THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
In this satirical fictional novel by Paul Theroux, a drained writer takes a job as a hotel manager in a seedy "multistory hotel", where each character has a story. Theroux himself called it a cross between The Canterbury Tales and Seinfeld, a perfect description for this collection of tales from hotel staff and downtrodden guests. There is no conventional plot; the stories are loosely connected through the voice of the narrator who watches it all from his position at the hotel. "Nothing to me is so erotic as a hotel room, and therefore so penetrated with life and death" he says, summarizing his fascination and revulsion with human nature. The characters are raw, with debaucherous multi-millionaires, mail order brides, and want-to-be-nun-turned-prostitutes, and their stories often gravitate toward sex and death. This isn't a travel book that needs to be read in preparation for a trip to Hawaii, but an interesting read nonetheless, especially by fans of Theroux.
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A FEW OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS FROM PAUL THEROUX (click here for more)
Paul Theroux is certainly one of the world's prominent travel writers. See more from Paul Theroux here.
THE OPENING TO HOTEL HONOLULU
"Nothing to me is so erotic as a hotel room, and therefore so penetrated with life and death. Buddy Hamstra offered me a hotel job in Honolulu, and laughed at my accepting it so quickly. I had been trying to begin a new life, as people do when they flee to distant places. Hawaii was paradise with heavy traffic. I met Sweetie at the hotel, where she was also working. One day when we were alone on the fourth floor, I asked, "Do you want to make love?", and she said "Part of me does." Why smile? At last we did it, then often, and always in the same vacant hotel room, 409. Sweetie got pregnant, our daughter was born. So, within a year of arriving, I had my new life, and as the writer said after the crack-up, I found new things to care about I was the resident manager of the Hotel Honolulu, eighty rooms nibbled by rats."
- Paul Theroux, Hotel Honolulu