2014 Book Reviews

Zenith Hotel by Oscar Coop-Phane

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I m a street prostitute. Not a call girl or anything. No, a real street whore, with stiletto heels and menthol cigarettes.

Narrator Nanou gives a detailed account of her day, from the moment she wakes up with a foul taste in her mouth, in her sordid rented room, until the minute she crawls back into her bed at night to sleep. Interwoven with her story are portraits of her clients.

Thank you to Karen at Arcadia Books for the copy of this pocket sized book!

This story quite literally is pocket sized, I wasn’t expecting much when I first saw this but boy it certainly hides an absolute gem of a story within its pages.

Zenith hotel is a gritty and honest account of a prostitue on the streets of Paris. From the eyes of prostitute Nanou and many of her clients, she tells us her story. Nanou does not want us to feel sorry for her, she is not ashamed of who she is or by what she does.

This book evolves over the course of one day. Nanou’s clients get to tell parts of their story here and there but we don’t get to hear what Nanou thinks of them. We only ever get their background story so that we can try and figure out how and why they end up with Nanou. They all have the same sad and lonely lives which is why they turn to Nanou, Nanou also being just as sad and lonely as them.

If I’m honest I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at this book myself, but having read it I can’t believe I would ever think that because this is a super book that is bursting with raw honesty and a tale so gritty you will have to finish it in one sitting.

Even if this doesn’t look like you would enjoy, I urge you to give it a go.

The Zenith Hotel is available in paperback and kindle.


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