Monday, December 31, 2012

The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

The White Hotel is a strange, unsettling, deeply disturbing book which ends up being a journey which is far more varied and rewarding than its short length presage. The book is structured as a five part sequence, beginning with some incoherent and hallucinatory erotic poetry, a similarly incoherent prose version of the same events, a collection of letters, and some straightforward narrative. The story tells the tale of Lisa, an opera singer, and a patient of Sigmund Freud, and follows her throughout her life, set against (and influenced by) the forty year sweep of history in eastern Europe. The conclusion to the novel is potent stuff, that left me staring out the window of my plane, thinking fresh thoughts about a deeply mined subject…

This is a book I’m very glad I read, though it is deeply troubling, and some of the imagery likely won’t leave me anytime soon. 

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