The Electric Hotel: A Novel

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jun 4, 2019 - Fiction - 352 pages

A sweeping work of historical fiction from the New York Times–bestselling author Dominic Smith, The Electric Hotel is a spellbinding story of art and love.

For more than thirty years, 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 Lumière brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging for mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along 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 in desperate need of restoration, as well as 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 moviemaking, a luminous romance, and a whirlwind trip through early cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.


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User Review  - techeditor -

THE ELECTRIC HOTEL is historical fiction that goes all the way back to the beginning of silent movies (which was in the 19th century in France) to the 1960s showing of “The Electric Hotel.” But the ... Read full review

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User Review  - mrmapcase -

We step back in time back to when Hollywood was nowhere near California. This is an enthralling tale back when Thomas Edison controlled the studios, mixed in with brutality of WWI. Free review copy. Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Dominic Smith grew up in Sydney, Australia, and now lives in Seattle, Washington. He’s the author of the novels The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Bright and Distant Shores, The Beautiful Miscellaneous, and The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Texas Monthly, and The Australian. He has been a recipient of literature grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts. He teaches writing in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

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