BLUE HOTEL’s puzzle-like structure, in which each new section of the novel alters the reader’s understanding of what came before, accompanies a deeply felt meditation on death, the nature of reality, and our reasons for being and non-being.
by Dann McDorman
Knopf, Spring 2025
(via David Black Literary)
A man wakes up in a room with no idea where he is or how he got there. The room has no door nor windows. He has no way to tell the time. He has nothing to eat except for the endless cartons of Cup O’ Noodles (Original flavor) with which he is tormented by his captors. The stubble on his chin doesn’t grow. He loses his mind; he gets his back. Then one day, one hour, one minute, a vintage black typewriter appears on the desk, gleaming like a beetle. He warily taps out his name: J-O-H-N T-H-O-M-A-S. He sits down and begins to write…
Thus begins Blue Hotel, during which readers follow John Thomas as he tries to solve the mystery of his imprisonment. His surprising escape, and the discovery of what lies outside his room, launches an exploration during which readers will encounter a strange menagerie of characters: doomsday cultists, a Reality Studies professor, a Big Tech billionaire, an immortal chatbot, a woman who thought she could fly, and two sisters who speak to the dead — plus a few other, rather more surprising personalities…
BLUE HOTEL, Dann McDorman’s follow-up to West Heart Kill, features his trademark mixture of plot twists and philosophical inquiry. It’s a novel filled with bizarre facts and heretical histories, ranging from the origins of artificial intelligence to 19th century revolutionary politics in Canada. BLUE HOTEL’s puzzle-like structure, in which each new section of the novel alters the reader’s understanding of what came before, accompanies a deeply felt meditation on death, the nature of reality, and our reasons for being and non-being.
Dann McDorman is an Emmy-nominated TV news producer, who has also worked as a newspaper reporter, book reviewer, and cabinet maker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.