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The Electric Hotel

Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $53.17

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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning author of the acclaimed best-seller The Last Painting of Sara de Vos comes a luminous new novel tracing the intertwined fates of a silent film director and his muse.  

Los Angeles, 1962: silent filmmaker Claude Ballard's daily routine is interrupted by an aspiring film student whose inquiries about Claude's famous lost film, The Electric Hotel, sparks memories of a near-forgotten era.  

Paris, 1895: 20-year-old Claude Ballard interviews for a job as a 'concession agent' for the Lumiere Brothers. With a CV, such that it is, that contains film of his sister's dying breaths, it's clear how much Claude will put at stake to realise his dreams.... 

When Claude meets the legendary actress Sabine Montrose during the last hours of her 40th birthday in her Manhattan hotel room, inspiration strikes, and his fate is sealed.   

For nearly half a century, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films who started out as a concession agent for the Lumiere brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film-history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel - the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose - the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments and reels in desperate need of restoration, and Claude's memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him.  

Spanning three continents and the best part of a century, Dominic Smith takes us on a tour of the heart, to Paris, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Palisades, Los Angeles, Belgium, Andorra and our very own Tamarama. 

Luminous, breathtaking, epic and intimate, The Electric Hotel is the new literary masterpiece from the author of the award-winning The Last Painting of Sara de Vos.

©2019 Dominic Smith (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully imagined and researched, enthralling and sometimes shocking, The Electric Hotel is a glorious tribute to the birth of movies." (Heather Rose)

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Amazing! Dominic Smith dose it again.

Another fantastic piece of work from Dominic Smith. This novel transported me back to the turning of the century and the birth of film. it portrays the amazement of the day to this new medium. There is a rich cast of characters and a mesmerising storyline. I was absolutely enthralled. Following this and "The Last painting of Sara de Vos". Dominic has now become my favourite author.