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Extended Audio Sample A Small Hotel Audiobook, by Robert Olen Butler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 53.87 out of 5 3.87 (23 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: November 2011 ISBN: 9781611204711
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nora Barry | 1/20/2014

    " Really? An entire book based on one man's inability to say "I love you"? The wife was completely uninteresting, the husband only slightly more so. I couldn't even understand why they were together inthe first place--though I completly understand why they didn't want to stay together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Rosenberg | 1/11/2014

    " Though i have never been married, much less for 20+ years, this book cuts to the quick and teaches a rather important lesson about relationships...And it also spans two towns which I have called home, so those familiar beautiful places he mentions speak very strongly to me. I have stood in many of the same spots Butler mentions in both New Orleans and Pensacola, so there is a mystique about this book, as though I am a ghost character. But even if you've never lived in either place, this is a must-read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Vinzant | 12/28/2013

    " hard book but very good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adoster | 12/23/2013

    " The way the author weaves the tale of love, betrayal, and struggle to find a way out makes for an interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ME | 12/21/2013

    " Ashort but powerful book about a marriage on the rocks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Eshaghy | 11/6/2013

    " Beautiful writing and good storyline. No wonder Butler won the pulitzer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 10/21/2013

    " Excellent portrayal of effect of our parents and the impact they can have upon our future relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 10/18/2013

    " I don't seem to have felt the same way about this book as most. I found it extremely depressing - particularly the parts dealing with the parents. It was just okay for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrina Tan | 10/15/2013

    " Master of the run on line. Not so much the story of the dissolution of a marriage, but more the love story of a married couple, and the presumptions they make. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bj Travis Thomas | 8/27/2013

    " Could not put it down!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyle | 5/25/2013

    " Could not put this down!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 5/10/2013

    " A thought provoking story of the end of a marriage, and how much it could have changed had the couple been honest with each other about their wants and needs. It was clear throughout the book that the cycle was to continue. Quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/23/2013

    " I didn't love the dialogue, some of it was a little cheesy but I thought it was very realistic, good twists, and had a nice ending "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 11/24/2012

    " Beautifully written exploration of love, connection and the courage to connection to feelings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianne Tindol | 7/7/2012

    " This book was very interesting. A marriage is falling apart, and two people who dearly love each other almost destroy their marriage. I couldn't decide who was more at fault. Good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret McMaster | 5/27/2012

    " Softly articulated, with an ending that brought tears to my eyes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beatrice | 3/10/2012

    " I really didn't care for the book, though it was well-written. The story was dragged out, and the ending was like a made-for-tv movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 1/7/2012

    " fantastic literary romance. Robert Olen Butler is a great magician. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 1/5/2012

    " This book probably isn't for everyone. It is about a wife whose husband leaves her for another woman. She is so upset that she plans a suicide. The ending really isn't very realistic, but it's quite satisfying. "

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About the Author
Author Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than a dozen novels, several story collections, and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he also won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and has received two Pushcart Prizes. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.