In preparation for the review of “Sea of Tranquility”, Emily St. John Mandel’s newest book, I am going to take a look at Mandel’s second newest book, “The Glass Hotel,” which was published in 2020. This book is among the most unusual plotlines, simply because it has no plot, at least not in the traditional sense. Except, at least in this case, Mandel shows that it does not matter. The lack of a plot somehow contributes to the overall quality of the book, something I had never experienced before. Usually the books that do not follow a plot are related to a family story, but “The Glass Hotel” shows that even more unconventional stories can be plotless.

After the first few chapters, it is difficult for the reader to identify what is really going on. Eventually the center of the story is found, the grain of sand that allows the rest of the novel to form together around it: a pyramid scheme. Every character throughout the book is affected somehow by the scheme, causing certain people to either erupt into riches or fall into a mountain of debt. At first glance, it may seem like a really boring book, especially after hearing that there is no plot. Essentially, it is a mystery that is character driven and never really solved. 

This book is not for everyone, some people may find it boring, others could find it refreshing but also confusing on why this book was even written in the first place. Even with the unconventional style and loose storyline, this is one of the best books I have read. It is rare to find such a great, fiction, plotless story that does not follow family dynamics. If you are looking for a book that is outside your comfort zone, look no further than “The Glass Hotel.”

Rating: 9.0

Tagline: “Reams and Reels,” written by Cade Smucker, dives into the intersection between books and movies. Reviewing books one week and movies the next, Smucker analyzes the newest works of fiction on the market, telling you which are worth your time, and which are not.