1965 Club: Hotel by Arthur Hailey

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I had to read Hotel on my kindle, because while it may have been an international bestseller once, our library no longer carries it. Nor does our local Barnes and Noble, or Indie book shop. It is such a fun read, not only because it “catches the reader by the lapels and holds him through its last crowded page” (the Chicago Tribune) but because it reminds me of life in the sixties. When wake-up calls were made by real people at the front desk, when keys were real metal objects connected to a plastic tag with your room number, and when call girls’ phone numbers were written on the front pages of the Gideon Bibles. (Who knew?)

All the inner workings of St. Gregory, a fictional hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans, are laid out for us in intricate detail. From the frat party gone wrong, to the fact that Warren Trent may have to sell his hotel to Curtis O’Keefe due to lacking money for the mortgage, we feel the tension suffered by the employees and guests alike.

There is the Duke and Duchess of Croydon who have a hit-and-run to hide, employing the help of the hotel’s devious investigator, Oligivie. There is Peter McDermott falling in love with Trent’s secretary, Catherine. There is a thief, nicknamed Keycase, who obtains keys through tricky means and comes into people’s rooms at night to lift their valuables. And there are age old issues besides, involving things like unions and racial tensions.

This is a book that brings me back to an era I vaguely remember, while showing us that the “more things change, the more they stay the same.” It was a wonderful choice for the 1965 Club; it would be a wonderful choice for your reading pleasure alone.

(Thanks to Simon and Kaggsy for hosting this reading event.)

6 thoughts on “1965 Club: Hotel by Arthur Hailey

  1. I remember seeing the book but I clearly remember watching the weekly serial with James Brolin and Connie Selleca? . This of course was already after I had fallen in love with Dr. Steven Kiley on Marcus Welby M.D.

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  2. Bellezza, it sounds like this book paints a realistic portrait of 1965 (almost like historical fiction). I’m glad that you enjoyed reading it on your Kindle.

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  3. The thing that is so remarkable is how accurately the story is portrayed and how seamlessly it unfolds. It not only made me remember the days of my youth, it was fascinsting until the very end. Hailey researched it all perfectly. (I was surprised to learn he was born in England and served with the British Royal Air Force before moving to Canada later in his life.)

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    • I’m so glad you hosted this! Though I didn’t read Stoner, as so many chose to do, I opted for something a little lighter after all the Man Booker International Prize list reading I’ve been doing for the Shadow Jury. But, lots of good books were published on 1965 which I hope to (re)open someday. Thanks for the inspiration!

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