The White Hotel Paperback – 3 Jun 2004
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"A novel of blazing imaginative and intellectual force."--Salman Rushdie
"To describe this novel as spine-tingling in its indescribable poetic effect would be to trivialize its profoundly tragic theme. Say then that it is heart-stunning."--"The New York Times"
"Astonishing . . . elegantly experimental yet quite warm . . . A forthright sensuality mixed with a fine historical feeling for the nightmare moments in modern history, a dreamlike fluidity and quickness."--John Updike, "The New Yorker"
"A dazzler that lingers in the mind."--"People "
A novel of blazing imaginative and intellectual force. Salman Rushdie
To describe this novel as spine-tingling in its indescribable poetic effect would be to trivialize its profoundly tragic theme. Say then that it is heart-stunning. "The New York Times"
Astonishing . . . elegantly experimental yet quite warm . . . A forthright sensuality mixed with a fine historical feeling for the nightmare moments in modern history, a dreamlike fluidity and quickness. John Updike, "The New Yorker"
A dazzler that lingers in the mind. "People "" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A novel of searing eroticism and sensuality set against the broad sweep of twentieth-century history, the Booker Prize shortlisted THE WHITE HOTEL is a modern classic.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Sometimes a person just has to come right out and say "This one grabbed me by the rear," and let it go at that. This is a book that really has to be experienced first-hand. My only word of advice is not to give up on the book too soon. It's absolutely unclear in the first 40 or 50 pages where Thomas is taking you and he doesn't present too promising a train ride at that stage. Settle in for the journey. Look out the window and watch as the landscape starts becoming more recognizable. The landmarks with which you thought you were earlier familiar, start revealing themselves in entirely new patterns. For this is a novel about revelation, more than anything else. Readers just have to trust that "all will be revealed" by novel's end, and it is, magnificently.
Thomas performs a near-miraculous feat in this novel. Reading The White Hotel is akin to looking through a an extremely high-powered telescope and what at first looks likes fuzzy, indiscreet blurs, become unbelievably colorful and complex nebulae and galaxies as the instrument's focus is adjusted. The book begins with a long poem, full of erotic imagery and near-incoherent description, that we are startled to learn is written by a woman.Read more ›
'The White Hotel' is an extraordinary book. It was given the highest recommendation by my best friend, and it is a read I will never forget. It is taken from the case history of Lisa Erdman, an early patient of Sigmund Freud; the book explores her case of sexual hysteria and finds the way to self destructiveness. The scenes with Lisa and Dr.Freud are fascinating. They take her back into childhood and into her dreams. Lisa's erotic dreams are almost visions. They are premonitions to Lisa of death and destruction. Freud helps Lisa to resume her normal life as an opera singer, and we are brought into the world of opera as Lisa finds it. She remarries and settles in the Ukraine with her husband and step-son, and then the unraveling begins. Their harrowing adventures will leave you on the edge. As life as Lisa knows it begins to crumble, so do we.
"Lisa's story is told three times. Once, as a long letter of erotic ramblings by a psychotic, once in image steeped poetry, and finally, as narrative prose, in the dry tone of a doctor discussing a case, complete with musings and asides.Read more ›
Based on Freud's case studies, and the historical documentation of the massacre at Babi Yar (Babi Yar ), this draws a disturbing picture of Lisa Erdman from her life in 1920s Vienna when she is a patient of Freud's, to her presence in Kiev in 1941 when the Nazis tried to exterminate all Jews from the city.
The link between Lisa/Anna's story and the holocaust is a muted one which creeps up on us as the book progresses, and that Freud himself, of course, was forced to flee Vienna for sanctuary in London in 1939 is kept in the background.
To Thomas's credit he manages to find a kind of catharsis with which to end this book, though that doesn't - and shouldn't - make parts of it almost unbearable reading.
So this isn't light or easy reading though it is very accessible. I first read this as a rather precocious teenager and don't think I had the maturity or knowledge then to really appreciate it. This is haunting, difficult and brilliantly audacious - highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A savage 'poem' and an eloquent essay on the psychological perversity of war.Published 1 month ago by Fabian Jollywigs
Nothing more to add beyond the headline. What a great find, at 43 years of age. I will try hunters in the snow nextPublished 1 month ago by james
Found in a note I'd made long ago, found it on amazon and was delighted to be in a position to order itPublished on 9 Oct. 2013 by Warwick Smith
Truly a masterpiece. Has all the ingredients of a modern classic and a lot more besides. It left me spellbound.Published on 7 Oct. 2013 by JohnsonG
I have always meant to read this but never got round to it. Now that I have I am rather amazed. Not what I expected and I will have to read it again before I begin to really... Read morePublished on 14 May 2013 by PT