Read hotel angeline a novel in 36 voices by Garth Stein ElizabethGeorge Jennie Shortridge WilliamDietrich Stephanie Kallos Suzanne Selfors Erica Bauermeister Deb Caletti Online

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Something is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence.The quirky tenants—a hilarious mix of misfits and rabble-rousers from days gone by—rely on Alexis all the more wheSomething is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence.The quirky tenants—a hilarious mix of misfits and rabble-rousers from days gone by—rely on Alexis all the more when they discover a plot to sell the Hotel. Can Alexis save their home? Find her real father? Deal with her surrogate dad’s dicey past? Find true love? Perhaps only their feisty pet crow, Habib, truly knows.Thirty-six of the most interesting writers in the Pacific Northwest came together for a week-long marathon of writing live on stage. The result? Hotel Angeline, a truly inventive novel that surprises at every turn of the page. Provoking interesting questions about the creative process, this novel is by turns funny, scary, witty, suspenseful, beautiful, thrilling, and unexpected....

Title : hotel angeline a novel in 36 voices
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ISBN : 11100623
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 258 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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hotel angeline a novel in 36 voices Reviews

  • Ellie
    2018-12-12 03:59

    Written by 36 different authors, it is not, as you may be thinking, a collection of short stories but a surprisingly coherent novel written live on stage!Yes you read that right. Hotel Angeline: A Novel In 36 Voices is the product of The Novel: Live! Each writer wrote a chapter in two hours and the whole novel was completed in just six days! Now I'll forgive you for thinking, that's great entertainment but surely the book is a bit hit and miss? No, no, no. It turned out a wonderful story about a girl called Alexis who has an absent mother and is trying to keep a residence hotel running whilst there's a terrorist plot afoot and a body in the basement.There are of course changes in style but, with a handful of exceptions, you can barely notice the changes unless you're looking for them. I was too absorbed in the plot which is how it should be. I may be tempted to go back through the chapters and match up the writers at a later date. I'm not familiar with the majority of them but this book will definitely make me look out for their work.It's a bittersweet, sometimes darkly comic, charming, coming of age story and I had a teary-eyed moment towards the end.

  • Alexis Villery
    2018-11-11 22:11

    Whether you like this book or not might just depend on why you are reading it. If you are curious about a novel written by 36 different authors in 6 days this is for you. It is quite an amazing feat and in many aspects quite impressive. The writing, as expected, is quite impressive. I was most impressed with the fact that the characters were the same throughout the work. I didn't feel as if I was reading 36 versions of each character. Alexis (isn't that such a wonderful name), the main character and protagonist, was consistent throughout the novel which I think is quite an accomplishment in a book like this. Again, the writing was impeccable.BUT. If you are reading this for a relaxing read by the pool, you might just be disappointed. I thought this book was about saving a hotel, Hotel Angeline. But it involves the coming of age story of a 14-year-old, death, identifying a parent, discovering the truth about the past, sexual and identify confusion, a terrorist/conspiracy plot, running from authorities, saving a hotel, starting over, and everything that has to do with all of those issues. It was just too much going on. To be fair, this was probably a technique that was used in order to make sure the novel flowed since it was written under pressure by different authors. I think this technique worked in terms of achieving a well-written work, but it did not work in terms of producing an enjoyable read.Read this if you are curious about the process and the outcome. It was quite an amazing accomplishment but not that fun of a read.

  • Audra (Unabridged Chick)
    2018-12-09 03:10

    Unfortunately, my favorite part of this potentially fascinating novel was the forward and introduction. A fascinating mix of performance art and literary experiment, this novel was born out of a brainstorm to raise awareness about Seattle's literary scene. A basic outline was created and the authors given free reign to interpret and move the story along as they saw fit. Totally neat and super exciting.From the start, I didn't connect with the story or characters. Alexis is an interesting enough teenager in a very sad situation, but the secondary characters were all so unappealing and the plot so over-the-top that I just couldn't connect with Alexis -- and worse, come to care about her. The running of a residential hotel is very novel and that part intrigued me, but the tenants are all child-adults stuck in the '60s. I think they were meant to be quirky and funny and a little bit pathetic, but I found myself angry and irritated with them -- so much so, I couldn't imagine why Alexis continued to enable them as she did.I wanted very much to experience Seattle as a character, but despite the numerous mentions of neighborhoods and a few landmarks, I didn't get a sense of the city in the story. Alexis could have been in any liberal urban area; I didn't feel as if Seattle (or the Pacific Northwest) was particularly noticeable in the narrative. Missing that connection, then, all her running around the city was tiresome to me and seemed to be a space filler.Overall, the quality of the writing was good (I've added about a dozen new writers to my TBR) and for me, the weakness was the story. I just didn't dig the plot. But I enjoyed the language and the sort of kaleidoscopic way each author eyed Alexis and her plight. Seattle folks might enjoy this novel for it's setting, and fans of avant garde fiction might get a kick out of writing-as-performance. Anyone who enjoys reading-as-experience will like the forward and I recommend this book for that alone!

  • Bethany
    2018-11-28 20:54

    I found this randomly in the library, and truth be told I wasn't expecting to like it very much but how could I resist seeing how in the world 36 different people write one novel?I actually enjoyed this way more than I thought I was going to. Some chapters are better than others, of course. Some chapters seamlessly fade into each other while some jar you with the remembrance that "Oh yes, this is not the same author."One reason I was drawn to this book was the word "hotel" in the title. (And that's what it was listed under on the library shelves!) I love hotel settings for books or films or what have you. But sadly the scenes revolving around the hotel and its inhabitants were my least favourite. Ah well. However, the main character was a lesbian, so that made me really happy. (And further proved that my book gaydar works with frighteningly involuntary accuracy and silence.)3.5 stars, perhaps?

  • Dixie
    2018-11-18 23:50

    Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices is unique in that it is one complete novel written by 36 distinct authors. Each chapter represents the work of one author. The novel was originally written in front of a live audience during an event was called The Novel: Live!. You can read more about the original concept here. Given the parameters of the original event, the outcome is pretty incredible.Hotel Angeline centers around fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin, who lives in a former mortuary turned hotel. The basement is filled with coffins leftover from the mortuary business. The hotel houses several long-term residents, including a pirate with a peg leg and a bonsai gardener. Alexis' mother, also the hotel manager, is sick and no one has seen her for a while. In her absence, Alexis takes over and tries to run the hotel, dealing with everything from repairing the plumbing to serving afternoon tea. Alexis soon finds herself overburdened with grown-up responsibilities. What's a girl to do? Go on a wild adventure and try to save the hotel from creditors! The long-term residents are like family to Alexis and she cannot bear to see them (or herself) lose their home.Even though the novel is written by 36 different authors, the change in writing is mostly unnoticeable. There were only a handful of chapters where the writing style seemed noticeably different to me. In the foreword, librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl recommends that you read the novel once without noticing the author and a second time paying attention. I was not familiar with many of the authors so I did not have a need to pay close attention to which chapter went with which author on my first reading. I plan to go back through and take note of who wrote the chapters that I enjoyed the most.Disclosure: I received a free e-galley from the publisher, Open Road Media, via NetGalley.

  • Ken J.
    2018-11-25 03:53

    The idea behind Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices, brainchild of Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge of Seattle7Writers, is as fascinating as the book promises to be: a cadre of 36 well-known writers gathering in Seattle in October of 2010 to write a complete novel in six days. Before a live audience. Each writer completing one chapter in two hours.How cool is that?As an experiment in literary creation, the book accomplishes three very ambitious goals: first, the rendering of a (mostly) cohesive story and, second, proving that the act of creative writing doesn’t always have to be a solitary process carried out in private. The 60,000-word genre-spanning novel is remarkable for its uniqueness and for its display of (raw) talent. The final goal was to raise funds for literary organizations and, indeed, ten thousand dollars was collected to promote literacy.The story follows fourteen year old Alexis, who inherits the thankless job of running a residential hotel in Seattle when her mother falls ill. It’s an interesting premise and one ripe with potential. One can imagine the storyline veering unexpectedly into any number of tracts. Unfortunately, it does, sometimes a bit jarringly. I’m not sure if the over-the-top feeling is a result of some unconscious need by the authors to infuse everything they think about the story and its characters into their one chapter (something normally spread out over the course of the entire book, or at least with greater restraint), but it felt a bit excessive at times. It was almost like watching the character(s) reinvent and reintroduce themselves over and over again, with the result feeling somewhat…schizophrenic.Having said that, in many places the writing absolutely sings, and it’s in these moments that the beauty of the book—and the skill of the individual writer—shines forth. There were other times, however, when the writing tended to flag or felt self-congratulatory. Not surprising, given the number of voices involved. And so it is remarkable that despite these caveats the story is as cohesive as it is.This is, however, not to say that the story doesn’t work and that it and the characters don’t engage the reader. They do a fairly decent job of it, though certainly not with the seamlessness one is accustomed to with a single-author book. Some transitions were more disruptive than others, especially those where the entire format changed. Knowing the book’s history does prepare one to expect this. In fact, the transitions become a part of the character of the book, propelling the reader onto the next chapter in expectation of finding something new. Special props go to the organizers and the writers for bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion.I think it behooves the authors to continue talking up the book’s conception and creation, both as a literary experiment and a literary device, especially for readers interested in more than reading-for-pleasure, readers who are more attuned to style and voice and language. Readers who simply want to completely immerse themselves in a good story will probably find Hotel Angeline a bit like a subway ride, with far too many stops and starts.

  • Julie G
    2018-12-10 04:58

    Intrigued by the story of its creation, I chose to read and review Hotel Angeline because of the subtitle. A Novel in 36 Voices says it all.Jenny Shortridge and Garth Stein were asked to help brainstorm ideas for the literary week of ArtsCrush, the Seattle month-long arts festival. The cofounders of non-profit Seattle7Writers wracked their brains until Stein had a ... novel ... idea: A writing marathon.Over six days in October 2010, twelve hours a day, thirty-six writers took a turn. For 2 hours - on stage, simulcast on the Internet - each writer wrote. The result of this event, The Novel: Live! , was this book.*****Alexis Austin has troubles. She's fourteen years old, living in a former mortuary with a collection of kooks, misfits, and anti-establishment former (or not so former) protesters.With her mother unable to run the hotel, Alexis has taken over the cleaning and repairing and afternoon teas. And the care and maintenance of her extremely quirky tenants. The roof leaks, the plumbing's bad; a crow, a snake, and a bathtub full of fish only add to the chaos.Then, things get worse: There is a plot to sell the hotel.This is the only home her tenants have; the only home Alexis has ever known. How can a young girl and a sea of lost souls, with widely varying grips on reality, save Hotel Angeline? What about Alexis' missing father? her suddenly militant surrogate dad?As things continue to go from bad to worse, which almost seems impossible, Alexis learns about herself, her strengths, and who her friends truly are. She also discovers what makes a family and that, sometimes, it's okay to just be fourteen.*****Not surprisingly, with 36 minds telling Alexis' story, the novel is a little uneven. The jumps in perspective between some of the chapters is a bit jarring; especially the illustrated chapter. But, oddly enough, when push comes to shove and you turn the last page - it works.The best advice - taken from the foreword - is to read this book as you would read any novel: Sit down, open the cover (fire-up the ereader), and dig in. Ignore the author names at the beginning of each chapter.Get to know Alexis, Linda, LJ, Habib. Enjoy the characters who are Ursula, Roberta, Otto, and Mr. Kenji. They are fascinating.Trust me.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary electronic galley of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.comprofessional readers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  • Cleffairy
    2018-12-09 01:06

    Full review at: Over A Cuppa TeaWhen I requested this book for review in Netgalley, I am not quite sure what to expect, considering that it’s one story written by 36 authors live. Yes… it’s just one story…not a collection of story. I was rather skeptic a with the end result even before I began reading.I wondered if it will even have coherence, but much to my surprised, it’s not only decipherable, but the story is amazingly well written and I’m pleased to say it’s one of the best novel I’ve ever read. It’s highly entertaining, inspiring and not to mention, unpredictable in a good way. I was really hooked on the story and i find it hard to put down. This book, is a gem, a treasure and definitely a keeper.If you’re a reader who is bored of the conventional novel with predictable plot, you might want to try reading Hotel Angeline. I daresay that you won’t be disappointed and will crave for more. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars for not only the effort done by authors, but also for the sheer brilliance of it.

  • Ellen
    2018-12-01 02:04

    I think that this book would appeal to someone who reads Y A books. It was quirky but also depressing. Sort of an Oprah type book for teens.

  • Anne-GigiChan
    2018-11-14 23:58

    Mixed feeling...The concept behind this book fascinated me and being a resident in the Seattle area for over a decade made me very interested in reading it. The story was slow to start and I almost gave up after a while. Reading this was like reading a train wreck in slow motion so I am not sure I really liked the story line. However, given it was written by 36 different people, it was surprisingly coherent.

  • Jack Martin
    2018-11-23 22:10

    Coming of age. This was the most interesting book in years. The eclectic and creative genius of each writer chapter by chapter made this book unique and enjoyable. What a brilliant idea to use stand-up comedy improve and transfer it to a story well worth ready. It changed my view on young street kids of Seattle. Alexis is a heroine in her growth their tragedy, loss of family and awakening. Brilliant does not do this book justice. Thank you. JM

  • Carole McGraw
    2018-11-12 22:13

    Fun read. Great continuity. You could tell the different author's styles. Some I liked more than others, but on the whole this book was well worth reading. The characters were interesting, but some of the situations were somewhat far fetched.

  • Mer
    2018-11-24 23:02

    Interesting concept. The story was okay.

  • Heather Bergeron
    2018-11-26 01:15

    Despite a few slow spots, this book is interesting because it is one cohesive story written by 36 different contemporary authors. Be sure to read the foreword!

  • Megan Bowers
    2018-12-01 23:17

    2017 Reading Challenge: A book with multiple authors.

  • Karen morsecode
    2018-11-16 03:04

    I think that it's pretty safe to say that there's never been a novel like Hotel Angeline before. It was written by 36 authors (each writing for two hours) over the course of six days in October 2010. The Novel: Live! made novel-writing a performance art.The plot, which was outlined before The Novel: Live! event is centered around 14-year-old Alexis Austin and the eccentric-full mortuary-turned-residential hotel run by her mother.My favorite line was written by Jarret Middleton. He has Alexis say, "Nothing's that simple anymore. I just got tossed into this world that I don't agree with, where everything drastically changes in an instant. [...] It feels like thirty-six authors are somewhere writing my life" (126) That kind of self-reflexivity seems absolutely perfect for a novel written like Hotel Angeline. While some transitions between chapters were seamless, others were jarring. It was difficult for me to relate to Alexis because she was portrayed inconsistently enough that she seemed to have some sort of personality disorder (though most of the other characters survived their multiple authorship fairly well).Hotel Angeline was well-plotted even though much of what happens in the course of the novel is a bit far-fetched. I didn't find it particularly compelling though. Despite the fact that the novel is short (258 pages), I didn't read it quickly. There were moments when I wanted more, but inevitably the close of the chapter came and that desire ended with it.In the end I have to say that while I really wanted to like Hotel Angeline I appreciated idea behind the novel and its production, more than I enjoyed the novel itself. That's not to say that Hotel Angeline isn't worth a read particularly since proceeds from the sale of the novel will be donated to literacy programs making it a feel-good purchase.Given constraints of its production, Hotel Angeline is a great achievement and I do believe that the individuals who planned The Novel: Live! achieved their goal, which was, as articulated by Garth Stein, "to build a solid, fun story that was a collaboration between three dozen writers, various editors, and an audience both live and virtual [...,] to create [...] a community" (11).The thirty-six authors who wrote Hotel Angeline--Kathleen Alcalá, Matthew Amster-Burton, Kit Bakke, Erica Bauermeister, Sean Beaudoin, Dave Boling, Deb Caletti, Carol Cassella, Maria Dahvana Headley, William Dietrich, Robert Dugoni, Kevin Emerson, Karen Finneyfrock, Jamie Ford, Clyde W. Ford, Elizabeth George, Mary Guterson, Teri Hein, Stephanie Kallos, Erik Larson, Stacey Levine, Frances McCue, Jarret Middleton, Peter Mountford, Kevin O'Brien, Julia Quinn, Nancy Rawles, Suzanne Selfors, Jennie Shortridge, Ed Skoog, Garth Stein, Greg Stump and David Lasky, Indu Sundaresan, Craig Welch, and Susan Wiggs--are all Seattle-based. While I've read a few of the authors and know of some of the others, I was surprised at my overall lack of name recognition. But, part of what's so wonderful about Hotel Angeline is how it offers readers a taste of so many different writers. I particularly liked Stephanie Kallos' chapter (31) so I'm planning to check out one of her novels.I did have a technical difficulty when reading Hotel Angeline (While I did read a pre-publication copy, the novel is only being released as an e-book so I assume that the problem may still exist). Chapter 11, which is presented in a graphic-novel format (Greg Stump and David Lasky), wouldn't display on my Nook so I had to visit my computer to read that portion of the novel.

  • David Edmonds
    2018-11-29 04:58

    Alexis Austin is taking care of the tenants of the Hotel Angeline in her mother's absence, an absence that Alexis doesn't want anybody to figure out just quite yet. The tenants of the Hotel are a great big mixed eclectic bag of eccentrics who rely maybe a little too heavily on Alexis (and before her, her mother) but who make up the only family that Alexis has ever known. Alexis is too young to have all this responsibility (she's only a teenager, after all), but to her, the alternative is grim to say the least. There's a reason that Alexis doesn't want people to find out where her mother is. However, when Alexis finds out that her uncle may be trying to purchase the Angeline out from under her and the tenants and that he needs to speak to her mother, Alexis finds her life quickly unraveling at the seams and it takes a series of slightly implausible events and the love of her "adopted" family at the Hotel for her to be able to make her life livable again.OK, so this book took me forever to read. Through most of the book, I had a hard time finding it kept my attention for more than a chapter at a time, and that was being generous. I think part of that had to do with the same fact that held me to reading it; the book is written by a total of 36 authors from the Seattle area. The book was written during an event called The Novel, Live!, where 36 authors, over the span of 6 days, wrote a novel, each taking a chapter at a time. The whole idea was broadcast over the internet and was a fundraiser to help fight illiteracy. The idea was very cool, and the novel, while feeling rather disjointed throughout, is still an impressive feat. The authors had a basic plot to follow, and each was allowed to read what the previous author had written, and then they knew where their chapter was supposed to take them, but other than that, each author had free reign to more or less write whatever they wanted. I think this is what made the novel so long for me to read. There was the definite plot running through the whole thing, but sometimes the chapters didn't quite seem to line up with each other, as each author's distinct writing flavor took over at each new chapter. I will admit, however, that by the end of the story, I was surprised to find myself attached to Alexis and the tenants of the Hotel Angeline and was concerned and happy for their outcomes.I'm impressed with the whole thing, and if they ever do another one of these I'll definitely read it, but I'm hoping that the next would maybe have a little more tighter editing, maybe? I don't know, just something to make it all seem a little more cohesive as a whole.Recommended if you enjoy something along the line of experimental writing.

  • Julie
    2018-11-19 23:09

    For six days last October, 36 writers took turns writing a novel, live on stage, during an event organized by the Seattle7Writers called "The Novel: Live!" ~ you can see the list of authors on The Novel: Live! website. Each author had a two hour time slot during which they were to write the next chapter in an evolving novel. Author Jennie Shortridge wrote the first chapter, and Susan Wiggs wrapped it up six days later. In between, authors came and went, adding their layers to the story. At the end of the event, they had a complete novel: Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices.I had heard about this event back when it took place in October, so when I saw Hotel Angeline available for review on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I'm so glad I did. While some reviewers have said it seemed rather seamless, I would say the change in author was pretty obvious at the beginning of each chapter. But that was okay. Because that's what made this such a cool book to read! It's a great way to get a taste of 36 different authors' styles, and to see how they built on the details that were written by other authors.As far as the story itself goes, I wasn't as crazy about it, but it was engaging and kept me turning the page. The story is about a teenage girl named Alexis who finds herself with complete responsibility for a residential hotel in Seattle after her mother becomes ill. The characters who live there are outrageous and fun. The situations they get into throughout the novel are suspenseful but quite unrealistic in many cases. However, the storyline does flow well from beginning to end, characters grow and change, mysteries are revealed, and everything is wrapped up well in the end ~ which is quite amazing with all the hands in the pot on this one!I have a hard time rating this book. For the story itself, I'd give it a 3/5. It was a bit too far-fetched for me. However, for the book overall, considering the way it was written, I'd give it a 5/5. I would honestly recommend it to everyone because it is so unique. I think it would especially be appealing to writers, and all of the book bloggers and book connoisseurs out there! See my blog for links to videos and more information about Hotel Angeline: http://bookretreat.blogspot.com/2011/...

  • Michele
    2018-12-02 01:56

    I am what Nancy Pearl, in the brilliant introduction to Hotel Angelique, calls a Loca-reader. I've always enjoyed reading books written by author who live in or novels set in my hometown. So when given the opportunity to read Hotel Angelique, a novel set in Seattle with 36 chapters, each written by a different Seattle author, I jumped on it.Hotel Angelique, it must be noted, is much more than just a collaborative effort by Seattle's best and brightest authors. The novel was conceived as performance art. Each author wrote their chapter on stage, in public. Authors like Erik Larson, Dave Boling, Erica Bauermeister, and 33 other notable writers participated in this uber-cool project....I just knew I had to get my hands on it.The story is about fourteen year old Alexis who lives with her mother in a dilapidated old boarding house on Capitol Hill called the Hotel Angelique. But there's a problem: Alexis's mother has died and now the Hotel Angelique is in danger of losing everything. The fabulous cast of eccentric tenants living in the Hotel Angelique don't quite make up for the rather tired character of Alexis, her conflicted teenage angst at odds with her rather adult-like intellect. The plot takes several unbelievable twists....each one at the end of a chapter by one author while the next author never quite resolves it.The final project,in it's written, bound, published form is a disappointment. This original performance art was meant to be enjoyed as the authors, one by one, took their turn at the typewriter on the stage and churned out the story. In book form, we are left with each talented writer re-inventing the wheel. Or rather, each writer re-inventing the Seattle setting. And even a rabid Loca-reader like myself found myself completely bored with the endless descriptions of local settings.As performance art, I would love to see a novel written like this and be present to see it all. Reading the product later? Ugh.

  • Devlin Scott
    2018-11-20 01:09

    Thirty-six of the most interesting writers in the Pacific Northwest came together for a week-long marathon of writing live on stage. The result? Hotel Angeline, a truly inventive novel that surprises at every turn of the page.Something is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence.The quirky tenants—a hilarious mix of misfits and rabble-rousers from days gone by—rely on Alexis all the more when they discover a plot to sell the Hotel. Can Alexis save their home? Find her real father? Deal with her surrogate dad’s dicey past? Find true love? Perhaps only their feisty pet crow, Habib, truly knows.Provoking interesting questions about the creative process, this novel is by turns funny, scary, witty, suspenseful, beautiful, thrilling, and unexpected.(Above description from Amazon Kindle)This was a great experiment. Thirty-six authors each spending one hour only before a 'live' audience (in person and online) to write a single chapter of their own design to make this novel come to life. They could only have access to what the others before them constructed and to a very basic outline that provided a general plot to the novel.It staggers the mind to imagine what the writers had to creatively go through to make this novel a success. I think they did a wonderful job and I certainly want to read more of this type of fiction. The only reason I gave it three stars is because I personally did not care for the characters or the story. But that is just my taste, this novel should not be thought of as a poor story. It was a great story just not one that suited my tastes.Devlin

  • Judy
    2018-11-12 04:14

    I would give this novel a five for concept and a three for story--hence the four rating. The concept of the novel is pure genius. As part of The Novel: Live! project, this novel was written in six days, with 36 authors writing for two hours each, for 12 hours a day. Did I mention that each author wrote on stage with an audience and the project was being recorded and beamed out on the Web? There was also a chat room function and the project was used to raise money for a variety of causes. Before each author went on stage for their two hours, they had a chance to read what had already been written and consult with an editor. Prior to the project, there had been an editorial committee composed of Elizabeth George, Robert Dugoni, Jennie Shortridge, Maria Semple, and Garth Stein who brainstormed the idea for the novel and outlined a basic plot. Then it was showtime. The Hotel Angeline is a decaying hotel (formerly a mortuary) that houses a colorful cast of residents to say the least. There is an aging counter-culture hippie who has adopted a crow, a peg-legged woman, Deaf Donald, etc. And overseeing this community is 14 year old Alexis Austin who serves the afternoon tea, fixes the plumbing, and tries to deal with the myriad problems plaguing the hotel. And where is her mother? She hasn't been seen for days? And how will the hotel stay afloat? Each author writes in their own voice which makes the experience of reading the novel even more unique. I read the book, then went back to see who had written each chapter. A singular reading experience that paid off in the end.

  • Torimac
    2018-12-08 03:57

    Alot of people have commented on the wild absurdities of the characters and situations our heroine faces in this novel. I could forgive the absurdities, and consider them in a humorous light for two big reasons:1. The conditions of the writing meant that the writers couldn't invest alot of time in researching and exploring the characters emotional development, and had to rely on instinct more than shared emotional experience. Going for (sardonic?) humor had to be a more reliable route than trying to be sincere with what was likely very unfamiliar terrain. 2. I am sick and tired of orphans who are heros simply because they are unfettered by conflicts with their parents, and then go on to rule the world! I do believe that strength is a byproduct of adversity, but I also believe that being without parents not only reduces the chances for success, it also makes it a much longer road! Alexis fought for independance, struggled with unfair challenges, and then chose to be parented! What a great ending! Btw, as absurd as it seems to some, the storyline had parallels to my real life: after being fatherless for many years, my mother died when I was 14, leaving me with a houseful of idiosyncratic responsibilities: my younger 4 siblings. And we also faced the challenge of keeping a roof over our heads, and one of my key allys at the time of my mother's death later showed a side I never expected. For me, this was a really fun telling of a similar story. Thank you Seattle 7.

  • Alexis Villery
    2018-11-27 01:06

    Whether you like this book or not might just depend on why you are reading it. If you are curious about a novel written by 36 different authors in 6 days this is for you. It is quite an amazing feat and in many aspects quite impressive. The writing, as expected, is quite impressive. I was most impressed with the fact that the characters were the same throughout the work. I didn't feel as if I was reading 36 versions of each character. Alexis (isn't that such a wonderful name), the main character and protagonist, was consistent throughout the novel which I think is quite an accomplishment in a book like this. Again, the writing was impeccable.BUT. If you are reading this for a relaxing read by the pool, you might just be disappointed. I thought this book was about saving a hotel, Hotel Angeline. But it involves the coming of age story of a 14-year-old, death, identifying a parent, discovering the truth about the past, sexual and identify confusion, a terrorist/conspiracy plot, running from authorities, saving a hotel, starting over, and everything that has to do with all of those issues. It was just too much going on. To be fair, this was probably a technique that was used in order to make sure the novel flowed since it was written under pressure by different authors. I think this technique worked in terms of achieving a well-written work, but it did not work in terms of producing an enjoyable read.Read this if you are curious about the process and the outcome. It was quite an amazing accomplishment but not that fun of a read.

  • Andrea Blythe
    2018-11-20 21:59

    My initial interest in this book came about through my love of Karen Finneyfrock's poetry, but it grew once I learned that this book was created as a part of The Novel: Live. The project was an attempt to have 36 writers take part in a week-long writing marathon live on stage, in which the story would be passed from writer to writer and result in a complete novel. Hotel Angeline is the result of those efforts. Due to the nature of its creation, there are some holes in the plot here and there and some slight disjointedness, and you definitely get a taste of each writer's style (one author presented their chapter in comic book format), which was most recognizable in the dialog. But I was surprised by just how coherent the story is. Each chapter is by a different author and most are written from Alexis' point of view, but her character remained consistent. She's a girl caught up in the madness of her situation, who becomes very lost very quickly. There are a slew of interesting characters, including a woman who lives as a pirate, Habib the rave, LJ the not-all-there hippy, and many more. If you ignore the unique process of creation, you still have a good story thats twists into surprising and unexpected directions with an unlimately satisfying conclusion. A good read.

  • Tina
    2018-11-28 00:55

    Similar to the Placebo effect, upon knowing this book is an experiment, you approach it in a different manner than if you had no idea each chapter was written by a different author. As a literary experiment, I thought it was successful. The tone, for the most part, as well as the characters, remained consistent throughout. There were certain chapters I thought were written “better” than others (some were more didactic where others were quite lovely in their prose). Overall though, I found the story quite unrealistic, though the main character did act in a manner that matched a frantic, overwhelmed teenager. I did enjoy it though, as a story, and as an experiment. I suppose if it was just one person writing the novel, I would have been less than enthused by it (there really wasn’t anything new in it for me, nothing that changes my perspectives or made me think), but it was interesting to pick out the subtle differences between chapters and writing style, as much as it was fascinating (and impressive) to see the lack of distinction between authors. Overall, I’d say it’s worth a read.

  • Tom Elliott
    2018-11-15 22:53

    Before discussing the book, it's important to mention what "A Novel in 36 Voices" means. As part of a literature week in Seattle in 2010, 36 authors decided to collaborate on a book. Each author wrote a chapter in a few hours before passing the story off. One week later, we had Hotel Angeline, a hectic and (predictably) occasionally disjointed story about a young girl coming of age in Seattle.The characters in Hotel Angeline as piecemeal works of emotion and experience. Each author contributes something different-- perhaps they describe the style of our protagonist, a 14 year old girl suddenly charged with running a hotel, or the back story of her mother or friend / lover. Plot lines proposed in chapter 9 may be discarded in chapter 12, and occasionally an author will blow the story up and send it on a wild tangent. It's exhilarating and beautiful, a novel constantly renewed with energy and ideas.This book can't be judged against other, single-author novels, but feels like a different experience entirely. I highly suggest it if you have any connection to Seattle (and Capitol Hill in particular) or enjoy experimental fiction.

  • Joe Young
    2018-11-13 04:47

    An entertaining story about a young girl (fifteen) whose mother dies leaving her to care for an aging hotel and an equally old set of long term quirky hotel residents. Of course she is much too young for this responsibility but, has inherited a misunderstood sense of loyalty to both the old hotel and the eccentric residents. I was impressed that thirty six authors could put together this entire book in six days working from a coordinating center in Seattle. It was a work of charity for raising awareness of Northwest literature and give back to the community by doing good works for the literacy causes. The cooperating authors gave their time, creative efforts and cooperation to complete this notable effort. I was amazed that the characters continuity was so faithfully maintained throughout the work. The test was to see if you could recognize the changes in voice as the story progressed but, I became so engrossed in the story, I lost track of that objective and just enjoyed the flow of the story. Kudos I say! I just loved the characters.

  • Cecilia
    2018-11-22 23:08

    Death can arrive abruptly and unexpectedly, and it could not come at an inopportune time for Alexis and the family-owned Hotel Angeline. Left to her own devices, how is a 14-year-old supposed to take care of herself and figure out how to prevent anyone from selling the hotel? The answer lies in the hands of 36 authors who tackle the challenge of writing about the same characters and story but still putting their own unique twists and turns.Hotel Angeline reminds me that I still need to read Naked Came The Manatee at some point. I think these Seattle writers have pulled together a good story that will delight those of us who love a good surprise turn of events, which include a few illustrations or two. The writing is unquestionably splendid, and Alexis stayed in character despite being passed from one author to the next. I only wished there had been a little more humor stirred into the story, but understandably multiple authors from multiple genres may have difficulty with writing the same comedic energy and that would destroy the fluidity of the story.

  • Beth Jusino
    2018-12-04 03:14

    Thirty-six writers -- mystery writers, romance writers, essayists, young adult and historical fiction writers -- got together for one week in 2010 and wrote, in front of a live audience, a single story. Each one took two hours to write one chapter, adding their voice and their ideas to move the story forward. So if the storyline itself is disjointed in places, and there are plot holes big enough to ride Alexis' stolen pedicab through, and the main characters repeat themselves (when they aren't shifting from villain to victim to savior and back), well, there's a good reason for it. This is a novel to read not because of its stunning prose or original ideas, but because it is an experiment and an exposure of the people who create books, and an invitation for a new generation of writers to pick up their own pens. If the writers occasionally got lazy or snuck in their own jokes about what it takes to write, well, they're entitled.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-09 21:48

    I stumbled across this while trying to read all of Garth Stein's work. It turns out that he only wrote 1 chapter of this book. This novel came about as part of a project by the Seattle7 Writers Group. They recruited 36 local Seattle authors to collaborate on one novel, each crafting a specific chapter, and all of it done live, on the spot, in one week. It's a clever idea, and showcases lots of local talent, but I didn't fall in love with the story. Alexis, the 14-year-old main character, is left in charge of a dilapidated hotel on Capitol Hill, filled with a hodge-podge of flavorful characters. The building needs work, she needs money, and her uncle is trying to sell it from under her. I like the local scenery, and there were some intriguing parcels, but overall, not a huge fan.