The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt
A Novel

68%

5 Critic Reviews

He has such page-turning craft that you read on enthusiastically, only to find that he has thoroughly subverted the story. It’s a disconcerting mixture, not least for anyone who dares to write the next historical novel.
-NY Times

Synopsis

It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe-a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugal's neutrality, and the world's future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters-Julia's status as a Jew, Pete and Edward's improbable affair, Iris's increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage-begin to come loose.

Gorgeously written, sexually and politically charged, David Leavitt's long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary work.
 

About David Leavitt

See more books from this Author
David Leavitt is the author of several novels (most recently, The Body of Jonah Boyd) and story collections. He teaches creative writing at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where he lives.
 
Published October 15, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA. 273 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, War. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Two Hotel Francforts
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Aug 11 2013

An artfully crafted story of two marriages from Leavitt...Edward is unstable; Iris is manipulative...Along the way, there is an affair and a fatal tragedy. Very fine work.

Read Full Review of The Two Hotel Francforts: A N... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 05 2013

Leavitt’s clever, engaging tale of marriage’s hidden shadows, lies, and half-truths demonstrates that husbands and wives are only as happy as they’ve already decided to allow themselves to be.

Read Full Review of The Two Hotel Francforts: A N... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Pye on Oct 04 2013

He has such page-turning craft that you read on enthusiastically, only to find that he has thoroughly subverted the story. It’s a disconcerting mixture, not least for anyone who dares to write the next historical novel.

Read Full Review of The Two Hotel Francforts: A N... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alex Preston on Nov 23 2013

...The Two Hotel Francforts isn't a historical novel at all. Rather, it's a self-interrogation, a book about how to write historical novels, a companion-piece to HHhH. We leave Lisbon breathless and utterly dazzled.

Read Full Review of The Two Hotel Francforts: A N... | See more reviews from Guardian

Financial Times

Below average
Reviewed by Rebecca Abrams on Nov 08 2013

Too much backstory, too many last- minute revelations, too many plot twists, too little real development of any of the characters.

Read Full Review of The Two Hotel Francforts: A N... | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for The Two Hotel Francforts
66%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 135 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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