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Download The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel Audiobook, by Heather O'Neill Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Heather O'Neill Narrator: Julia Whelan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2017 ISBN: 9781524749637
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"So filled with vivid descriptions and complex characters that the reader's experience is virtually cinematic. . . Utterly compelling." – The Washington Post

A spellbinding story about two gifted orphans –  in love with each other since they can remember – whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.
 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. 

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes – after years of searching and desperate poverty – the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “O’Neill is a wondrous writer whose clean declarative sentences push the stories forward.”

    Toronto Star, praise for the author

  • O'Neill's lively style is so filled with vivid descriptions and complex characters that the reader's experience is virtually cinematic... in the hands of this brilliant author, even the ugliest events are depicted with the most musical cadences, soaring arias and symphonic resolutions. Filled with inspired twists and turns, the tale is utterly compelling, creating a world where desperation and love coexist. The Washington Post
  • A larger-than-life, gritty love story that reads like a fable...The greatest strength of O’Neill’s work, however, is her wholly unique narrative voice, which is at once cool and panoramic, yet shockingly intimate and wisely philosophical. The novel brims with shimmering one-liners. The Boston Globe
  • This simultaneously heart-breaking and life-affirming novel depicts the range of the human experience through the eyes of its almost preternaturally charismatic hero and heroine… O’Neill’s prose is gorgeous, with arresting imagery. Library Journal (starred review) 

    “O'Neill's fairy tale spins a bittersweet spell…Brazen, offbeat and thoroughly bewitching, The Lonely Hearts Hotel mixes the sacred and profane into an effervescent love potion.
  • "Magical and charming and sexy and raunchy and enchanting. BookRiot
  • O'Neill is an extraordinary writer, and her new novel is exquisite. She has taken on sadness itself as a subject, but it would be terribly reductive to say that this book is sad; it's also joyful, funny, and vividly alive. Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
  • Heather O’Neill’s style is laced with so much sublime possibility and merciless reality that it makes me think of comets and live wires and William Blake’s “The Tyger.” Between prose like that and a story like this, you have a book that raises goosebumps and the giddiest of grins. Helen Oyeyemi, author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
  • “Because this book is so filled with delightful things, it would be easy to overlook how finely it is made. The Lonely Hearts Hotel sucked me right in and only got better and better, ultimately becoming much tougher, wiser than I was prepared for. I began underlining truths I had hungered for but never before read. By the end I was a gasping, tearful mess. Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man
  • "A fairy tale laced with gunpowder and romance and icing sugar, all wrapped round with a lit fuse. Each of Heather O'Neill's sentences pricks or delights. If you haven't read her other books, start with this one and then read all of the rest. Kelly Link, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble
  • "[Walks] the hypnotic line between tragedy and fairy tale...O'Neill's prose is crisp and strange, arresting in its frankness; much like the novel itself, her writing is both gleefully playful and devastatingly sad. Big and lush and extremely satisfying; a rare treat. Kirkus (starred review)
  • In a love story of epic proportions, O’Neill’s excellent historical novel plumbs the depths of happiness and despair...At the very end of the tunnel are floodlights to the stage, sad clowns, gigantic moon props, chorus girls, and the one thing that time and distance cannot diminish--true love grander than any circus act. This novel will cast a spell on readers from page one. Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)
  • “O’Neill is a mistress of metaphor and imagery (“her sobs were flung on the deck”). This is brilliant tragicomedy...in a melancholy love story that brings to life the bygone days of theatrical revues. It’s a little weird and a lot of fun. Booklist (starred review)
  • Longlisted for the 2017 Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction
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About the Author

Heather O’Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter, and essayist. Her prize-winning debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim. Her novel, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, and the short story collection, Daydreams of Angels, were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in consecutive years. The collection was also shortlisted for the Paragraphe Hugh McLennan Prize for Fiction.

About the Narrator

Julia Whelan, winner of twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards, won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Romance Narration in 2013 and was twice a finalist for an Audie in 2015. She is a former child actor who has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most notably ABC’s Once and Again. After receiving her college degree, she returned to the film industry and is also a writer. Her audiobook credits include memoir, nonfiction, romance, supernatural thrillers, young adult, and adult fiction.