Full Pour Review: The Glass Hotel

Unpopular opinion: I did not enjoy this one.

I struggled so hard with getting into The Glass Hotel, that it took me almost an entire month to read it. I refuse to DNF books because I’ve read plenty of them that were slow to start and took a while to get into, but ended up loving it by the end. Unfortunately for me, this was not the case for this book. I wanted to enjoy this one so bad because of all the wonderful reviews I’ve read on it, but there were several things about it that just made the entire thing fall flat for me.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby’s glass wall: Why don’t you swallow broken glass. High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis’s billion-dollar business is really nothing more than a game of smoke and mirrors. When his scheme collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan’s wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.

In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.”

To start, I feel that the book is incredibly slow paced and has random nuances that made it challenging to follow, such as lots of time hopping and multiple character POV’s that didn’t always make sense or seem to flow well. I often found myself questioning who people were and whether I was currently reading someone’s POV in the past, present or future. That being said, I also felt that there were way too many characters to keep track of and overall found the characters in general really hard to connect with. I will say that things started to pick up and get more interesting in the last quarter of the book, however the ending was still underwhelming to me.

Now, despite my feelings on the book, I think it’s worth mentioning that I personally feel that this book would be super intriguing as a movie or TV sitcom and would absolutely watch it in a heartbeat. As a book, it just didn’t do anything for me.

Please don’t let my review on this book deter you from reading it if it’s on your TBR list! And if anyone wants to message me and talk more about this book, I’d be more than happy to discuss!

BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel is best paired with Double Citrus Sorbet by Sapwood Cellars. This delicious imperial/double milkshake IPA is brewed with citrus zest and vanilla beans 🍻

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