading Progress

November 30, 2016 – Shelved
December 3, 2016 – Started Reading
December 4, 2016 –
page 118
64.13%
December 5, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Richard Allen I was very disappointed by this, can't believe it won the Booker. Dreary and dull


Paula If this was the best they could find for an award winner that year, perhaps the Man Booker Prize should take a lead and not award one, as do the folks at the Pulitzers. I would not have finished it had I not felt sorry for it.


Neil Paula wrote: "If this was the best they could find for an award winner that year, perhaps the Man Booker Prize should take a lead and not award one, as do the folks at the Pulitzers. I would not have finished it..."

It was contentious. This was the year Flaubert's Parrot and Empire of the Sun were shortlisted. I haven't read either, but I understand from what I have read that most people thought both these were better (along with several other books!).


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