The Pink Hotel
By: Liska Jacobs
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Farrar Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: 07/19/2022
My Rating: 3 Stars ALC & ARC
Confined to an opulent Beverly Hills hotel during a raging wildfire, a young couple is caught in the escalating tension between the wealthy guests and the staff, in Liska Jacobs's blistering, dark social satire, The Pink Hotel.
Newlyweds Keith and Kit Collins can hardly believe their luck when the general manager of the iconic, opulent Pink Hotel invites them to come for a luxurious stay as a bid to hire Keith. Kit loves their small-town life, but Keith has always wanted more, and the glittering, lily-scented lobby makes him feel right at home.
Soon after their arrival, wildfires sweep through the surrounding mountains and Los Angeles becomes a pressure cooker, with riots breaking out across the city amid rolling blackouts. The Pink Hotel closes its doors to "outsiders," and Keith and Kit find themselves confined with an anxious, disgruntled staff and a growing roster of eccentric, ultra-wealthy, dangerously idle guests who flock to the hotel for sanctuary, company, and entertainment.
The Pink Hotel exposes a tenuous class system within its walls, full of insurmountable expectations and unspoken resentments, which deteriorate as the city burns. In her barbed, provocative new novel, Liska Jacobs explores the corrosive nature of greed and interrogates the notion of true love, while hurtling readers toward certain disaster.
"The perfect book to recommend to all your friends in hospitality! And also just the perfect book. I tore through this one like a California wildfire—an appropriate comparison, given the novel’s setting in a high-end hotel beset by fires all around."
—Molly Odintz, CrimeReads
"Heady and dark and dangerous, The Pink Hotel is an intoxicating binge of a book. Liska Jacobs's stunning indictment of a society teetering toward apocalypse is one you won’t easily forget.”
—Janelle Brown, author of Pretty Things
"The Pink Hotel is a terrifying, tremulous hallway of mirrors, a personal and public apocalypse story of vast proportions and singular fears, a portrait of lush disorder by Liska Jacobs."
—Susan Straight, author of Mecca
"Liska Jacobs has written a lush, harrowing study of the human animal, the hyper-rich and the strivers who serve them, made grotesque and degraded by the effects of extreme, unconscionable wealth. Intense and violent and chokingly atmospheric, an unforgettable addition to the literature of Los Angeles."
—Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay
"Irresistible and audacious, The Pink Hotel sucked me into its microcosm of glittering menace and wouldn’t let go until the whole thing burned to the ground."
—Antoine Wilson, author of Mouth to Mouth
"A sexy, terrifying, and tremendously fun novel. Liska Jacobs has an extraordinary mind—her writing leaps from darkly claustrophobic to wildly expansive. The Pink Hotel is impossible to put down; you will carry it everywhere you go."
—Sanaë Lemoine, author of The Margot Affair
"Part social satire and part disaster novel, The Pink Hotel is riotous in every sense of the word. What begins as a juicy look behind the scenes at L.A.’s swankiest hotel quickly turns into a profound study of how class and privilege shape our reactions to catastrophe. This scathing and surreal novel is Liska Jacob’s best yet, and it kept me hooked all the way to the brutal, unforgettable end."
—Sara Sligar, author of Take Me Apart
"Like a deranged American version of Parasite, Liska Jacobs’s The Pink Hotel takes aim at American class disparity and strikes dead center. Jacobs’s unerringly precise eye, her deadpan wit, and above all her ferocity—the unflagging energy and vitality of her writing itself—make this book a marvel from start to finish."
—Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine
Exuberantly lively and amusing, Liska Jacob's latest— THE PINK HOTEL is a satire of the überwealthy and an inside look at the haves and the have-nots.
Keith and Kit Collins work in California managing Keith's uncle's small town restaurant and inn. At a hotel conference, the couple, the Belmonts, invite them to honeymoon at their renowned Beverly Hills' The Pink Hotel.
They, of course, are out of their element at the opulent hotel with guests rich and famous.
Keith is enamored with the hotel and the lifestyle and desperately wants to be a part of the finer things of life. His wife is happy with what she has. Keith decides to extend the honeymoon to try and snag an assistant manager job at the hotel.
Not much of a honeymoon for Kit with Keith working and sucking up, she spends time with a partying young socialite who's also staying at the hotel. Keith wants to break through his middle-class title and jump into the elite, and Kit is happy to return home and stop pretending.
Keith is a jerk and develops a crush on Richard's mistress, Coco. Sean, a construction worker, helping with the hotel expansion at the hotel, likes Kit after she faints and lands in his arms.
Meanwhile, outside the hotel gates, wildfires have taken over California. The hills are burning, riots are breaking out, and gas masks and lockdown are mandated.
The hotel closes its doors to outside guests, and everyone is stuck inside. The staff must work harder to contend with all the wealthy clients and cater to their every extravagant wish and demand.
As the fear and anxieties heighten, the hotel, guests, and staff are pushed to their breaking point, and tensions run high. Outside, the world is aflame.
Like The Great Gatsby, a close look at class, privilege, class disparity, greed, social status, money, love, and relationships. As in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby, an outsider looking in to attain status no matter the cost.
From eccentric characters to the wealthy, sarcastic, wit, and snarkiness—an entertaining romp.
There are also parallels between what is happening inside the celebrity hotel and the outside world with climate destruction, much like our world today. A story of socio-economic divisions and environmental impacts.
I listened to the audiobook, which was somewhat nerve-wracking with the grinding, high-pitched, drama-filled voice to match the character's storylines. I did not find the audio enjoyable. I would recommend the reading copy versus the audio. The audio was narrated by Tavia Gilbert—I usually enjoy her narrations; however, in this case, not so much.
The novel would be for those who enjoy satire (humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in contemporary politics and other topical issues) and Hollywood hotel drama-filled stories. #CoverCrush
I also enjoyed the author's note regarding the social movements which inspired the book. Look forward to reading more from this author.
I preferred the e-book.
4 Stars - e-book
3 Stars - audiobook
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 3/4 Stars ✨✨✨✨
Pub Dat: July 19, 2022
About the Author
Liska Jacobs holds an MFA from the University of California, Riverside. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and The Hairpin, among other publications.