The Lonely Hearts Hotel

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

A Novel

Book - 2017 | 1st ed
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"With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans -in love with each other since they can remember-whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one's origins. It might also take true love. Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city's underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes -after years of searching and desperate poverty -the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same. With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O'Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2017
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781443435864
Characteristics: 389 p. ; 25 cm

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m
MrsRedbeard
Nov 16, 2020

Dark, organic journey through a tough landscape. While graphic in places, sometimes a dirty little book, the transition is well illustrated. A sad story that shows you can't judge a book by its cover. Worth reading, but a tough read.

n
nashedmonton
Mar 11, 2020

Heather's books are sheer delight. My only regret she doesn't write more books. Her stories are magical.

b
BruceLeeReads
Sep 02, 2019

Praise: Interesting story arc that is gritty and dark with splashes of whimsy. The characters are relatable, yet unique despite their horrendous experiences. I really enjoy the prose since it's written in a wonderfully flowery way without being too pretentious.

Criticism: Despite having strong female characters, the book still emphasizes the sexual ability and climaxes from the men's perspectives which I found hypocritical. I also grew a bit tiresome of every chapter ending with a one line metaphor that seemed forced.

m
mcadrin
Apr 25, 2019

The "author" seems to have put together bits from other books and then her own sexually fantasies to come up with a book that I'm surprised anyone would publish. Poorly written nonsense. Didn't even get half way through it, and I'm someone who usually just has to finish a book no matter how bad it is, because I keep thinking it's got to get better if someone published it. Would not recommend to anyone!!

Avid Reader

s
stellamd
Dec 19, 2018

A very enjoyable read. Fast paced. Interesting characters.

a
Adw555
Oct 05, 2018

Descriptive and magical.

Pierrot and Rose grew up in the same orphanage in Montreal, both abandoned there as newborn babies. A love develops between the two despite many obstacles: poverty, jealousy, crime, addiction.

Their lives are lived separately until the stars align and cause their paths to cross - this is where the real magic begins.

Pros: Beautifully descriptive language flows through the entire novel, quite delightful to read.

Cons: Many sexual situations are featured in this novel - I was not expecting that...and unfortunately I think much of the symbolism from the rest of the book went right over my head.

Very well written and a nice change of pace - definitely an original piece of work.

4 stars

endora Sep 26, 2018

I really loved this book, period. A love story, but not in the conventional sense. It is a wild and often crazy story, written by an author who has more imagination than any other author I can think of right now! I kept saying to myself "how on earth did she think that line up?!!!"

k
KatG1983
Jul 04, 2018

I am someone who will typically finish reading a book this length in 2-4 days, depending on how interested I am in the plot. It took me the entire 3 weeks of my library borrowing period to force myself to get through this one. It's not that it's badly written, as much as I just did not care about the characters, at all, nor did I find the story itself compelling. I'd give it a great big 'skip it'.

d
doxland
Jan 20, 2018

Stupid Book.
Bizarre. Quit half way through.
Might be burnable.
Don't recommend it to a friend.

m
Margush
Jul 01, 2017

Drugs, prostitution, abusive relationships and someone's strong will to get out of that nightmare.This is Heather O'Neill's second book based on these topics. I have no idea how she's able to be so descriptive and precise in providing all those amusing details pertaining to those very, very sad matters. But she's quite amazing in doing that. Her writing style is exquisite and full of light erotica. I did skip a part in the middle of the book where two characters were trying to find each other - it was a bit longer than it should be, and I also found the end a bit messy - to organize a circus to transport drugs and then to dissolve it? If you're okay to do some mental work while reading a book, give it a try. Ms. O'Neill's books are quite unusual. You'll remember them.

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