The cave came quickly and I reread The Glass Hotel. And I got the Kindle to go with the Audible (from the library) this time. This is a good thing because, for one thing, I could see how some names were spelled. And too, I missed a lot of connections. This often happens to me with books which really speak to me and where I want to go back. It starts by me wanting to figure out what happened, but then thematic connections start popping up again.
The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel 2020 / Read by Dylan Moore – 10h 28m Rating – 10 / contemp. fiction
In the case of The Glass Hotel it was the characters and their connections which sucked me back as well as the chronology.
The environments of the main characters change so radically that how this happens is not necessarily obvious. “How the heck did Jonathan land in jail?” (Not a spoiler.) – In my second reading all was tidied up except maybe one or two important threads and kind of thematic idea which I shall not divulge. In the first reading I get a lot of the plot and the style and some character development. But sometimes I just need to know how the plot got from point A to point C. The Satanic Verses was my first book like this. When I finished the book the first time I went, “HUH??? How did that come about?” And I flipped the whole book over and started again right then. The experience with The Glass Hotel was pretty close to that. Most second readings don’t happen until I’ve read a couple books first but these two were very compelling. Even Cloud Atlas took me a few weeks or months before hitting it again.
But I love the characters of The Glass Hotel – I want to take them all and hug them – they are us.
Themes: ** Dissolving borders. Jonathan and realityVictor and her own self Oskar and moralityOlivia and morality Paul and A (others?) – drugs’ And states and businesses and countriesAnd identities – (what is an identity?) The border between poor and rich (Victor, others) Or rich and poor (most investors) False memories? (Jonathan and Leon and ???) Characters get mixed up to me – their names anyway – Jonathan/Victor and their brothers Trust and distrust – is there a borderline?
“It is possible to disappear in the space between counties.” Page 251
Or in the space musical styles, “… between classical and electronica…”
Knowing but not knowing – where’s the border?Almost everyone. The whole Ponzi scheme and the ways that works into the themes.
** The statement, “Why don’t you swallow broken glass?” comes up twice or three times.
And the book has a few coincidences strewn through it – how people connect and re-connect, for instance.