Saturday, January 04, 2014

Hotel Honolulu by Paul Theroux

Hotel Honolulu, Paul Theroux. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company/ Mariner Books, 2001, 2002.  452 pps., e-book.

     Buddy owns an eighty-bed hotel and gives a howlie (non-Hawaiian, in this case also the narrator) a job managing it. Seems the other manager did things like bricking up the door of a guest's room when he didn't see eye-to-eye with the guest. So he had to go.

     The howlie-- whose name we never learn-- goes native and marries Sweetie. Sweetie is the daughter of the hotel resident prostitute. Sweetie and he have a brilliant child named Rose. The family lives in the hotel.

     Besides managing the hotel, the howlie reads Tolstoy. Buddy likes that his manager has written a book and does not hesitate to tell everyone that. The howlie's muse is on strike and nothing is forthcoming. Meanwhile, the howlie learns the backgrounds of many of the hotel's guests and divulges them in this fictional tale. 

     This review does not do justice to the book.

sapphoq reviews says: Paul Theroux is my favorite travel writer and I am finally getting around to reading more of his fiction. His ascorbic humor is evident in Hotel Honolulu. I liked this book. The rats dashing around the hallways, the drunks in the bar, and the beautiful Hawaiian weather made me want to visit the parts of Hawaii where tourists fear to tread. Hotel Honolulu is sort of an adult coming of age party. Outstanding and highly recommended to all fans of Paul Theroux. Those who require something different in their fiction will also like this book. 

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