The White Hotel

Rating: -

D. M. Thomas

This book was awful in an entirely different way than some other books I've reviewed badly here. It was not boring; rather, it was very very very disturbing. The plot of the book moves back and forth between a woman recounting an "erotic" dream (I put erotic in quotes because for me at least the dream quickly went past erotic into creepy, though I accept that's an opinion) and a description of the Holocaust and a Jewish family trying to avoid capture. This in itself is a dreadful combination in my mind. The therapist is Freud himself, and the analysis and directions that the girl's narrative are prodded in are Freud in all his stereotypically awful glory. The mixture of violence and sexuality is pervasive and central to the book. While I suspect the author was trying to make a point about the interconnectedness of peoples lives and to demonstrate the horrors of the Holocaust rather than to trivialize it, I don't think that the book was effective at this task. I walked away from this book with nothing but a deep sense of revulsion.


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