Javier Montes con The Hotel Life
Featured in Granta's The Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists issue in 2010, Javier Montes blends literary narrative and compelling intrigue to great effect in this novel. A journalist employed to review hotels for a newspaper finds himself unexpectedly playing the voyeur. One day during a check-in, he is given the wrong key and, on entering the room, still unseen by its occupants, he finds himself spying on a porn shoot. Later on that night, the film director-an elegant, enigmatic woman-tells him about the website she runs and its hallmark: hotel scenes. The kinship and attraction he feels toward her nourishes his urge for a new encounter. Following the clues on her site about upcoming scouting sessions, he pursues her through their mirrored hotel-driven lives from one possible shooting location to another. As he continues his unending quest, his daily escapades merge with nostalgic dispatches and a yearning for an unattainable object of desire. This novel confirms Javier Montes as one of the most individual voices of his generation, characterised by a wry sense of humour, a talent for ambiguity, a love of fables and masks and a firm grip on a hectic story that twists like a classic thriller and turns into a dark parable, open to any number of interpretations.