Very often I find books I love. Quite seldom I find books that surprise me.
‘Hotel World’ by Ali Smith certainly did.
Not for the story, even if I quite loved the scattered images of these five souls turning around the Hotel.
Not for the witty subdivision in five parts, that evokes five different tenses, like five different states of the mind, in time (Present, Perfect, Historic Present, Past, Future Conditional, not in the order, mind you).
It was the voice.
As I started writing in an almost serious way, everybody told me I had to find my voice. I never really started looking, but then people read my pieces and told me I had my own voice, quite nice and recognizable in every words I wrote (they say).
That’s why I started believing that every author, of any kind of literature, has his own voice and that is the one that will accompany him for the rest of his literary life.
Then I read Hotel World.
Many times, authors write different parts of the same novel from the point of view of different characters, sometimes even different stories in the same novel (I’m reading Cloud Atlas right now). However, you can always feel the author, hear his voice between the lines.
Well, Ali Smith certainly has her own voice, but she’s a first class impressionist!
There are five parts to this book, five people telling their story, each one with her own voice. Very distinct and very unique.
Ok, it’s true, Ali uses some stratagems to reach her goal (like punctuation and messed up structure and so on), but still, reading this book has been a wonderful experience.
If you want to know more about this book: Goodreads
If you want to buy this book: Amazon