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Strange Hotel

av Eimear McBride

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
824261,487 (3.04)3

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» Se även 3 omnämnanden

Visar 4 av 4
Quite surprised that I didn’t really enjoy this as I adored her two previous novels.
Felt like something was missing from it but I couldn’t say what. It just couldn’t click with it. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Unfortunately, this novella failed to speak to my heart. An endless ''chapter'' of a woman's musings on sex, alcoholism, sex, men and did I mention sex? It leads nowhere, I failed to discover its deeper meaning and the stream-of-consciousness style requires a masterful use of language that didn't exist here, in my humble opinion.

I found no depth and I was disappointed by the fact that every city in the world of the woman, from Paris to Beijing, to Moscow, etc. is described in such a dismissive way, each hotel is the same old, same old and all our character thinks of is SEX.

And if you don’t like the streets of Prague, you’re a demon...

A big No from me.

Many thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jun 5, 2020 |
Strange Hotel by Eimear McBride is a novel comprised entirely of a woman's internal dialogue, on five different occasions, in five different hotel rooms, in five different cities. The extent to which a reader will like this book likely depends on how much that reader likes bringing to a novel versus how much they want the novel to have everything included and the reader just has to read and take it in.

I think there are multiple ways of understanding this short novel, from being a sequel of sorts to being entirely standalone. I am, at least for this first reading (I intend to read this book several times), viewing it as a standalone about a woman who is unknown to me. While I think the comments I've seen associating this with Dante, Beckett, and even Camus or Sartre are valid, I prefer at this point to take it in entirely on its own merit. That said, I do think those associations add to an understanding.

First off is the title. While we are in several hotel rooms in the course of the book, the title is singular. I take that to mean that the "strange hotel" is the human mind, in particular, this woman's mind. We tend to compartmentalize things, and since everything is actually connected, those separate compartments often aren't as separate as we'd like, so there is carry over from room to room. I find that looking at this novel from this perspective helps with how I am appreciating McBride's work.

I also have the habit of having almost continuous internal conversations, and each voice in my mind has a distinct perspective so the idea of arguing or feeling anger or disappointment with a part of my mind makes perfect sense to me. I could relate to much of what this woman was experiencing, the grappling with a past both appealing and unappealing, the question of whether the future really holds any positivity or just more of the same old same old.

One feeling I got from the various scenes in the novel is the sense that while she is aging from scene to scene, my guess being somewhere in the area of 15 years overall, she is sometimes unconscious of that age change. I'm not sure I am phrasing that well, but let me give an example from my own life. I know how old I am and have no delusion about being a young man any more. yet in many of my internal conversations it is almost as if I am still some younger age where some future is still laid out before me. That disconnect can often be disorienting when I come back out of my head and into my present. I sense some of this in the character, as she reflects both forward and backward in time yet seems to be the same age throughout as far as how she views her prospects.

I found the change in person from third person to first to also be telling, it helped me to feel that this is a story she has told and at the end we are now in her present. What lessons has she learned? What regrets does she have? And how much responsibility does she take for her life? These are all questions each of us face if we reflect on our lives, and we aren't always happy with our answers if we are honest with ourselves.

I understand that this novel won't appeal to many readers, which is fine. I think that readers who don't mind more questions than answers will find a lot here to like. I also think readers who can step away from a novel being "about" a character and also being "about" humanity will enjoy the novel much more. I would caution readers who want a definitive beginning, middle, and end that this might not suit them. It is the reader's work here to provide some semblance of an ending, or at least a conclusion.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Apr 23, 2020 |
I enjoyed this quite a lot but it’s one for the McBride super The mysterious plot unfurls slowly which is rather satisfying, although the final revelation felt a bit familiar. Rather slight, but still gorgeously written in parts. ( )
  alexrichman | Apr 14, 2020 |
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