The White Hotel

thewhitehotelThe White Hotel
by D.M. Thomas
1981/274 pages
rating 8.5 / 20th century fiction

At first I thought this was going to be totally pandering and gratuitous in every sense,  bolstered by the inclusion of Freud but more critical than   laudatory.  The narrative in general is a very stylish, literary type production.   After the Freud letters which open the novel comes an erotic poem apparently by a nymphomaniac, his patient.  Then, in a new section, but possibly same woman, anonymous sex on a train and a fantastical hugely symbolic excursion through a “white hotel.”   This is impossible to summarize or even give much of a review of and I have no idea what a Freudian would make of it – I kind  of skimmed it was ludicrous and faintly offensive.

Ah well,  I kept reading and it all comes together incredibly well in the end, making a powerful statement and the whole is very much worth reading (if you can make it through the preliminaries).  The more I think about it Freud was necessary as an interesting introduction to keep the reader reading until he is gob-smacked.  (no more spoilers!)

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