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Spring 2019 Macmillan Highlights for Libraries

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The Electric Hotel
A Novel
By (author): Dominic Smith
9780374146856 Hardcover, Dust jacket English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jun 04, 2019 Print Run: 150000
$36.50 CAD
Active 6.21 x 9.3 x 1.17 in | 500 gr 352 pages 31 Black-and-White Illustrations in Text Farrar Straus & Giroux Sarah Crichton Books

A sweeping work of historical fiction from theNew York Times–bestselling author Dominic Smith,The Electric Hotel is a spellbinding story of art and love.

For more than thirty years, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films who started out as a concession agent for the Lumière brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging for mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film history student comes to interview Claude aboutThe Electric Hotel—the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose—the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments in desperate need of restoration, as well as Claude’s memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him.

The Electric Hotel is a portrait of a man entranced by the magic of moviemaking, a luminous romance, and a whirlwind trip through early cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Dominic Smithgrew up in Sydney, Australia, and now lives in Seattle, Washington. He’s the author of the novelsThe Last Painting of Sara de Vos,Bright and Distant Shores,The Beautiful Miscellaneous, andThe Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre. His writing has appeared inThe New York Times,The Atlantic,Texas Monthly, andThe Australian. He has been a recipient of literature grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts. He teaches writing in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

- starred review from Kirkus
- starred review from Booklist
- 150k print run
- Publishers Weekly review
- Rep Pick

Rep Pick:
A sweeping work of historical fiction that begins in the nascent days of cinema in Paris and ends a half-century later in Hollywood, The Electric Hotel tells the story of a French silent films pioneer and a film student who interviews him about a lost masterpiece. Moving between past and present, it documents the rise and fall of a prodigious film studio and one man’s doomed obsession. By the author of highly praised and bestselling novel, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos. —Lorna MacDonald

Praise forThe Electric Hotel

“An irresistible and dizzying international tale of early cinema. [Smith] is a writer of elegance, rich imagination and propulsive plotting.”
—The Washington Post

“Radiant . . . a vital and highly entertaining work about the act of creation, and about what it means to pick up and move on after you’ve lost everything.”
—The New York Times

The Electric Hotel enchants with a compelling plot but satisfies with the fully felt pathos of its characters.”

“A long-retired moviemaker recalls the early days of silent films in Smith's atmospheric follow-up toThe Last Painting of Sara De Vos . . . Smith skillfully blends film history with the adventures of his cast . . . Martin's screening of the restored Electric Hotel provides a moving finale. A compelling plot, robust characters, and finely crafted prose richly evoke a bygone age and art.”Kirkus Reviews(starred)

“Fascinating information about the making of silent films is balanced by poignant, emotional portrayals of individuals attempting to define their lives offscreen even as they made history on it. Smith winningly delves into Hollywood’s past.”
Publishers Weekly

“Smith's tale is luminous . . . Highly recommended for historical fiction fans and readers who love old Hollywood novels.”
Booklist (starred)

“Wondrous . . . [Smith] writes with an old-world elegance; you get lost in these pages like you do in a great movie, not wanting the lights to come up.”
The Seattle Times

“A glorious ode to the luminous art that ushered in Hollywood’s film era.”

“As fresh and deliciously strange as the first days of film-making it so dazzlingly brings to life,The Electric Hotelis utterly absorbing, astonishingly inventive, and richly imagined. Dominic Smith is a wizard.”
—Andrea Barrett, National Book Award winner and author ofArchangel

Praise forThe Last Painting of Sara de Vos

AKirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

“Audacious . . . Absolutely transporting.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“Gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive, with an almost tactile awareness of the emotional contours of the human heart.”
—Laura Collins-Hughes,TheBoston Globe

“Rapturous . . . Smith’s writing is incandescent from the first sentence.”
—Caroline Leavitt,San Francisco Chronicle

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