The White Hotel, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


A novel of searing eroticism and sensuality set against the broad sweep of twentieth-century history, the Booker Prize shortlisted THE WHITE HOTEL is a modern classic. It is a dream of electrifying eroticism and inexplicable violence, recounted by a young woman to her analyst, Sigmund Freud.

It is a horrifying yet restrained narrative of the Holocaust.

It is a searing vision of the wounds of our century and an attempt to heal them.

Interweaving poetry and case history, fantasy and historical truth-telling, THE WHITE HOTEL is a modern classic of enduring emotional power that attempts nothing less than to reconcile the notion of individual destiny with that of historical fate. 'I quickly came to feel that I had found that book, that mythical book, that would explain us to ourselves' Leslie Epstein, New York Times


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

It's not always an easy read at the beginning but don’t let this stop you. This is a book that won't fail to surprise you at various points. It is a very compelling novel about Freud, his patient Anna/Lisa, dreams, the Holocaust and heaven. It is interesting, erotically charged, and very sad. Apparently parts of the book were lifted from Yuri Kuznetsov's 'Babi Yar'. Taken from the case history of Lisa Erdman (in the first sections using as an alias Anna G.) an early patient of Sigmund Freud the book explores her case of sexual hysteria and links it to her own self loathing and self destructiveness. The scenes described between Erdman and Freud are often fascinating--taking her back into her childhood and also into the world of dreams and symbols. Erdman's erotic dreams come to her almost as visions of a catastrophic future--they are in fact much more than sexual in nature but also premonitions of death and destruction and as we find out later her own death at Babi Yar is a confirmation of one of them in which she is buried alive. Freud eventually is able to help her back into her normal life and she resumes her career as an opera singer. Eventually she remarries and settles in the Ukraine. Her husband is arrested by the Soviets and she and her stepson as mentioned above will be murdered by the Nazi's. The novel doesn't quite end on that tragic note however. Her stepson Kolya and her had risen from bed on the last day of their lives with the idea that the Germans were going to allow for a train to take them to Palestine--and so the last chapter is like a dream that Lisa takes with her into and beyond her death--into the same Palestine of the train journey where she once again meets with and/or talks to all those who had played a part in her life and where she comes finally to terms with all of that which had caused her so much grief in her lifetime. All in all it's an excellent book.

Review by

Compare to Stravinsky's <i>Rite of Spring<i>.

Review by

Compare to Stravinsky's <i>Rite of Spring<i>.

Also by D. M. Thomas   |  View all