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Hotel Du Lac Paperback – Feb 1 1994

3.0 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK (Feb. 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140147470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140147476
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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)

About the Author

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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 immediately revealed to us. Ms Hope it turns out is a romance novelist, writing under a pseudonym. She spends her days at the Hotel working on her new novel, going for walks and taking tea with her colorful fellow guests and looking back at the chain of events which brought her to this place in her life.
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.
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By marzipan on Sept. 19 2000
Format: Paperback
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. A young woman has been sent by well-meaning friends to respectable Swiss lakeside hotel, elegant and restfully dull, to get over a disastrous love affair. But as in all of Anita Brookner's novels, there are deep layers to apparent dullness, and the traquillity of the hotel's atmosphere and the predictability of its guests is only apparent.
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.
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Format: Paperback
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 of a social indiscretion which she recently committed at home in England. The story concerns her relationships with people who are only acquaintances: her fellow guests in the Hotel du Lac and at home her neighbour and her housekeeper. In often flowery vocabulary, we are introduced to these acquaintances and their foibles: people who have unhealthy relationships with their mothers, daughters, dogs, food and money. The heroine's relationships with these acquaintances amount to little more than disparate and somewhat trivial ancedotes, which are unsatisfactory in the sense that they are peripheral or even irrelevant to the main theme, the true love of the heroine. Her character is languid. It is hard to believe that anyone (even the heroine, who is a writer of romantic fiction) could have mere acquaintances talk them into marriage with a man acknowledged from the outset to be a mother centered bore, while subsequently considering marrying another where both acknowledge from the outset that they do not love each other. Lost in these unlikely banalities is the potential story of her love for the man of whom she is mistress. Ironically, the indiscretion, for which the heroine is banished to the Hotel du Lac, is perhaps her only principled and courageous act.
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