Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hotel - Arthur Hailey

Finally an Arthur Hailey book. I never read his books, mainly because I was intimidated by their size and the seriousness of the titles. But I knew he was a great storyteller and heard from people around me who were great fans of his work. So when I saw the book at Mythily's house I just had to pick it up.
Rupa, Rs. 150 410 p

It's a racy story. Peter McDermott is the young AGM of Hotel St. Gregory in New Orleans (of which we get some history too) which is slowly going down. He starts the proceedings with a love interest Christine, a co worker, one fine day. An old customer falls seriously ill, there's a rape attempt in an orgy, a VVIP customer is in trouble, there are thieving employees, a takeover tycoon and his mistress, a creaky lift hanging by a thread, a professional thief, a customer who falls in love with the AGM (history), a dentist's convention that is almost called off because of a racist issue, a hit and run case - enough to keep it going for 400 pages I guess. Love, sex, violence, intrigue, conspiracy, dishonesty, strong characters - all played out in the crucible of the hotel. Some things can be seen a long way ahead  like the romance between Peter and Christine and the distraction with Marsha. In the end the author plays god and delivers his brand of justice.

Like all Arthur Hailey readers say - he takes us into a specific setting and we know all about it by the end. So now I have a fair idea of what happens in hotels. As a read, its racy and entertaining, but for me, not the greatest. It skims along superficially and sometimes predictably. But I would like to read more of his books - next time perhaps pick his best known works.

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