Hotel Du Lac Paperback – Feb 1 1994
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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.
"Brookner's most absorbing novel...wryly realistic...graceful and attractive." ?Anne Tyler, The New York Times Book Review
"Impeccably written and suffused with pleasing wit." ?Newsweek
"Distinctive, spellbinding...elegant but passionate, funny but oddly earnest.... Novels like hers are why we read novels." ?Christian Science Monitor
"A remarkable novel...Anita Brookner's best." ?Victoria Glendinning, The Sunday Times (London)
Top Customer Reviews
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.
What develops is an extended meditation on the need for love and marriage and companionship. Ms Hope is all too passive in the face of these great issues. As she tells her agent:
''People love (the story of the tortoise and the hare), especially women. Now you will notice, Harold, that in my books it is the mouse-like unassuming girl who gets the hero, while the scornful temptress with whom he has had a stormy affair retreats baffled from the fray, never to return. The tortoise wins every time. This is a lie, of course. . . . In real life, of course, it is the hare who wins. Every time. Look around you. And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market. Axiomatically. . . . Hares have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game. The propaganda goes all the other way, but only because it is the tortoise who is in need of consolation. Like the meek who are going to inherit the earth.''
In the end, even if she doesn't necessarily get her man, she proves to be the tortoise emerging "victorious" once again.
This is a wry, witty novel, sort of a humorous update of an E.M. Forster tale. But it's an extremely slender story and the docility of it's central character is quite annoying.Read more ›
The melancholy yet lovely coming of autumn on the shores of the lake is as much an integral part of the story as the heroine's lonely and reflective voice. The other guests at the hotel frame Edith's awareness and become major catalysts of the book's plot. The sadness of the events Edith reveals to the reader is always balanced by her deliciously honest irony toward herself--her awareness that she has chosen her destiny. The ending is remarkable.
I read Hotel du Lac when it was first published and again recently. It's even better on re-reading, richer and deeper, proving itself a contemporary classic. Anita Brookner has a voice that's unique, original, and, certainly in this book, perfect.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on June 26 2010 by Tigersoup
All I can say is that the book is not a true image of the hotel nor the place, (Vevey Switzerland) itself. Read morePublished on April 2 2002
Very subtle and understanding analysis of how a woman who likes her own company could choose singleness...Deep and entertaining reading!Published on Jan. 27 2002 by doriana bruni
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 21 2001 by Manola Sommerfeld
Potential Readers Beware: This book is subtle, intelligent, witty, heartbreaking, arid, sensuous, eloquent and luminous. Read morePublished on May 20 2001
Anita Brookner is one of the best writers today. I read Hotel du Lac right after Undue Influence and was not disappointed. Read morePublished on April 17 2001 by Mr. NY Reader
Had just read Altered States, which I loved. Thought, if Hotel du Lac won the Booker Prize, it must be great, right? Wrong. Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2000 by Lisa J. Fruitt
This is yet another excercise in semi-autobiographical snoring by an otherwise capable writer.
Why do they DO this? Read more