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The Grand Babylon Hotel

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Reprint of a version published in 1902 in New York by New Amsterdam Book Co.

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Reviews of The Grand Babylon Hotel

Overall customer rating: 4.000
missjane

One of the original page-turners

by missjane on Mar 26, 2009

Arnold Bennett's masterpiece 'The Grand Babylon Hotel' (1902) is comprised of short snappy chapters that almost always close on a cliff hanger. The characters are archetypes (a nice way of saying stereotypes, I suppose); forceful American millionaire, millionaire's beautiful and willful daughter, a couple of European princes and their retainers, a Swiss hotelier, evil genius 'Jules' (real name, Thomas Jackson, the erstwhile head waiter of the eponymous hotel, who we meet and learn to dislike on the opening page), and possibly the greatest single character, the fabulous Grand Babylon Hotel, the 'first' hotel in London and quite possibly the world, with it's own separate entrance for royalty constantly in use. The action comes fast and furious. There is big money wheeling and dealing, romance, gambling debts, corpses appearing and disappearing, hidden passageways, midnight flits to Ostend, kidnapping, European politics and more. This is not a deep read, but a joyous romp. Highly recommended.

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