sunday best #22: The White Hotel

The White Hotel
D.M. Thomas
First published in 1981

Loosely inspired by the case histories of some of Sigmund Freud’s female patients, “The White Hotel” is an idiosyncratic and erudite piece of fiction.

I read it many years ago, and will almost certainly never do so again, because the book’s recounting of events in 1941 Kiev is the most brutally horrific thing I’ve ever encountered in a novel; I read it with my heart racing and a hand clapped to my appalled mouth.

The book deserves a continuing audience not only for the remarkable power of its writing, but for the harsh immediacy it brings to some of the darkest hours of twentieth century history.

“The White Hotel” is recommended by Kona Macphee.
  • First published: 1981
  • Current availability: Available on Amazon UK

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