Vicki Baum, author of the acclaimed Grand Hotel, visited Shanghai in 1937. Her many friends there provided her with a wealth of information about China's convoluted politics, and the secret life and unique personalities of Shanghai--material she used as the basis of Shanghai '37. The hotel depicted in the novel was the Cathay, which, on August 14, 1937, following the outbrVicki Baum, author of the acclaimed Grand Hotel, visited Shanghai in 1937. Her many friends there provided her with a wealth of information about China's convoluted politics, and the secret life and unique personalities of Shanghai--material she used as the basis of Shanghai '37. The hotel depicted in the novel was the Cathay, which, on August 14, 1937, following the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, was attacked by a bomb. This incident, known as "Bloody Saturday," caused considerable damage and the deaths of many people. It forms the climax of Shanghai '37, a story that follows the lives of nine people to Shanghai and the hour of their death. This book, the second of Baum's "hotel" novels, was first published in America in 1939....
|Number of Pages||:||606 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Hotel Shanghai Reviews
I'd choose this book to read on a deserted island. Simply divine.
Mostly forgotten in the US, today, Vicki Baum has been republished in France, and I believe she’s still in print in her country, Germany, so hopefully there’s still an audience out there to enjoy her engrossing books. Because her novels were such massive international commercial successes, and because she never pretended to be an intellectual writer in the mold of some of the other authors of the German language, like Thomas Mann or Stefan Zweig, she never quite gained the respect of the literary establishment. She never was taken seriously, it seems. To be sure, Baum is the quintessential popular writer, the way one could be defined between the two world wars. Yet she’s much more than just a pulp or romance writer (as some of the covers of her novels could make believe). The truth is, among all writers of popular fiction, she remains one of the most talented, and she deserves much more recognition than she’s gotten so far. Shanghaï Hotel is a wonderfully entertaining novel about China before the Maoist Revolution, when Europeans were still having a foot in the country. Fans of historical fiction are in for a treat. Baum’s talent shines especially in the way she develops, quite daringly, within the frame of the main story and without ever losing the reader, what are literally mini-novellas, each one centered on a specific character. I guess one could argue there’s something slightly old-fashioned about her narrative skills, but that doesn’t mean her writing is bad – it is not - and it does come with a certain nostalgic charm. Shanghaï Hotel is gripping, emotionally satisfying, adroitly constructed, and, in fact, very cleverly written. One can see why a lot of Baum’s novels became movies: there is something very cinematic in her vision. On top of that, Baum may be sentimental, but she’s never maudlin or soapy, and she’s actually a very good and subtle painter of the human heart. I have read this book in a French edition from 1997 that, strangely, is not available on Goodreads (the publisher is Phébus, which proposes other Baum titles in its catalogue).
This was a really nice find. I found it in a Salvation Army story and thought it was going to be a terribly outdated overlong novel, but it wasn't. It was fantastic. The author spends the first half of the book introducing us to each other characters, with their life stories from their births to the date in 1937 when the Shanghai Hotel is bombed. There are Europeans escaping Hitler, Americans, Chinese peasants and revolutionaries, and Japanese spies. All of their stories are detailed and engrossing. The ending was also very thorough and impressive. A great historical epic. Recommended.