Hotel de Dream: A New York Novel

In a damp, old Sussex castle, American literary phenomenon Stephen Crane lies on his deathbed, wasting away from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-eight. The world-famous author has retreated to England with his wife, Cora, in part to avoid gossip about her ignominious past as the proprietress of an infamous Florida bordello, the Hotel de Dream. In the midst of gathering tragedy, Crane begins dictating what will surely be his final work: a strange and poignant novel of a boy prostitute in 1890s New York and the married man who ruins his own life to win his love.

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By Grady (Altadena, CA) · ★★★★★ · September 02, 2009
The Painted Boy: Resurrection from the Deathbed of Stephen Crane

Edmund White, gratefully, is a prolific writer, a gifted man of letters who has become one of America's more important authors. While much of Edmund White's oeuvre is about gay life, he does not confine his talent to the one topic: h... ...more
By Gary (Portland, OR) · ★★★★★ · September 23, 2008
Out in paperback: 10/14/2008!

After the near-atrocity that was 2007's Chaos collection, White returns with a fantastic novel: a novel that shows he might be through with trying to prove his (quickly waining) relevance to gay fiction, and instead embracing his age and his status of a (albeit, unkno... ...more
By Ann (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · August 19, 2011
You don't have to be a writer to love this book--but if you are a writer, you'll be entranced by what White does in Hotel de Dream, and horrified by the appropriate but depressing ending.

White imagines the last months of late-19th-century writer Stephen Crane (The Red Badge of Courage) as he's dy... ...more
By Erastes (Great Yarmouth, The United Kingdom) · ★★☆☆☆ · March 08, 2011
It’s a book of two halves, really. The first half, with Stephen Crane–who spends the entire book dying–is as slow as a meandering river. Suddenly, the “book within a book” which he’s writing hots up and the pace increases–it’s just that the two don’t really gel with each other. If you had told me... ...more
By C.W. (The United States) · ★★★★★ · June 09, 2014
Edmund White is rightfully considered one of our finest living English-language writers, though his output is not as prolific as others in his cadre. Nevertheless, he has carved an indelible mark for himself in portraying both gay life and history in his works, his prose always luminous and his i... ...more
By Jeff (Chicago, IL) · ★★★★★ · March 11, 2008
I'll admit upfront, Edmund White isn't always my favorite gay author. But this novel is quite a gorgeous little thing. Ostensibly the American writer Stephen Crane at one point wrote (or spoke of writing) a book about male prostitution in turn-of-the-century New York City. White creates a fiction... ...more
By Gael (Leeds, H3, The United Kingdom) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 02, 2012
Hmm.

This was well written, and literary, but I don't think I liked it really.
It is based on the life (well death actually) of a American writer called Stephen Crane - an actual person, although I've never heard of him. He died in 1899, and knew Henry James & Josef Conrad.

The novel tells how h... ...more
By Disarticulate (London, H9, The United Kingdom) · ★★★☆☆ · February 16, 2014
Edmund White is one of the most self-obsessed writers I have ever read. Not that this is a criticism of him as a writer but his fictional heroes are basically Edmund White transposed into different fictional situations. Along with three separate memoirs (!) and his novels 'A Boy's Own Story', 'Th... ...more
By David (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · December 02, 2009
Is it just me, or does Edmund White keep getting better and better? This fascinating novel about the putative creation of Stephen Crane's "lost" novel about a boy prostitute is marvelously plotted and gripping throughout. There is also a novel-within-the-novel that is every bit as good as the "ou... ...more
By Jen (Ryde, 02, Australia) · July 30, 2011
I thought the book was quite well written and the plot was interesting. The idea that a person can be so fascinated and consumed by another human being and a situation is interesting and I felt that White created a tangible world. The book within the book was more a reflection of the author withi... ...more