The Electric Hotel (Hardback)Dominic Smith (author)
- 10+ in stock
From the award-winning author of the acclaimed bestseller The Last Painting of Sara de Vos comes a radiant new novel tracing the intertwined fates of a silent film director and his muse.
The Electric Hotel winds through the nascent days of cinema in Paris and Fort Lee, New Jersey - America's first movie town - and the battlefields of Belgium during World War I. A sweeping work of historical fiction, it shimmers between past and present as it tells the story of the rise and fall of a prodigious film studio and one man's doomed obsession with all that passes in front of the viewfinder.
For nearly half a century, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films, who started out as a concession agent for the Lumiere brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days taking photographs of Sunset Boulevard. But when a film-history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel - the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose - the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments and reels in desperate need of restoration, and Claude's memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him.
The Electric Hotel is a portrait of a man entranced by the magic of movie-making, a luminous romance and a whirlwind trip through the heady, endlessly inventive days of early cinema.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 445 g
Dimensions: 220 x 145 x 40 mm
radiant...a vital and highly entertaining work about the act of creation...so vivid we can imagine every frame * New York Times Book Review *
A love letter to the early days of cinema...Smith writes with passion and detail about an extraordinary period in cultural history. * The Times *
Smith has the historical grounding of E.L. Doctorow, the character discernment of Alice McDermott and the bold whimsy of Mark Helprin. He is a writer of elegance, rich imagination and propulsive plotting. * Washington Post *
a novel of . . . epic scope. [...] He brings home . . . how complex silent movies were to make, and how innovative and daring their makers had to be. * The Australian *
Claude Ballard and Sabine Montrose's "Electric Hotel" lives, sadly, only within the pages of this novel. It's the ultimate lost film, unfindable and unseeable no matter how many drawers we open or vaults we scour - and yet so vivid we can imagine every frame, tiger and all. -- Stephanie Zacharek * New York Times *
Smith . . . blends history and fiction to create a world where a tale of hope, love and loss all seems real. * The West Australian *
Fiendishly clever and beautifully written. * The Times on THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS *
Smith has pulled off something authentic: a complex novel, full of painterly description, that slides between centuries with surprising fluidity. * Sunday Telegraph on THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS *
Gliding gracefully from grungy 1950s Brooklyn to the lucent interiors of Golden Age Holland and the sun-splashed streets of contemporary Sydney, the novel links the lives of two troubled, enigmatic, and hugely talented young women, one of them an artist, the other, her forger. A page-turning book with much to say about the pain and exhilaration of art and life. -- Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK on THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a story told in layers of light. From afar, this novel is so beautiful, the prose so clear and vivid, that it seems effortless; on closer examination, one sees the rich thematic palette Dominic Smith has used. This is a novel of love and longing, of authenticity and ethical shadows, and, most compelling, of art as alchemy, the way that it can turn grief to profound beauty. -- Lauren Groff, author of FATES AND FURIES, on THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS
An elegant page-turner that carries its erudition effortlessly on an energetic plot. * New York Times Book Review on THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS *
an absorbing, multilayered novel... The Electric Hotel is an impressive work. * Sunday Times *
The Electric Hotel is a love letter to the early days of cinema... Dominic Smith writes with passion and detail about an extraordinary period in cultural history. * The Times (Ireland) *
This impressive novel evokes cinema's early days * The Times *
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