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The Glass Hotel
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The Glass Hotel

A novel


Bookseller Recommendation

The Glass Hotel

“In this ghostly story of ignoring what’s right in front of you, a group of characters try to grapple with what seems like inevitable choices. Mandel’s book is like the glass in the title: her language glitters while offering clarity and reflection, and her characters are like broken shards, mesmerizing in one light and dangerously ordinary in another. Combining the humanity and structure of Station Eleven with the brutal realism of her earlier works, The Glass Hotel is an exceptional novel.”

Porter Square Books image Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books

Description

A New York Times "20 Books We're Watching For in 2020"

An Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Bustle, Buzzfeed, GoodReads, Houston Chronicle, Writer's Digest, Medium, Washington Independent Review of Books, The Millions, Boston Globe, USA Today, and Women's Day Most Anticipated Book

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events-a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.


Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby's glass wall: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients' accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan's wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.

In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.

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Testimonials


The Glass Hotel may be the perfect novel for your survival bunker… Freshly mysterious… Mandel is a consummate, almost profligate world builder. One superbly developed setting gives way to the next, as her attention winds from character to character, resting long enough to explore the peculiar mechanics of each life before slipping over to the next.”

Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“An eerie, compelling follow-up… not your grandmother’s Agatha Christie murder mystery or haunted hotel ghost story… The novel’s ongoing sense of haunting extends well beyond its ghosts… The ghosts in The Glass Hotel are directly connected to its secrets and scandals, which mirror those of our time… Like all Mandel’s novels, The Glass Hotel is flawlessly constructed… The Glass Hotel declares the world to be as bleak as it is beautiful, just like this novel.”

Rebecca Steinitz , The Boston Globe

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About the author


Emily St. John Mandel’s four previous novels include Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award and has been translated into thirty-two languages. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.


Reviews

“A striking book that’s every bit as powerful — and timely — as its predecessor… In Vincent and Paul, Mandel has created two of the most memorable characters in recent American fiction… Mandel’s writing shines throughout the book, just as it did in Station Eleven. She’s not a showy writer, but an unerringly graceful one, and she treats her characters with compassion but not pity. The Glass Hotel is a masterpiece, just as good — if not better — than its predecessor. It’s a stunning look at how people react to disasters, both small and large, and the temptation that some have to give up when faced with tragedy.”

Michael Shaub, NPR

“Mandel’s gift is to weave realism out of extremity. She plants her flag where the ordinary and the astonishing meet, where everyday people pause to wonder how, exactly, it came to this. She is our bard of waking up in the wrong time line… One effect of Mandel’s book is to underscore the seemingly infinite paths a person might travel… There is a suggestion, toward the end of The Glass Hotel, that frequent commerce with the dead (or the imaginary) might reconnect us to the living… Perhaps it is with this in mind that Mandel has constructed a fantasy for our temporary habitation. Her story offers escape, but the kind that depends on and is inseparable from the world beyond it. ”

Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

“Long-anticipated… At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical… In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure. A strange, subtle, and haunting novel. ”

Kirkus Reviews, starred

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