Over thirty years ago, the charismatic and flamboyant Howard York created the finest hotel in London…this is the Hotel Alpha. This is the hotel where anything is possible, midnight room-service…you’ve got it, newspaper with breakfast and a wake-up call to end all wake-up calls…you’ve got that too! Along with Howard, the other person behind the success of the hotel is Graham, the concierge. He has been at the helm of the good ship Alpha since the very beginning and has seen everyone come and go and has seen every aspect of the hotel’s progression right since day one.
Where the story turns sour is when we are introduced to Chas, Howard’s blind son. Chas has almost never been outside of the hotel and as we venture through the many years of the hotel’s history Graham and Howard have to decide whether the Hotel Alpha can keep pace with the world outside…has the hotel been built on a foundation of secrets and mystery…
Mark Watson has always been one of my favourite stand-up comedians so when the opportunity arose to read this preview version of the book I jumped at the chance. Typically I’m not a fan of fiction written by comedians as I feel that they’re trying too hard to surge away from their previous endeavors but this wasn’t the case here. For a stand-up comedian, Mark Watson certainly knows how to write a book!
There is a style that Mark Watson has established through his books that offers a definite wit and charm that his stand-up also does. All the characters in this book stand alone and because of this the story has a great depth that you don’t get from books that focus solely on one person. Each of the three main characters are as important as the others, they all have their secrets and this adds to the story immensely.
Another brilliant effort from Mark Watson and one that I’d like to give a second read at some point just to enjoy all over again.
Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Picador (Macmillan)