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Summary

The New York Times best-selling novel, from the author of Station Eleven.

Vincent is the beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: ‘Why don’t you swallow broken glass.’ Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later, just after a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.Weaving together the lives of these characters, Emily St. John Mandel's The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the towers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.

©2020 Emily St. John Mandel (P)2020 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic reviews

"Dylan Moore's cool, smooth narration carries listeners through this story of deception, betrayal, and the cost of guilt. Jonathan Alkaitis constructed the Ponzi scheme of the century, and the novel centers around the myriad ramifications of its collapse. Throughout the audiobook listeners are dropped into the minds of those who were drawn into his web as investors or as co-conspirators. Many are haunted, quite literally, by those impacted by their actions. This is a novel that drifts from one point of view to another, and Moore guides listeners through subtle shifts in tone and accent." (AudioFile, April 2020)

"A damn fine novel...haunting and evocative and immersive." (George R R Martin, author of A Game of Thrones)

What listeners say about The Glass Hotel

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Story but I wish the narrator didn’t attempt accents

I loved this story, the writing was cohesive and intriguing and the the story was really gripping HOWEVER I wish that I’d read it with my own eyes instead of my ears as I found the narrators voice very grating and unemotional and she tried some bizarre accents such as québécois and Newcastle.. I found it hard to listen to such bad accents and it really spoiled the integrity of the book for me because it was comically like Dick Van Dyke awful.

5 people found this helpful

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ZIG ZAG STORY WITH PLENTY OF CONTENT.....YET

A story covering many topics and proceeding down quite a few avenues

with all stories coming to a rather pointless end. nothing gained
I expected more catharsis toward the end but just more twist and turn writing.

I had to double back many a time because the timeline was obscure.

all in all not a bad story. JRVP recommendation..

4 people found this helpful

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Intriguing but eventually underwhelming

From the cover blurb, this isn’t the sort of book I would normally read but I was intrigued as a result of the author’s previous novel - Station Eleven - which I enjoyed for its simplicity and prescience. I was immediately drawn into The Glass Hotel - the simple yet elegant style of writing and intriguing central character: a young woman named Vincent, a social misfit albeit a beautiful one who tries to minimise risk in her life but ends up inadvertently at the central of it. However, I found the first half of the novel more engaging than the second as it moved away from Vincent and towards her much older husband who is the architect of a Ponzi scheme, a shipping merchant, and Vincent’s drug addict brother. I found these characters to be much less interesting, pathetic sorry-for-themselves types. This shift in focus had the effect of disengaging me from the story overall and no longer interested in Vincent’s fate.

4 people found this helpful

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Clueless

I enjoyed Station Eleven by the same author, though it was a tad too sentimental for my taste, it was overall an original and interesting story about life after global collapse and its gentleness was a refreshing change from the manic mad max type of novel.
So I pounced on Glass Hotel with eagerness. Well I hardly feel able to write any sort of review since most of my listening time was spent in a fog of confusion having very little idea at all of what the story actually is about. The hotel itself sounds wonderful but barely gets mentioned and there just is scene after scene of cocktail bars and luxury flats and an army of characters none of whom I attached to and couldn’t tell apart anyway. The message scratched on the glass which is made much of held zero interest and made zero sense. An interesting brother who the story starts with is pushed to the background and the sister is as blank and unbelievable as a white wall and less interesting than watching paint dry.
Its eventual revealed that the jet set life styles are funded by a Ponzi scheme, and the story gets more interesting around the collapse of this but don’t even ask me what the outcome is as although I listened to it only a few days ago, I have literally no memory of most of this book, or how it ended.
So with apologies to the author, but a truly awful monotone narration of a story almost devoid of a coherent narrative thread gets a scant two stars from me.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book - couldn't stop listening

A great story, beautifully written.

The references to shipping and the imagining of a terrible flu made me wonder if the characters in this book exist in the same universe as those in Station 11?????

1 person found this helpful

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Superb. Complex, intriguing and beautifully read

This is a hugely engaging, deftly constructed story that drew me in again and again as I listened over the last month. It made journeys an adventure and quiet times a delight. Dylan Moore’s narration is pitch perfect (though I’m not sure she’s spent much time with Geordies ;0) I cannot recommend this more highly. A joy.

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Interisting story but hard plot to follow at times.

Quite enjoyed this book. Only reason i did not give it a higher rating is because i can’t decide weather i liked any of the characters or not. I also found it jumped around a lot so found the plot quite difficult to keep up with in places. It was however an interesting setting and idea for a story.

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Poetic, Beautiful, Although Not Gripping

The prose is poetic and beautiful and I enjoyed the elements about the Ponzi scheme, but there were too many strands. It feels like three books in one.

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The accents!

I largely enjoyed the narration, but the accents were distractingly bad. It would have been better not to attempt them. Also some mangled French pronunciation. A pity as it was otherwise good

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A Pleasant Meander

at times the book feels directionless but it all comes together nicely and it is always enjoyable to spend time with Emily's well crafted characters.

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  • Kimberley
  • 18-03-21

Compelling

Great story, interesting narrative structure. Narration was fine but Australian and Northern English accents hilariously bad. Suggest the actor stick to natural accent 😊

1 person found this helpful

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  • phillalf
  • 22-08-21

dull never really gets going

Its a slow meandering story with characters I couldn't really care about. There doesn't appear to be a plot just accounts of people that have a loose association with each other.

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  • Erna
  • 15-05-20

Masterful

I absolutely loved this. Beautiful prose, complex and memorable characters, a gripping plot. A highly original structure that doesn’t not detract from the joy of immersing yourself in the story. The only very small downside was that the performer’s Australian / Scottish / Newcastle accents were frankly absurd, but luckily those are very minor characters! Overall, the voice was lovely to listen to.