The Two Hotel Francforts

The Two Hotel Francforts

3.5 2
by David Leavitt
     
 

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It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe-a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their…  See more details below

Overview

It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe-a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugals neutrality, and the worlds future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters-Julias status as a Jew, Pete and Edwards improbable affair, Iriss increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage-begin to come loose.

Gorgeously written, sexually and politically charged, David Leavitts long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary work.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Brave and risky... Leavitt is a fluent, clever writer... [with] page-turning craft.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Set in the summer of 1940, The Two Hotel Francforts, David Leavitt's lean, stylish novel, unfurls like a classic Hollywood film, crackling with intrigue and illicit romance...[Leavitt] employs coolly elegant prose to evoke the era's glamour and dread... He transports the reader to a wayward world racked by historic upheavel and intimate demons.” —O, the Oprah Magazine

“An intriguing tale of love and secrets…The Two Hotel Francforts cuts in two directions at once: It's a refugee story with something of the atmosphere of an Alan Furst novel, and at the same time it's the story of a brief but intense gay love affair… Leavitt handles complicated material with proficient craft.” —Buffalo News

“Readers who crave... secrets and ambiguities in their fiction will be sated by David Leavitt's deft historical novel, The Two Hotel Francforts.” —Wall Street Journal

“Leavitt is superb at comedy of manners, his dialogue is witty and tight and his characters constantly reveal themselves while trying to keep their true feelings hidden... Leavitt has never been in greater command of his talents... In is best work yet, Leavitt is a smart, literate American novelist in the British tradition of Iris Murdoch and E. M. Forster.” —Shelf Awareness

“This is a brittle tale told with effortless ease.” —Bookpage

“Leavitt brings to mind Edith Wharton and E.M. Forster, two novelists whose pointed observations about class sometimes belied their elegant prose...The Two Hotel Francforts stands with his very best work.” —Lambda Literary Review

“[A] smart, well-crafted story... [A] clever, engaging tale of marriage's hidden shadows, lies, and half-truths.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Leavitt's new novel establishes a brisk pace from page... [It's] a dramatic story that Leavitt weaves with compelling authority and empathy.” —Booklist, starred review

“Leavitt writes beautifully and fluently, his scenes studded with precise detail... Prove[s] Leavitt as much a master of clarity as he is of confusion.” —Gay City News

“Brings to mind the classic film Casablanca... Told from different perspectives, this multilayered tale intrigues with its twists and turns of plot and viewpoint. Leavitt's graceful depiction of same-sex romance will have universal appeal. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

“An artfully crafted story of two marriages... Very fine work.” —Kirkus

“We can always count on David Leavitt to bring buried desires to the surface and give the uncertainties of an era startling clarity in his fiction. Here in his glorious new novel, with his characters on the run from war and suspended in a precarious state of exile, he traces their efforts to create meaningful lives amidst the turmoil surrounding them. The result is a book that is artful, gripping, delicate, and fierce.” —Joanna Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of FOLLOW ME

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608195992
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
10/15/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
261,532
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

David Leavitts books include the collection Family Dancing, and the novels The Lost Language of Cranes, While England Sleeps, The Body of Jonah Boyd, and The Indian Clerk (finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award). He is also the author of two nonfiction works, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Florence, A Delicate Case. He is professor of English at the University of Florida in Gainesville and edits the literary magazine Subtropics.
www.davidleavittwriter.com
David Leavitts fiction has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the LA Times Fiction Prize, and shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Award. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harpers and Vogue, among other publications. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he is Professor of English at the University of Florida and edits the literary magazine Subtropics.

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The Two Hotel Francforts: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed David Leavitt's new book the Two Hotel Francforts. The historical setting (Lisbon in 1940, a limbo country for ex-pats, esp. Americans, during the escalating violence of WW II) is perfectly rendered, and yet the human dynamics--the dynamics which drive any great novel--are what make you want to keep reading. There are all the usual elements of a great novel here--betrayal, intrigue, love (and hopeless, desperate love at that) and yet there is a fresh element to the unfolding of the story that hooked me from the first chapter. I read this book in just a few days, due to its fast pace and engaging characters and story. I would highly recommend it! --Zacc Dukowitz
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting chiefly for the historical and geographical setting