- Hardcover: 257 pages
- Publisher: Sceptre; 1st edition (2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340831219
- ISBN-13: 978-0340831212
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 22.2 x 2.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,189,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Weeping Women Hotel Hardcover – 1 Jan 2006
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Sayle proves once again that he is no literary dilettante but the real thing (Daily Express)
'Alexei Sayle excels. The Weeping Women Hotel is an enjoyable page-turner with a curious plot. If you like your weirdness with warmth and wit, Sayle's your man.' (Metro)
A brilliant writer ... a great novelist (Richard and Judy)
He just seems to keep getting better and better - more supple, more confident and more violent. This is a funny, frightening book which is also refreshingly bonkers. (Guardian)
'Sayle's energy has been boiling over in collections of short stories and novels of immense literary sophistication - books that are also bed-wettingly funny.With his high-spirited loathing of pretension, he could be our new Kingsley Amis.' (Roger Lewis, Sunday Express )
'This is a novel composed of surreal flights of fancy and spot-on comedy.' (Katy Guest, Independent)
The latest novel from highly acclaimed writer Alexei Sayle - bleak, hilarious and completely uniqueSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
"Weeping Women Hotel" is written mostly from the points of view of two sisters. When I started reading this I found it difficult to believe that Sayle could pull off getting into the mind of a woman, but he managed it successfully as far as I'm concerned (but then what would I know as a man!). It would be interesting to find out the views of women readers of the book on this! The characterisation of the women, Harriet (fat and unattractive) and her sister Helen (successful and good-looking) is excellent throughout. they are both thoroughly believable characters even though at times Sayle tends to describe things in a whimsical manner and the names and personalities of a few of the minor characters are less believable.
The plot concerns the introduction of Harriet to a bizarre martial arts cult and her subsequent development. A side plot involves Helen and her semi-imaginary friend, an Argentinian puppeteer. The plots intertwine nicely and by the end are building to what seems like a frightening conclusion. However, the book stops rather suddenly. I was left looking for a missing chapter. hence, 4 stars rather than 5 for what is otherwise a very enjoyable book.Read more ›
This book has an ambitious sub-text, and it is about women who struggle to make sense of a hostile world. The novel opens with battered, bruised, Harriet checking into a hotel somewhere near Crewe where she will stay until her money runs out, then take a menial job at the hotel for room and board. The novel then proceeds to tell the story of how she got there. It is not exactly what one might guess from Harriet's physical condition.
The novel takes on conventional standards of beauty, the soullessness of modern culture and community, the failure of spiritual beliefs to provide solace, and in general copes as well as any novel can with such a disparate and wide-ranging, not to say unfocused, range of subjects. Alexei Sayle writes well from a woman's viewpoint and the novel is engaging and amusing, as well as attempting some serious under-the-surface commentary. Much of it verges on the surreal, however, and it is this that some readers may find distracting. This is a pity because, viewed in its entirety, it is a highly original and entertaining book.
The story is mostly about Harriet, a lonely overweight woman who gets into absurd situations with her personal trainer and various other misfits.
The minimal plot is just a vehicle for Alexei Sayle's wacky humour, which is fine, except that you have to read the novel if you want to find the jokes. We keep rambling along some tangent or other in search of another laugh, but these get less frequent as the book progresses, to the point where it just becomes nonsense.
The writing isn't too bad but could have done with more editing, especially punctuation. Recommended for those who have no other books to hand and nothing much else to do.
And, it was pretty good. It starts off with a battered woman coming to a hotel, then taking you back to a year ago, where we find out how she came to get there, along with a sneery look at the way people live today (in a modern London suburb).
Although the ending wasn't as dramatic as it could be, it was a very good read, and one that made me laugh aloud at points, which is what you'd expect from someone like Alexi Sayle.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well-executed novel whose plot and characters are the perfect vehicle for Sayle's dark, slightly absurdist brand of humour. Read morePublished on 15 Sept. 2014 by Evolutionary Artefact
one of his best, this tale will keep you gripped from page one, tragic, and inspirational at the same timePublished on 3 Jan. 2014 by martie t
not as good as some of his other excellent work. But i can't stop saying soup swoop loop the loopPublished on 7 Feb. 2013 by Junia Cleary
An easy enough and even fairly entertaining read, but my goodness me what a let down!
A load of stuff that just finishes.
A waste of time.
It's a great puzzle. There are plenty of media luvvies out there who are so clever and witty (like Sayle) and yet whenever they write a book they usually write about nothing but... Read morePublished on 29 July 2008 by SAP
One of the best books I've read in 12 months - very funny, especially on the London, charity and gym/body scenes (these probably transpute to other cities and cultures). Read morePublished on 18 July 2007 by Ellie
...but close. On one level, it was readable, in that I didn't struggle to finish it and there were some genuinely funny bits, particularly the Paul Coelho jibes. Read morePublished on 15 July 2007 by Emma
I enjoyed Alexei's other books, but this one is his best to date, imho. I read it at a time when I needed some serious encouragement - and I got it. Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2006 by Ms. S. E. Pitt