From the acclaimed Rick Moody, a darkly comic portrait of a man who comes to life in the most unexpected of ways: through his online reviews.
Reginald Edward Morse is one of the top reviewers on RateYourLodging.com, where his many reviews reveal more than just details of hotels around the globe - they tell his life story.
The puzzle of Reginald's life comes together through reviews that comment upon his motivational speaking career, the dissolution of his marriage, the separation from his beloved daughter, and his devotion to an amour known only as "K". But when Reginald disappears, we are left with the fragments of a life - or at least the life he has carefully constructed - which writer Rick Moody must make sense of.
An inventive blurring of the lines between the real and the fabricated, Hotels of North America demonstrates Moody's masterly ability to push the bounds of the novel.
©2015 Rick Moody (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"Moody's powers of invention, his ease in his own prose, his ability to develop interesting characters - in short, his enormous gifts as a writer - are on full display here. And when he wants to write a gorgeous paragraph, he delivers as you know he can, even when he's still spoofing." (The New York Times Book Review)
"His subtlest and most darkly comical performance yet." (Chicago Tribune)
I listened to an interview with Rick Moody on CBC's Writers and Company and bought the book on audible right after the episode. What a delightful read on a grey November day. A book about hotels with some references to beds and I only slept 4 hours in mine because I didn't want to stop listening.
One of those rare books when I was sad that it would end when i was only halfway through the book. I enjoyed the tone and pace of the narrator but would have enjoyed hearing the author narrate the last chapter. For reasons you may appreciate once you read the book. I will check out other writings by Rick Moody.
Overall, the book worked for me, but I'd be very hesitant in recommending it to my friends. Starts out in the vein of a cranky hotel reviewer, but that aspect fades until the latter part of the book is pretty much all about his personal life, which is basically a dysfunctional mess (by implication). I suppose that if I had to describe the story in a single word that'd be "quirky"; however, there's also an aspect of Murakami-like surrealism at times - a collection of dark vignettes, if you will.
I uprated my stars slightly as the narration really helped carry the story. Not sure what I thought of the final chapter, where the author comments on the protagonist, but I suppose it does succeed in providing a sort of closure.
Definitely interested in more from the author, and even more so from the narrator!
The idea of telling the life of the hotel reviewer through his reviews was an intriguing idea but, for me, many of the 'reviews' were dreary and pretentious. Not a very interesting character to build a novel around it seemed.
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