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Hotel Du Lac [Paperback]

Anita Brookner
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1994
Hotel du Lac is the classic Booker Prize winning novel by Anita Brookner. Into the rarefied atmosphere of the Hotel du Lac timidly walks Edith Hope, romantic novelist and holder of modest dreams. Edith has been exiled from home after embarrassing herself and her friends. She has refused to sacrifice her ideals and remains stubbornly single. But among the pampered women and minor nobility Edith finds Mr Neville, and her chance to escape from a life of humiliating spinsterhood is renewed..."A classic ...a book which will be read with pleasure a hundred years from now". (Spectator). "A smashing love story. It is very romantic. It is also humorous, witty, touching and formidably clever". (The Times). "Hotel du Lac is written with a beautiful grave formality, and it catches at the heart". (Observer). "Her technique as a novelist is so sure and so quietly commanding". (Hilary Mantel, Guardian). "She is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction". (Literary Review). Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Edith Hope (a.k.a. romance author Veronica Wilde) has been banished by her friends to a stately hotel in Switzerland. During her stay she befriends some of the other guests, each of whom has his or her own tale. Edith struggles to come to terms with her career and love--the lack, the benefits, and the meaning thereof. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


A smashing love story. It is very romantic. It is also humorous, witty, touching and formidably clever The Times A classic...a book which will be read with pleasure a hundred years from now Spectator Written with a beautiful grave formality, and it catches at the heart Observer She is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction Literary Review

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
From the window all that could be seen was a receding area of grey. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Entree Dec 19 1999
Faithful devotees of Anita Brookner will want to return again and again to the groundbreaking "Hotel du Lac" as to a kind of sacred literary scripture. This book, with which its creator cast her authorial fishing line out into the world and brought back the considerable catch of the prestigious Booker Prize, is a perfect little novel with a modest voice and absolutely devastating proportions. Though several of Brookner's later books might justly leap into the boxing ring, throw out their chests and duke it out with "Hotel du Lac" for the honor of being the author's best, it is easy to see why "Hotel du Lac" attracted so much attention to its pretty self in the first place. Surrounded by crowds of Brookner admirers, it fans itself calmly, smiles with assurance, and opens wide its lovely eyes to acknowledge the presence of those who think it remarkable. "Hotel du Lac" takes place in an exotic setting. It focusses on a child's handful of characters who slip, at first nearly unnoticed, into the inner caverns of one's brain and remain lodged there with the tenacity of veteran spelunkers. The short time span covered by the book's plot intensifies the urgency of the action to a very heightened degree, as if chef Brookner were heating up the whole concoction in a kind of high tech literary pressure cooker. The result is a flavorful feast for anyone who cares to acquire a taste for her unique fusion of carefully chosen ingredients: the intense internal monologue; observation of phenomena in nearly microscopic detail; the situation of those who, by choice or otherwise, must live their lives essentially alone. Edith Hope, the book's main character, once met can never be forgotten. Why not walk by her side for the short space of these twelve lovely chapters? Would her decisions be yours? "Hotel du Lac" is a particularly intriguing resort destination, well worth the price of a week on its venerable verandahs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars read and re-read 5 times Oct. 23 1999
i will confess that for no reason apparent to me, i am hurt some people didn't like it much. perhaps i think it says something about my taste in books. in any case, i've read reviews of penelope fitzgerald's blue flower and thought the same thing then that i think when i read the reviews here--both are luminescent books and there is something ephemeral about they way they resonate for the people who love them that is muted and subterranean, but persistent and i can well understand that perhaps such subtlety-bordering-on-invisiblilty isn't for everyone. i often think of it as a peculiarly rational femininity. i have wondered for some time whether the two sets of reviewers are congruent; those that dislike this book disliked the blue flower as well and vice versa.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book I'd recommend. March 10 2002
By jinx
It took me forever to get into "Hotel du Lac." I love Jane Austen and I love Anne Tyler and this books sorta straddles both and was recommended to me by a used bookstore owner who said his wife liked it.
Finally after several chapters I got hooked and I read it slowly enough to relish it. I lived in Geneva and Basle so I could understand the place and was fascinated to read her version of Lake Geneva. The book slowly unfolds and has the unexpected twists you get in mysteries and at the end you are still puzzling - it isn't so neat in fact like a good movie it makes you want to go out and discuss it with others. The reviews here make me think the people who are reading it prefer action novels and would be the last people I'd like to discuss this book with.
But I really loved it. I'm only sorry every one says it's her best as I'd like to read others by her and not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and very enjoyable Feb. 2 1999
By A Customer
I really enjoyed this book, which I read in one enjoyable afternoon. The author made me laugh, kept me in suspense, and provoked my thinking. I wrote down numerous quotations to remember later. Two of the main issues the author looks at are: the idea that two people will never be able to create a peaceful existence together, and; the notion that the key to happiness is found in perfect selfishness, renouncing love. Brookner makes a great case for these two ideas.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time June 26 2010
Luckily I only paid $2 for this book. It was hard to get started (this was my second go at it). It got better, then I just wanted to find out what happens. The characters are bland, and stereotyped. The book first published in 1984, was more suited for that time. Boring dialogue, boring setting, and predictable throughout.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I read the book at the back of Hotel Du Lac April 2 2002
By A Customer
All I can say is that the book is not a true image of the hotel nor the place, (Vevey Switzerland) itself. But this was passed as a fiction so scratch that out and give this award-winning novel a break.
I just saw on Amazon that there's a used book for $0.47, go click on that and keep this book as part of your collection.
Could have been a 2-star, but I have a penchant for reading books such as Tojours Provence and Bella Tuscany in the exact places that they were described in the book. So sentimental me....huhuhu
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reasons for being single Jan. 27 2002
Very subtle and understanding analysis of how a woman who likes her own company could choose singleness...Deep and entertaining reading!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Hotel du Lack! Sept. 22 2001
The anti-heroine of the book, Edith, describes her hotel room as drab. She might as well have been describing the whole novel. There are no redeeming qualities here. There is not a single lovable character in the entire story. These are our choices: Mrs. Pusey and her daughter, both of them so divine that probably do not need to ever go to the bathroom, Monica and her obnoxious dog, the caricature of Mme. de Bonneuil, the hotelier and his airs of grandeur, and slimy Mr. Neville. We also hear about Penelope, who happens to be Edith's neighbor and best friend, and we can only feel sorry for Edith. Of course, that sorrow lasts for about 2 seconds, because Edith is a vocational doormat. The descriptions of place are stuffy, and the sky is gray all the time! The ending is depressing, because nothing happens to Edith. She does not become a better, stronger person after her vacation. She stays the same way, being a passive, boring pushover. What I want to know is what the judges of the Booker prize were thinking! Maybe the competition that year was even more terrible.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Subtle & Winsome Masterpiece
Potential Readers Beware: This book is subtle, intelligent, witty, heartbreaking, arid, sensuous, eloquent and luminous. Read more
Published on May 20 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer and great book
Anita Brookner is one of the best writers today. I read Hotel du Lac right after Undue Influence and was not disappointed. Read more
Published on April 17 2001 by Mr. NY Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars wry, witty novel
Edith Hope is a British spinster whose friends have packed her off to the Hotel Du Lac in Switzerland so that she can regroup after a horrible social disgrace, which is not... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2000 by Orrin C. Judd
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem
Hotel du Lac is Anita Brookner at her best (recognizing that she's a writer who either draws you into her spell or doesn't.) In this novel she held me spellbound. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2000 by marzipan
1.0 out of 5 stars dull and disappointing
Had just read Altered States, which I loved. Thought, if Hotel du Lac won the Booker Prize, it must be great, right? Wrong. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2000 by Lisa J. Fruitt
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothin' happenin' at the Hotel du Lac
This is yet another excercise in semi-autobiographical snoring by an otherwise capable writer.
Why do they DO this? Read more
Published on April 22 2000 by :)
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get into it...does it get better?
Ick. Really boring. I was really in the mood to read, and after 10 pages I gave it up. Very flat and airless.Is this one worth being patient about? Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2000 by Maureen
1.0 out of 5 stars Insipid Love
The plot is unconvincing and lacking in depth. The heroine, Edith Hope, takes a break in a respectable lakeside Swiss hotel, escaping for a while from the immediate consequences... Read more
Published on Dec 26 1999 by William Scraggs
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