The glass hotel

Emily St. John Mandel, 1979-

Book - 2020

"From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it"--

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FICTION/Mandel, Emily
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1st Floor FICTION/Mandel, Emily Due Oct 23, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Novels
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2020.
Edition
First Edition
Language
English
Physical Description
301 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780525521143
0525521143
9780525562948
052556294X
Main Author
Emily St. John Mandel, 1979- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Mandel follows her breakout dystopian hit, Station Eleven (2014), with another tale of wanderers whose fates are interconnected, this time by a Ponzi scheme rather than the demise of most of the world's population. Beautiful young bartender Vincent Smith (named for poet Edna St. Vincent Millay) has no illusions about the relationship she enters into with Jonathan Alkaitis, an uber-wealthy investor more than twice her age. Vincent leaves her job at the remote Hotel Caiette to move into Jonathan's mansion in Connecticut and pretend to be his wife, attending dinners with his investors. Mandel reveals early on that Jonathan's business dealings aren't above board, but even with this information front and center, she still manages to build nail-biting tension as things start to go wrong for Jonathan and his associates. Mandel weaves an intricate spider web of a story, connecting the people whom Jonathan and Vincent's lives touch and irrevocably change, from Vincent's feckless brother to the small group of colleagues abetting Jonathan's scheme to the people whose fortunes are decimated by Jonathan's machinations. A gorgeously rendered tragedy.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The phenomenal success of Station Eleven has set high expectations for Mandel's new novel, and both books been optioned for television series. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Mandel follows her breakout dystopian hit, Station Eleven (2014), with another tale of wanderers whose fates are interconnected, this time by a Ponzi scheme rather than the demise of most of the world's population. Beautiful young bartender Vincent Smith (named for poet Edna St. Vincent Millay) has no illusions about the relationship she enters into with Jonathan Alkaitis, an uber-wealthy investor more than twice her age. Vincent leaves her job at the remote Hotel Caiette to move into Jonathan's mansion in Connecticut and pretend to be his wife, attending dinners with his investors. Mandel reveals early on that Jonathan's business dealings aren't above board, but even with this information front and center, she still manages to build nail-biting tension as things start to go wrong for Jonathan and his associates. Mandel weaves an intricate spider web of a story, connecting the people whom Jonathan and Vincent's lives touch and irrevocably change, from Vincent's feckless brother to the small group of colleagues abetting Jonathan's scheme to the people whose fortunes are decimated by Jonathan's machinations. A gorgeously rendered tragedy.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The phenomenal success of Station Eleven has set high expectations for Mandel's new novel, and both books been optioned for television series. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

At the upscale glass-and-cedar Hotel Caiette, on an island in British Columbia, bartender Vincent becomes involved with hotel owner Jonathan Alkaitis even as Vincent's half-brother leaves a note on a window advising, "Why don't you swallow broken glass." The message shatters an executive for the shipping company Neptune-Avramidis. Years later, Vincent vanishes from a Neptune-Avramidis cargo ship even as a Ponzi scheme sends several fortunes to the bottom of the ocean. Mandel's next bright puzzler after Station Eleven, a National Book Award finalist and Arthur C. Clarke Award winner. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This latest novel from the author of the hugely successful Station Eleven forgoes a postapocalyptic vision for something far scarier—the bottomless insecurity of contemporary life. One of Mandel's main characters, a twentysomething young woman from British Columbia with the unusual name of Vincent, is orphaned and unmoored. Through a bartending job at a remote destination hotel off Vancouver Island, she meets and takes up with Jonathan Alkaitis, a Bernie Madoff-like character who owns the hotel. Posing as his wife in New York, Vincent has few illusions about the world of money in which she finds herself. When Alkaitis's Ponzi scheme collapses, she walks away initially unscathed and signs on as a cook on a container ship. And that's only one thread in the plot; numerous characters slip in and out of this affluent world, wrestling with financial loss, drug addiction, or sibling guilt. We even find a couple of characters from Station Eleven, alive and well and in the shipping business. VERDICT Highly recommended; with superb writing and an intricately connected plot that ticks along like clockwork, Mandel offers an unnerving critique of the twinned modern plagues of income inequality and cynical opportunism. [See Prepub Alert, 9/9/19.]—Reba Leiding, emerita, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Mandel's wonderful novel (after Station Eleven) follows a brother and sister as they navigate heartache, loneliness, wealth, corruption, drugs, ghosts, and guilt. Settings include British Columbia's coastal wilderness, New York City's fashionable neighborhoods and corporate headquarters, a container ship in international waters, and a South Carolina prison. In 1994, 18-year-old drug-using dropout Paul Smith visits his 13-year-old half-sister, Vincent, in Vancouver. Vincent has just lost her mother and acquired her first video camera. Five years later, in the wilderness north of Vancouver, Vincent tends bar at a luxury hotel where Paul works as the night houseman. Paul leaves after writing on a window in acid marker a message even he doesn't understand. Vincent relocates to the East Coast and what Mandel calls the kingdom of money to play trophy wife for investor Jonathan Alkaitis. When Jonathan's Ponzi scheme collapses, he goes to prison, where his victims' ghosts visit him. Finished with Jonathan and the affluent lifestyle and ignored by her best friend, Vincent takes a job as assistant cook on a container ship. Paul, meanwhile, has set Vincent's old videos to music. The videos have helped Paul, despite a lifelong drug problem, tap into his creative gifts. Using flashbacks, flash-forwards, alternating points-of-view, and alternate realities, Mandel shows the siblings moving in and out of each other's lives, different worlds, and versions of themselves, sometimes closer, sometimes further apart, like a double helix, never quite linking. This ingenious, enthralling novel probes the tenuous yet unbreakable bonds between people and the lasting effects of momentary carelessness. 200,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown, Ltd. (Mar.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The award-winning author of Station Eleven presents a tale of crisis and survival in the hidden landscapes of homeless campgrounds, luxury hotels, private clubs and federal prisons, where a massive Ponzi scheme is tied to a woman’s disappearance at sea.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Station Eleven and Sea of Tranquility, an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events—the exposure of a massive criminal enterprise and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.“The perfect novel ... Freshly mysterious.” —The Washington PostVincent 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's billion-dollar business is really nothing more than a game of smoke and mirrors. When his scheme 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, 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.Look for Emily St. John Mandel’s bestselling new novel, Sea of Tranquility!