The Electric Hotel by Dominic Smith

1. First lines. 2. Publisher: Macmillan. 3. Film strip By cactusman Licence: CC BY-SA] via Wikimedia 4. Still from the production of the American film serial The House of Hate with Pearl White and Antonio Moreno, with director George B. Seitz and cinematographer Arthur Charles Miller, on page 151 of William Lord Wright, Photoplay Writing (1922). The location of the shot is Cliffhanger Point on the Hudson Palisades By Pathé Exchange – William Lord Wright, Photoplay Writing, New York City: Falk Publishing Co. 1922 via Wikimedia 5. Movie film reels By funnytools [Public domain] via pixabay 6. Suitcase By George Hodan [Public domain] via Public Domain Pictures
I really liked this book.
Like a movie – a little bit of sad, a little bit of funny, and a whole lot of entertainment.

It’s 1962, and Claude Ballard lives in the Knickerbocker Hotel, Los Angeles, retired after a career as a film-maker. He is contacted by Martin, a student of film history, who wants to talk to him about his career. Claude relates his life story – his film-making beginnings in New Jersey during the age of silent films, his love of film star Sabine Montrose, and his business dealings and friendships.

“Loving Sabine Montrose was a migraine.”

“…the past never stops banging at the doors of the present. We pack it into tattered suitcases, lock it into rusting metal trunks beneath our beds, press it between yellowed pages of newsprint, but it hangs over us at night like a poisonous cloud, seeps into our shirt collars and bedclothes.”

~ Quotes from the book.
  • Kirkus: ” A compelling plot, robust characters, and finely crafted prose richly evoke a bygone age and art.”
  • Books + Publishing: “Dominic Smith’s The Electric Hotel is a sensory delight, retelling the life story of a former film director—known as ‘the Frenchman behind the viewfinder’—with the rich vocabulary of cinema.”

Author’s website: Dominic Smith

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