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Interesting,
Adventurous,
Dramatic

3 reviews

The Glass Hotel: A novel
by Emily St. John Mandel

Published: 2020-03-24
Hardcover : 320 pages
21 members reading this now
54 clubs reading this now
3 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members
From the award-winning author of Station Eleven ("Ingenious." - The New York Times), 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 ...
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Introduction

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven ("Ingenious." - The New York Times), 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 hotel 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." Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for Neptune-Avradimis, reads the words and orders a drink to calm down. Alkaitis, the owner of the hotel and a wealthy investment manager, arrives too late to read the threat, never knowing it was intended for him. He leaves Vincent a hundred dollar tip along with his business card, and a year later they are living together as husband and wife.

High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients' accounts. He holds the life savings of an artist named Olivia Collins, the fortunes of a Saudi prince and his extended family, and countless retirement funds, including Leon Prevant's. The collapse of the financial empire is as swift as it is devastating, obliterating fortunes and lives, while Vincent walks away into the night. Until, years later, she steps aboard a Neptune-Avramidis vessel, the Neptune Cumberland, and disappears from the 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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Books & Banter Questions:
1. Moral corruption seems to be a theme - which character(s) were the most corrupt for you? Least?
2. Do we think what happened to Vincent, while at sea on The Neptune, was on purpose? Or by accident?
by [email protected] (see profile) 01/20/21

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by [email protected] (see profile) 01/20/21
I had members share an "urban legend" or "ghost story" that lead to interesting conversations.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Zebra215 (see profile) 08/23/21

 
  "Great Book Once You Get Used to the Writing Style"by ebach (see profile) 08/23/21

In a comparison of Emily St. John Mandel's previous book,STATION ELEVEN, with THE GLASS HOTEL, the subject matter and the type of story differ but her writing style is the same. Although bot... (read more)

 
  "a ghost story? maybe"by [email protected] (see profile) 01/20/21

Reading summaries for this book had me expecting a ghost story or a re-telling of Bernie Madoff. It was neither although it contained elements of both. This is not a ghost story in the normal way and that... (read more)

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