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The Hotel Eden: Stories

Prepare to be amused, moved, disturbed. These dozen stories by a master of idiosyncrasy visit a world where wit has heft, charm has shadow, and human beings act out all the complicated nuances of love.

In the title story a young man waiting in the Hotel Eden discovers as others have that Eden is not a permanent domicile. In "Zanduce at Second," a baseball player turned killer-by-accident undergoes a surprising transformation. We root for escaped felon Ray ("A Note on the Type") as he carves his name on a culvert wall. We drive the sweltering summer streets of Phoenix as a nineteen-year-old narrator goes through an unsettling sexual awakening ("Oxygen"). In these and other stories, whether his characters are getting sabotaged by nightcaps or encountering nudists on a rafting trip, Carlson takes us to a generous array of places in a new way. Finally, in "The Chromium Hook," he takes us to a lovers' lane where he solves an ancient mystery.

 

The Hotel Eden
W.W. Norton 1997
Penguin paperback 1998

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updated: June 24, 2005  
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