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@Download E-pub ï Hotel Alpha ⛈ Three decades ago, Howard York founded the most extraordinary hotel in London the Hotel Alpha A self made man, Howard believes that you create your own luck and when he is in the room, there is a sense that anything is possibleGraham, the concierge, has been behind the Alpha s front desk since the day the hotel opened and knows everything about it Chas, Howard s blind adopted son, has almost never ventured outside its walls Both of them believe that the Alpha gives them everything they need until two mysterious disappearances raise questions that no one seems willing to answer As the years forge ahead, Graham and Chas must ask themselves whether Howard s vision of the perfect hotel has been built on secrets as well as dreamsCaptivating, brilliant and full of surprises, Hotel Alpha is an ingenious novel about the incidental and life changing ways in which we connect with one another You can discover about the hotel and its inhabitants in one hundred extra stories that expand the world of the novel and can be found at the Hotel Alpha Stories website A touch of the Great Gatsby runs through this book Howard runs the Hotel Alpha the universe in which this story is set Though the characters are neither steeped in heavy realism or fantasy, it is easy to feel involved with them and understand and sympathise with the moral choices they make The story spans many decades, and my only real criticism of it is the slightly clumsy way this is illustrated sometimes Technological advancements are crucial to the plot but they are over emphasised, wi A touch of the Great Gatsby runs through this book Howard runs the Hotel Alpha the universe in which this story is set Though the characters are neither steeped in heavy realism or fantasy, it is easy to feel involved with them and understand and sympathise with the moral choices they make The story spans many decades, and my only real criticism of it is the slightly clumsy way this is illustrated sometimes Technological advancements are crucial to the plot but they are over emphasised, with the character Graham reacting with horror and bewilderment when anythingtechnologically advanced than a pencil becomes available in the hotel Overall, Mark Watson creates an engaging, curious and exciting world for his characters Characters which we root for until the end Really enjoyed this book Didn t really like this one For me this was gentle whimsy rather than out and out funny There is a dark secret at the core of this book, but I did not think that it was enough to carry the book. You may be unsurprised to learn there s a touch of The Grand Budapest Hotel to this one Hotel founder Howard York, though he sounds an awful lot like an Ayn Rand creation i.e Howard Roark, the architect hero of The Fountainhead , is most like the Ralph Fiennes character He uses his influence to finagle anything for a guest you could believe, sitting here in his castle, that he really did mean to live a couple of centuries and that everything he had built would still be standing around him You may be unsurprised to learn there s a touch of The Grand Budapest Hotel to this one Hotel founder Howard York, though he sounds an awful lot like an Ayn Rand creation i.e Howard Roark, the architect hero of The Fountainhead , is most like the Ralph Fiennes character He uses his influence to finagle anything for a guest you could believe, sitting here in his castle, that he really did mean to live a couple of centuries and that everything he had built would still be standing around him But even he can t stop tragedy a fire at the hotel in the 1980s orphaned and blinded a small boy named Chas, who Howard then adopted.The novel is told in alternating first person chapters from Chas and Graham, the hotel concierge Graham reminded me of Stevens in The Remains of the Day very proper, even uptight, but with a hidden passion Technology s advance helps Chas immensely, but makes Graham feel superseded I have lived a great part of my own life in homage to my own past, he acknowledges.Key events take place between 2001 and 2005, with a historical backdrop including 9 11, the Olympic bid, and the 7 7 bombings Chas works in PR and is involved with Kathleen, a journalist who s opposed to the Iraq War Howard, on the other hand, always supports the winning team and status quo He is also a man of secrets Why did Chas s tutor, Ella, and Graham s assistant, Agatha, both suddenly leave the hotel for America years ago It all has to do with the legend of what happened the night of the fire, the truth of which will be exposed in time.Watson is a stand up comedian as well as the author of several novels I like how he shows both the good and bad sides of technology here My favorite part was Chas s visit to China with Kathleen even though he s mostly stuck in a hotel, he still experiences extreme culture shock.There are another 100 stories about the Hotel Alpha on the website, eight of which are printed as an appendix to the paperback edition Much as I liked the main characters especially Agatha , I didn t think the two voices were distinctive enough I wish Watson had incorporatedof the stories narrative variety some first person and some third person into the novel itself With thanks to Picador for my free copy, won in a newsletter giveaway Originally published with images at my blog, Bookish Beck I desperately wanted to like this book, and was sure that it was a solid four star, if not an illustrious five star rating, in the making Early promotions about this novel gave me the impression that this would be Eleven but in the setting of a hotel The constant narrative changes, a catalogue of unique voices and a plethora of individual stories that were all woven together to create a tense over arching plot I knew from Watson s previous novels that his talent as an author is superlative, a I desperately wanted to like this book, and was sure that it was a solid four star, if not an illustrious five star rating, in the making Early promotions about this novel gave me the impression that this would be Eleven but in the setting of a hotel The constant narrative changes, a catalogue of unique voices and a plethora of individual stories that were all woven together to create a tense over arching plot I knew from Watson s previous novels that his talent as an author is superlative, and therefore my expectations were very high.I did however find that Hotel Alpha fell a little short of these expectations I cannot fault the writing style at all, there was a lovely description throughout the novel and a subtle sense of humour that ran through every page Watson is the Howard York of writing, seemingly effortless but always brilliant at everything that he tries The issue was then in the concept I wanted to see the world of the Hotel Alpha through the voices and eyes of thoselivingwithin it s walls I wanted to know how everyone felt, and was disappointed when the voices were only given to Graham and Chas view spoiler How did Ella feel when she was forced to leave Chas How did Sarah Jane feel when she realised that Howard was a cheater How did Pattie feel when Graham spent a life devoted to the Alpha, but barely knew her Did Kathleen and Chas ever get back together now the secret was uncovered hide spoiler these were the voices that I wanted to hear I had hoped that the additional stories written online would give these major characters their time, but I found that actually the stories were rather hard to read and their impact on the book was near to zero There was of course the odd Oh I see as I puzzled my way through the website, but beyond that sadly lacking I did not however, read all of the stories as I kept getting lost on the site, so apologies if any aspects mentioned were eventually covered The plot was sorely lacking as well, I had hoped that the stories of Agatha, Ella and Lara would all interweave to reveal something muchsinister about Howard York and his dealings I wanted Graham and Chas to discover that Howard wasn t the idol that they both believed him to be There was always this undercurrent of something sinister going on in the Hotel Alpha, but the reality was a bit of a disappointment view spoiler I understand the impact on the family once they understood that Graham and not Howard had saved Chas, but really, Howard had been as much as a father to Chas since the fire, that Graham had And sure, Sarah Jane may have understood that Howard had been having and affair with Roz, but had she not already said that she not onl knew about his affairs but always forgave him hide spoiler For all the tension and the secrecy in the novel, the ending was relatively anti climatic, view spoiler and Howard seemed to escape once again unscathed hide spoiler Overall I quite enjoyed the novel because it was so well written and the narrators were likeable, but I had just hoped that there would have been something