The Glass Hotel

The Glass Hotel

A Novel

Book - 2020
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Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it's the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent's half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: 'Why don't you swallow broken glass.' Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, the story moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of the pasts.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2020.
Edition: First Edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780525521143
Characteristics: 301 pages ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

"From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes ... Read More »


Suggested by Lisa, Collection Services Manager - I loved Emily St. John Mandel's "Station Eleven" so much, I was prepared to be disappointed ... but The Glass Hotel was gripping! Vincent, the female protagonist, is an intriguing, likeable character and it's interesting to see the way sh... Read More »

Recommended by Mary V & Mary K, Administrative Services

A gorgeously written, immersive book about how easy it is to cross lines into questionable moral territory. At its center is Vincent, who loses her mother when she's 13 and as an adult makes her way into the heart of the Country of Money in New York City. Narrated by a number of well-drawn charac... Read More »

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Mar 28, 2021

The beginning of this novel, I was just hooked, like the first four chapters, were so atmospheric and spooky and I just thought her writing was brilliant, but then pretty quickly it changes to this whole thing about a Ponzi scheme and it just feels like she got carried away with her research on Ponzi schemes and way too much was included about it, it totally lost me, but there is so much that was still left hanging that I had to finish. The ending was okay. Had it gone a different direction in the beginning, this could have been amazing.

Mar 19, 2021

I'm not sure why this book gets such a high rating. I thought it was mediocre. At least it is a fast read.

Mar 06, 2021

There doesn’t seem to be a plot. Or it’s a very slowly developing plot, which I missed. I couldn’t finish this book.

Feb 28, 2021

Did not enjoy this book.
The connection between characters and events felt forced, and I am not sure what kind of book I had read when I finished reading it.
May be this book is beyond my level of literally appreciation.
I can't even remember how I came upon this book - I think it was recommended in a list of books by Canadian author or something like that. Wish I had skipped it.

AndreaG_KCMO Feb 24, 2021

This is my second St. John Mandel, and while I enjoyed Last Night in Montreal a bit more, this work showcases a mastery of storytelling and command of language. Her skill is imperceptible; in the act of reading, I am fully engaged. Between chapters and during breaks I recall how easy and beautiful and lingering those sentences are. The theme of willful ignorance resonates, and the use of haunting and ghosts as a device throughout the second half surprised me in the best way.

Feb 03, 2021

A dreary book full of unlikable characters. Pass.

Feb 02, 2021

I loved this book. At the beginning you're not sure where it'll go, but then the pace picks up and it forces you to keep reading to the end.

Jan 22, 2021

I had a hard time getting into this book but enjoyed reading it. It didn’t fully absorb me but the story telling is interesting and that’s what kept me reading. I didn’t particularly love any of the characters but they are written as real humans, flawed but trying to find their way in the world as we all are. A good book but not amazing.

Jan 13, 2021

Excellent book. I preferred it to Station 11, very good descriptions.

Dec 31, 2020

Only familiar with the author through reading Station Eleven, I was disappointed when I heard about the basic plot of this novel. I had been hoping for more of the speculative fiction Station Eleven kind of story. However, it quickly won me over. A novel with several threads can sometimes lose me, but I found all the threads to be compelling. The style is very similar to Station Eleven, meaning many jumps from character to character and across time lines. So, yes, sometime I found myself going back to previous chapters to try and sort things out. In the end, it all came together in a very satisfying way. If you loved Station Eleven, keep on the lookout for some overlapping characters (and don't worry too much about how they could exist in both fictional universes).

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