Hotel Noir: When a Novel Transcends

Pale Fire Press’ second novel, Hotel Noir by Casper Silk, has been compared by critics to the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, P.D. James “on steroids,” Graham Greene, Thomas Mann and J.G. Ballard.

Ironically, we were attracted to Hotel Noir for much the same reason as editor Lexy Bloom, who said of an early version, “I’m thoroughly intrigued by this novel, though not necessarily for straightforward reasons. I think what has hooked me is that it doesn’t seem like anything else.”

Here is a taste of what early reviewers have had to say about Hotel Noir:

“A noirish combination of F. Scott Fitzgerald and early P. D. James on steroids, as told by a narrator who knows how to weave a web and pull you in without your realizing that you are caught. An intriguing literary crime novel filled with wonderfully zany characters Agatha Christie would have killed for.” Sam Millar, NY Journal of Books

“I was not far into the book when I drew the comparison of Hotel Noir to Death in Venice.” Charlie Courtland, aka Archie Standwood

“Compellingly readable throughout… the whole book is a delight.” Jack Chapman, author of Watching Marilyn

“Like all really fine mysteries, this gem of a novel goes far beyond the age-old question of whodunit. It explores—in lush and moody prose—such abiding themes as the power of place, the ache of unrequited love, and the stranglehold as well as the ambiguity of memory. The Hotel Noir and the weird island of St. Germaine where it is situated end up seeming less like geographical locations than like mileposts on the tortured but occasionally ecstatic journey of the human heart.” Boswell, B&N

What do YOU think? More and more, it is ordinary readers who decide which books fail and which succeed, and ordinary readers who will have the final word about Hotel Noir.

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