The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
What’s it about?
This book follows two Canadian born half-siblings as they move through their lives. Paul struggles with addiction and Vincent finds herself caught up with a man that runs a Ponzi scheme. When the Ponzi scheme fails we see how different people, including the perpetrator, are affected.
What did it make me think about?
This book covers greed, privilege, addiction, and people living in the margins.
Should I read it?
I LOVED Station Eleven by the same author, and this book is an equally impressive display of writing. However, I found this book slightly dry, and easier to put down. I did enjoy the story, but I can't say any of the characters were that compelling. The character that I was the most interested in was Jonathan Alkaitis- the man that runs the Ponzi scheme. He ruins so many lives, including his own, yet always seems slightly mystified about how he got there. "He carried himself with the tedious confidence of all people with money, that breezy assumption that no serious harm could come to him. " So many of the characters are forced onto a different path after the Ponzi scheme is discovered. This book underscores how tenuous are lives are. Anyone's life can change in a minute- as we are seeing right now during the Coronavirus crisis. It also explores the notion that we can "know" and "not know" at the same time. Interesting thoughts- and an interesting book.
"One of our signature flaws as a species; we will risk almost anything to avoid looking stupid."
"He could live without retirement savings. No one in this country actually starves to death. It's just one future slipping away and being replaced by another. "
If you liked this try-
How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia by Moshin Hamid
Driftless by David Rhodes
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!