On a dark desert highway, hidden from sight, there is a place that exists just beyond the shadows. A place that calls to the broken, the lost, and the tormented who wander the desolate roads of night. Temptation to leave the world behind presents itself as a beautiful seductress offering a variety of exquisite pleasures, luring you further into the dream. But elegant parties and pretty faces quickly dissolve into the stuff of nightmares as the door closes and the feast begins. Welcoming smiles become gnashing teeth in a prison of your own making, the gilded cage devouring everything it receives. And still, I hear those voices calling me from somewhere far away, you can check out anytime you like, but no one ever leaves the Hotel California.
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- Amazon Customer
So close to being great
The famous Eagle's song is turned into a heart-breaking narrative.
Dark beginnings, self-destruction, and a tragedy beyond simple survivor's guilt lead a man into a gothic horror thick with dream logic. Rich visuals and gothic archetypes of a temptress, a devil figure, decadence leading to punishment, and unambiguous lines between good and evil made for a compelling story in which you can easily lose yourself.
The downfall is the Eagle's song and its lyrics. Some aspects of the lyrics are central to the setting and mood; these are fine. In particular, the heaven and hell dichotomy and not being able to leave. However, these are the minority. Far too many scenes serve no function except to incorporate the lyrics for their own sake. This cheapened and distracted from an otherwise engaging horror full of fantasy, tragedy, and pain. The feast, for example, was set up only to mirror the song. But with a little more effort, the devil-figure could have been more of a presence and the food's reveal could have been used as a twist which reflected the main character's sins and guilt.
I've listened to many books by this narrator and this book is consistent with the quality I've come to expect. His telling of this story remains low and grim without being flat.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
- R. MCRACKAN