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Extended Audio Sample A Small Hotel, by Robert Olen Butler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (727 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Olen Butler Narrator: Robert Olen Butler Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel follows the lives of Michael and Kelly Hays, a couple of the brink of divorce. On the day the Hays are due in court to finalize their separation, Kelly drives from her home in Pensacola and across the panhandle to New Orleans. She checks into room 303 at the Olivier House in the city’s French Quarter, the hotel where she and Michael fell in love, and where she must now contemplate a startling decision that will hold devastating consequences for her family, including her nineteen-year-old daughter.

Butler masterfully weaves scenes of the present with memories from the viewpoints of both Michael and Kelly, scenes that span two decades, taking the reader back to critical moments in the couple’s relationship and revealing a passionate love tragically undone by miscommunication and insecurity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A deliciously, unapologetically romantic novel…Butler’s empathetic, precise writing flirts with melodrama but never feels hackneyed. In less skillful hands, this story would be a guilty pleasure. Instead, it’s just a pleasure.”

    O Magazine

  • “With mesmerizing detail, Butler excavates layers of memory and illuminates moments of both tenderness and alienation.”

    New Yorker

  • “From each spouse’s point of view we witness the feelings that didn’t break the surface at the time, but never went away.”

    New York Times

  • “A sleek, erotic, and suspenseful drama…Butler executes a plot twist of profound proportions in this gorgeously controlled, unnerving, and beautifully revealing tale of the consequences of emotional withholding.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amanda | 2/18/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I liked the parallelism between the characters. I enjoyed how it all took place in one night. I enjoyed how the wife survived, even if she maybe shouldn't have. I enjoyed the husband's revelations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Barnabas Piper | 2/10/2014

    " Beautifully written and cleverly woven, but ultimately pointless. It was an unfulfilling story of failed love that culminates with a, well, lack of culmination. It was wonderful to read because of Butler's ability to create the story, but it lacked meaning, thought, and ultimately anything substantive. It was a story that intended to have a moral but really just depicted what love isn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Crubano410comcast.comnone | 1/29/2014

    " A quick read that lets you see inside a marriage. This is 2 people who try to read each other but can't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Zanne Macdonald | 1/25/2014

    " I loved this book through out, but the ending was not good. I am not sure how it should end, but the ending the writer chose was too easy. We see a couple nearing divorce as each visits an old haunt they experienced together in better times. The writing style was delicate and evocative so it worth the read. "

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About the Author
Author Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler is the author of more than ten novels and three story collections. In addition to a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and a National Magazine Award in 2001 and 2005, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and an NEA grant, as well as the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.